1995 Finalist
State of Hawaii
Innovations in American Government Awards
Innovations in American Government Awards

The Hawaiian Islands are spread over an area spanning fifteen hundred miles, with the vast majority of the population concentrated on one of the state's five largest islands. Delivering government services to residents of the farthest and least populated islands, has always been a challenge. Compounding the difficulty is the lacking telecommunication infrastructure, the result of preventative pricing of telecom service. The result is that citizens living on "neighbor islands" are often forced to travel to one of Hawaiis principal islands to access requisite government services.

To address the problem, Hawaii implemented a statewide public access information system called Hawaii For Your Information (FYI). This a menu-driven application offers access to more than eighty unique government services and agencies including the State Legislature and Honolulu City Counsel. Using Hawaii FYI, remote users are able to access election results, business registration information, and land title conveyance data, as well as to retrieve archive information from mainland public libraries and museums. This system, designed with the remote user in minder, is accessible – free of charge – from anywhere in state.

The system is carried by the Hawaii Wide Area Integrated Information Access Network (HAWAIIAN). HAWAIIAN's infrastructure is comprised of a high-speed digital microwave for sending signals between islands and copper and fiber links which connect resources on land. FYI is accessible via home computer as well as at public access terminals, located in all public schools, libraries, at in designated information offices, for those without personal computers.

The quantifiable measures of FYI's effectiveness are usage time, number of users, and the number of service request. Between 1991 and 1995, the minutes of FYI's use increased from 505,884 to 1,385,024. Over that same period, the number of users and service requests increased from 25,764 to 120,755 and 57 to 94, respectively. FYI cites as its greatest achievement the fact that it has successfully linked diverse peoples and communities together while enhancing access to government services.