GOVERNOR’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE: Governor Ige accepts $660,422 federal award for excellence by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases


HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige accepted a $660,422 award on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i today, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jesus Mendoza, administrator of the Western Regional Office of the Food and Nutrition Service. The award recognizes the exceptional performance by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and acknowledges the exemplary work of the Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division (BESSD) over the last four years, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness in determination of SNAP eligibility for people in Hawai‘i. In fiscal year 2014, BESSD achieved a 94.4 percent timeliness rate, placing Hawai‘i in the top six states for highest timeliness rates.

The bonus award will help further transform SNAP processes and services. Gov. Ige, who accepted the award, believes this achievement is integral to his administration’s promise to deliver efficient, effective and open government.

“This bonus award demonstrates that the State of Hawai‘i SNAP eligibility team is a leader in service and performance nationwide. The award is also a promise to reinvest in Hawai‘i’s future as the funds will further transform and improve the way the State of Hawai‘i serves its people,” said Gov. Ige.

BESSD continues to improve its processes since it began its transformation in 2011. As of July 2015, BESSD has scanned more than 2 million documents into its electronic case system. These improvements increase efficiency and effectiveness of the staff, which can focus more of their time and resources on clients with quick and easy access to documents. The division as a whole is saving time and space by storing documents electronically.

BESSD also achieved a 97.6 percent timeliness rating as of June 2015. It ranks seventh in the country for providing access to SNAP benefits to all eligible individuals and households.

BESSD plans to reinvest the money from the bonus award into their processes and services. Specific plans are forthcoming, but the monies will help the BESSD achieve the DHS goals of nurturing human potential by connecting Hawai‘i residents to community resources.

Additional Information about the BESSD Transformation:

In 2011, BESSD initiated an ambitious plan to reform the way in which the division determined and administered benefits to Hawai‘i residents. The division organized a Business Process Re-engineering Plan, which aimed, among other things, to improve timeliness and accuracy and increase participation and client satisfaction.

To achieve these goals, BESSD shifted from a case-based model to a task-based model. This shift allowed the division to move from having clients’ cases rely on a single worker to employing a process in which a team of case workers, specialized in specific tasks, work together to address clients’ needs.

In addition to a change in process, the division also implemented innovative IT solutions. Two specific solutions, ePathos and enterprise content management, allow BESSD to monitor, manage and measure wait time and workflow as well as provide more flexibility and ease of use for caseworkers.

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Media Contacts:

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929


Keʻōpū Reelitz

Public Information Officer

Department of Human Services

Office: 808-586-4892

Mobile: (808) 372-4704