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Monday, February 10, 2020
DoE's 30-Year Old Computers Crash--Finally Decides to Upgrade
By News Release @ 3:01 PM :: 1099 Views :: Education K-12

Hawaii Department of Education to upgrade Financial System based on 1991 Computers

PBN: … the DOE began taking action after the current system — which has been in place since 1991 — experienced an outage in October 2018 that lasted several weeks, impacting operations and payments to vendors.

The new system, Oracle Financial Cloud, will significantly upgrade the DOE’s accounting operations including improving budgeting, financial reporting and employee self-service, among other features.

“We have been talking about this for several years….

“With computer technology, there’s a new generation every two years and the program that we have now is 30 years old, so it’s 15 generations behind.”…

Another key feature of the system is that it will simplify many of the department’s data functions, and “provide a better understanding of where funding and resources are going and what benefits are provided,” according to the department. (LOL!)

read … Hawaii Department of Education to upgrade financial system for the first time in 30 years

  *   *   *   *   *

Statewide effort to modernize financial systems begins with HIDOE

News Release from Hawaii DoE, 10-Feb-2020

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is leading the state’s effort by modernizing its Financial Management System (FMS), a vital accounting platform that processed more than $1.5 billion in payroll transactions and $840 million in non-payroll transactions for HIDOE in fiscal year 2019. The executive branch’s goal is to align all state departments under a common accounting structure, enabling increased efficiency and transparency.

The current system, which has been in use since 1991, has limited the Department’s capabilities and responsiveness due to a lack of functionality and vendor support. In October 2018, the Department experienced an FMS outage that lasted several weeks and impacted operations and payments to vendors, underscoring the urgency for an upgraded system.

The new cloud-based FMS will modernize accounting operations while providing a platform for future improved capabilities, including:

  • Superior budgeting, procurement, and financial reporting;
  • Improved recruiting tools, allowing schools to drive recruiting needs;
  • Increased employee self-service for benefits, expenses, travel planning, and professional development; and
  • New capabilities in workforce development.

The FMS will support innovation, empowerment and transparency as it enables the Legislature, Board of Education and HIDOE to have better insight for data-informed decision-making. The system will also provide a better understanding of where funding and resources are going and what benefits are provided, along with creating a strong foundation for the Department’s school-based design efforts.

“We look forward to serving as innovative leaders of modernization within the state, while ensuring our employees have the tools they need to excel,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “The new FMS will provide a solid foundation upon which our dedicated team can continue to deliver on the power and promise of public education.”

Given the statewide importance and implications of this effort, HIDOE’s FMS executive steering committee includes high-level support from other agencies including the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) and the University of Hawai‘i (UH).

“We are very excited that the Department under Superintendent Kishimoto’s leadership has decided to move forward with this FMS modernization effort,” said state comptroller, Curt Otaguro. “They will serve as an example for the rest of the state’s Executive Branch as we move forward with many other modernization efforts.”

“The Office of Enterprise Technology Services is pleased to be a partner in this process as HIDOE embarks on upgrading its financial system,” said Doug Murdock, chief information officer for the State Office of Enterprise Technology Services.  “This modernization effort will transform the way the Department does business and light a path for the rest of the state to follow.”

The Executive Steering Committee includes:

  • Dr. Christina Kishimoto, superintendent, HIDOE
  • Phyllis Unebasami, deputy superintendent, HIDOE
  • Brook Conner, assistant superintendent and CIO, HIDOE 
  • Brian Hallett, interim assistant superintendent and chief financial officer, HIDOE
  • Cynthia Covell, assistant superintendent, HIDOE
  • Randall Tanaka, assistant superintendent, HIDOE
  • Brian Frey, Enterprise Systems Branch director, HIDOE
  • Bob Davis, complex area superintendent, HIDOE
  • Carol Kwock, executive assistant, HIDOE
  • Christine Shaw, executive assistant, HIDOE
  • Russell Suzuki, risk manager, HIDOE
  • Sean Bacon, executive assistant, HIDOE
  • Doug Murdock, chief information officer (CIO), ETS 
  • Curt Otaguro, comptroller, DAGS
  • Garret Yoshimi, CIO, UH

CherryRoad Technologies will lead the highly qualified team of vendors and consultants who will assist HIDOE in the design and implementation of the FMS, which is based on Oracle technologies. An Independent Verification and Validation consultant will be selected in the near future, pending evaluation of qualifications and proposals.

The target date for implementation of HIDOE’s FMS is summer 2020. For more information on the FMS Modernization, visit:


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