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October 17, 2000

Governor Honored at Illinois Technology Showcase
Illinois ranks 4th in Digital State Survey; Up from 49th in 1998

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan was honored today at the opening of the Illinois Technology Showcase for Illinois' recently announced fourth-place finish out of the 50 states in the 2000 Digital State Survey.

The year-long, four-part study, conducted by the Center for Digital Government and The Progress & Freedom Foundation, measured and evaluated state governments' use of information technology to deliver services to citizens.

"This recognition shows that Illinois is making great strides to make government more accessible and more accountable to its citizens," Ryan said. "Within the first weeks of this administration, we created the Illinois Technology Office within the Office of the Governor. Chief Technology Officer Mary Barber Reynolds and her staff have done a great job of implementing the comprehensive technology initiatives put forth over the last 22 months."

Illinois qualifies as this year's most improved state after finishing near the bottom of the 1998 Digital State Survey. Reynolds attributed the turnaround to executive leadership, saying Ryan's commitment to e-government has allowed her to push an agenda that calls for IT innovation among state agencies.

"Since Governor Ryan took office, we have been relentless in the pursuit of moving government closer to the people," Reynolds said.

Cathilea Robinett, executive director of the Center for Digital Government, who presented the award to Ryan, said the high-level technology mandate by the governor pushed Illinois to top-10 finishes in key Digital State categories.

"Illinois received excellent scores in nearly all of our survey categories -- electronic commerce, taxation/revenue, digital democracy, higher education and K-12 education," said Robinett. "Plus, the state took second place in the survey's management/administration category, which is seen as a strong predictor of future IT success."

The Digital State award presentation was held during the kick-off of the Illinois Technology Showcase at Navy Pier in Chicago. The Illinois Technology Showcase is one of a series of regional technology events held nationwide, and is the first to be held in Illinois. The showcase serves as a forum for government, business and education leaders to meet with advanced technology manufacturers from Illinois and throughout the world to using new technologies to improve the delivery of services. The event features 150 vendor booths and various exhibits and programs.

"Making sure that Illinois is at the forefront of the New Economy is a top priority of this administration," Ryan added. "With the creation of VentureTECH, the states five-year, $1.9 billion investment in advanced research and development, health sciences, information technology and biotechnology, I'm confident that Illinois will continue to be a leader in the economy of the 21st century."

For more information on the Digital State Survey, which was sponsored by Compaq Computer Corporation, contact Rhonda Wilson, communications director at the Center for Digital Government at 916/363-5000 or Tom Lenard, vice president of research at the Progress & Freedom Foundation at 202/289-8928.


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