by Doug Powell
One year after requiring restaurants to display safety inspection placards for their patrons, and after spending nearly $170,000, the Hawaii State Department of Health is going back to the drawing board to launch a restaurant database the public can access online.
After three years of technical problems with a former technology contractor, the state is now working to get its data to a new vendor that will build a website that will let people search for restaurants and see their health inspection ratings.
“We were having so many problems with the previous vendor that we never opened it up,” the state Department of Health’s environmental health program manager, Peter Oshiro, told PBN.
A new multi-year agreement between Charlotte, North Carolina-based Digital Health Department Inc. and the state Department of Health to maintain, store and report electronic restaurant inspection data should be finalized within the next few days, he said.
Under the proposed agreement , the state Department of Health would pay $158,000 to create, install, set up and maintain the department’s electronic restaurant inspection and public reporting process. The department would then pay $60,000 a year for Digital Health Department to maintain the system.
“It’s going to be an open portal where the public can look up their favorite restaurant, and actually open up that restaurant’s file, where it’ll show their restaurant placard status, whether it’s green, yellow or red,” Oshiro told PBN.
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