The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i has essentially two legal mandates in the operation of his or her office. The first is to serve as the assistant chief executive, becoming Acting Governor upon the absence of the Governor from the state. The second, as the legally designated Secretary of State, is to manage specific services for the public. When the new administration took office in December of 2010, a key goal was to utilize the resources of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to assume additional responsibilities in the form of special projects and initiatives assigned to me by the Governor. An overarching principle in the selection of initiatives was that they help guide the State through its period of economic recovery and that they support public services weakened as a result of diminishing resources.
In a phrase, our objective was to stretch the office so we could work collaboratively with the appropriate governmental agencies and the private sector to focus on key targets.
Surprisingly, upon taking office, we discovered that the basic services provided to the public by the Lieutenant Governor, such as name changes, were suffering from a backlog that affected people’s lives and that the service and processing systems were outdated. We’ve made progress on that front and are implementing plans for further improvement.
This report will cover the major activities of a productive first year. Specifically it will cover service improvements within our office, the Hawai‘i Fair Share Initiative, the support and significance of hosting APEC, tsunami relief, China trade and travel activities and initial efforts to make Hawai‘i the home for the Obama Presidential Center.
In retrospect, the changes we made in the scope and operation of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor are common sense and were made relatively easily within State government because of the willingness of Governor Abercrombie to make the best use of our governmental resources. We face challenges ahead. But there is a lot to build on after twelve months and I am looking forward to the next year.
Shan S. Tsutsui
To view the 2011 Annual Report, click here.