State IT chief to lead tax system upgrades
Star-Adv July 8, 2017 (excerpts)
…After months of complaints from the public and state lawmakers about the (latest) 'new system', Gov. David Ige this week named state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy as “executive sponsor” of the $60 million Tax System Modernization, or TSM, project.
The new computer system generated so many complaints that the Legislature this year stopped the flow of new funding into the project. Lawmakers refused a request from the Ige administration for an additional $18 million to continue the computer changeover.
Lawmakers also transferred a half-dozen of the key tax department staff involved in the project to the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, where they work under Nacapuy. (Translation: DOTax is incompetent.)
Unhappy lawmakers also passed House Bill 1414, requiring the state auditor to investigate and report back on the problems with the new tax system, but Ige has signaled he likely will veto that bill.
Ige did not mention any of those developments in his written announcement this week that Nacapuy will now lead all technical aspects of the tax computer system changeover….
Nacapuy, who reports directly to the governor, will oversee the work of consultant Fast Enterprises, which is implementing the new system, and has set up similar systems in 21 other states. Nacapuy will also receive what are called “independent verification and validation” reports from another consultant hired to monitor the progress of the tax project, Ige announced….
House Finance Committee Chairwoman Sylvia Luke added, “The Department of (Taxation) doesn’t have the right approach and right personnel to address the technical IT issues. It’s not a tax collection issue. It’s an IT issue.” …
read … DOTax Incompetent
A Decade of Failure
* * * * *
Would you be smiling if you just inherited this mess?
State of Hawai`i CIO, Todd Nacapuy
CIO TO LEAD TAX MODERNIZATION INTO TECHNICAL PHASES
News Release from Office of the Governor, July 5, 2017
HONOLULU – In recognition of the highly technical nature of major modernization projects, Gov. David Y. Ige today named state Chief Information Officer (CIO) Todd Nacapuy executive sponsor of the Tax System Modernization (TSM) project.
While the Department of Taxation manages all operational aspects of tax administration, Nacapuy will lead all technical aspects of TSM to ensure the project successfully implements and fully leverages modern best practice processes and technology toward stated goals. This will include the CIO’s direct receipt of “Independent Verification and Validation” (IVV) progress reports as well as oversight of the project consultant, FAST Enterprises, which has successfully implemented tax systems for 21 states and the District of Columbia.
“We recognize overhauling such a large, complex system affecting virtually every Hawai‘i taxpayer is not easy, but the benefits are clearly worth the investment and immense effort,” Gov. Ige said. “We have the right team in place and are positioned to succeed.”
The Governor has tasked Nacapuy with identifying opportunities for improvement before the project proceeds to its next major phase, which will begin to address individual income filing and other areas.
“I look forward to collaborating with tax department personnel to continue the project’s momentum,” Nacapuy said. “The department is already taking steps to improve the design of web interfaces so online resources and web forms are intuitive and use familiar language. A user-friendly experience is key.”
In the months ahead, the department will be launching several new features to improve online taxpayer forms and the user experience. Focusing on ease of use, users will be offered options to file frequently used forms and make payments without logging in — a common obstacle to usability — without sacrificing security. The department will also be improving the logon process and mobile device compatibility, and adding video tutorials and support.
The Department of Taxation launched the TSM project in August 2015 to move the state off an aging tax system with a limited lifespan. Being implemented in five phases or “rollouts,” the project aims to address this inherent risk as well as improve timeliness of returns and refunds, improve customer service, upgrade fraud-detection technology, and enhanced revenue collection. At the time, the Legislature approved partial funding of $32 million, which includes the first three rollouts (up to and including upgrades to general excise tax filing for businesses) and IVV.
According to the most recent IVV report published in May 2017, the project has made demonstrable progress. The number of registered GET-payers increased to 93,000 under the new eServices system, compared to approximately 70,000 under the old one. While acknowledging some challenges, the independent report found existing issues to be in the normal range for similar implementations and concluded that the program rollout is on track.