Thursday, August 16, 2001

Hawaii State Seal

Officials hail
state Web site
as winner

The state aims to put more
business forms and
information online

Richard Borreca

STATE OFFICIALS say they have a winner with the new emphasis on pushing state information on the Internet.

To prove their point, Gov. Ben Cayetano is boasting about Hawaii's ranking in a national survey of state information technology.

Hawaii jumped a staggering 212 percent, according to the Center for Digital Government. Hawaii was ranked 49th last year in the electronic commerce category; this year, it is ranked 15th.

Cayetano said information technology and developing Internet-ready uses for state information has been a primary focus for his administration.

Kathy Matayoshi, director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, has steered most of the state programs. She said the new applications enable Internet users to accomplish much online.

For instance, Matayoshi said, you can check on a business, see if a business name has been reserved, renew a professional license or see if your doctor, dentist or insurance agent is licensed and if there is any complaint against them.

Matayoshi said the state is also readying to put business registration filings online so that start-up businesses can get the needed forms electronically.

"The important thing is that this is also an important neighbor island service," she said.

"We don't have offices on all the islands, so people have to deal with us over the phone. The Internet gives them another way," she said. "With an island state, this is the most cost-effective way of doing business."

The biggest advance, Matayoshi said, would be to assemble a complete business registration Web site so that customers could file all the needed forms online.

"Imagine if they only had to fill out the (name and address) information once, and it followed you from form to form," she said. "That's the next step: to take the Internet beyond a single department."

The state's Web site is

State Web Site

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