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February 14, 2002

Governor Ryan Accepts National Technology Award
Becomes 1st Governor to Use a Digital Signature on an administrative order

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today accepted the 2001 Digital State Award at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Illinois tied for first place this year with Kansas in the Digital State Survey, after being ranked 49th in 1998. The Digital State Survey is an annual survey of the use of technology in all 50 states sponsored by The Progress and Freedom Foundation and the Center for Digital Government.

“When I took office three years ago I wanted to make government more accessible and efficient for taxpayers,” Governor Ryan said. “One of the best ways to make government better is through smarter use of technology and that’s really what this award is all about.”

At the award ceremony today Ryan became the nation’s first Governor to use a digital signature on an administrative order. Governor Ryan issued an administrative order, which he signed digitally, directing state agencies to put in place key cornerstones to increase the efficient use of technology while providing better access to services and online security for people interacting with state government.

“This administrative order directs members of my cabinet to renew their attention on five areas my administration has focused on: accessibility, privacy, security, compatibility and public key infrastructure,” Governor Ryan said. “By refocusing on these areas, we will be able to move more aggressively with new e-government initiatives.”

Under the Ryan administration Illinois has seen the creation of numerous critical accomplishments including:

  • Illinois Technology Office – a coordinated body that develops and deploys enterprise-wide technology initiatives

  • VentureTECH - a $2 billion, multi-year comprehensive strategy for investing state resources in education, advanced research and development, health sciences and biotechnology, and cutting-edge information technology programs

  • Illinois Century Network – the nation’s largest state operated telecommunications backbone providing high speed access to data, video, and audio communication in schools, libraries, colleges, universities, public libraries, museums, local government and state agencies.

  • I-WIRE - an optical "dark fiber" network linking major research institutions and universities in Illinois and the nation.
  • Expansion of biotechnology research and facilities such as the Post Genomics Institute at the University of Illinois and the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center at Northwestern

  • Integrated public safety communications

  • New facility at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois and the siting of the federal Distributed Terascale Facility at NCSA

  • Southern Illinois University Cancer Research Center

“We are excited about this award and all of the projects that are currently underway,” said Chief Technology Officer, Mary Reynolds. “Since the Governor created the Illinois Technology Office we have made extensive improvements in the way government interacts with citizens and businesses.”

Wednesday’s event also included displays from agencies that were highlighted in the Digital State study. Exhibits included: Department of Revenue’s Online Tax Filing; Department of Natural Resources‘ GIS Clearinghouse; Department of Transportation’s Winter Road Conditions and Crash Analysis System; Department on Aging’s Home Care Services Profile; Illinois State Police Illinois Wireless Information Network (WIN) which allows state and local government public safety agencies to reach a variety of mission critical database applications from virtually anywhere in Illinois; Department of Professional Regulation’s Professional License Look-Up; Illinois Commerce Commission’s e-Docket; Environmental Protection Agency’s Online Discharge Filing; Department of Public Aid’s Online MEDI Project and E-Learning—Illinois Century Network, Illinois Virtual Campus and the Illinois Virtual High School.

For more information about the event or digital signatures, check out: www.state.il.us/tech.


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