Illinois, Kansas share designation of top digital state

Illinois, Kansas share designation of top digital state

Illinois and Kansas tied for first place in the Digital State 2001 survey conducted by the Progress and Freedom Foundation and the Center for Digital Government.

Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan commemorated the event by issuing the first-ever gubernatorial administrative order bearing a digital signature.

Ryan’s order directed his cabinet members to promote technology by focusing on accessibility, privacy, security, compatibility and public-key infrastructure.

Kent Lassman, research fellow for the foundation, said Illinois had deployed more than 1,500 digital services across seven state agencies, 65 municipalities and six colleges and universities.

The foundation cited the Kansas State Board of Nursing’s online license renewal system, at www.ksbn.org, as a best practice. “In addition to around-the-clock service, the online system is three to five times faster than traditional licensing and includes instant confirmation of the renewal,” the foundation said in its report.

Former Kansas CIO Don Heiman, who just retired, said in a statement, “This award holds special significance for our state because it was achieved at a time of constrained budgets.”

He said that although the consulting firm GartnerGroup Inc. of Stamford, Conn., had reported the average expenditure for IT in government was 6.44 percent of total budgets, Kansas spends 2 percent of its budget on IT.

“Clearly the state agencies have done an outstanding job building e-gov applications and IT infrastructure for a highly reasonable cost,” Heiman said.

Washington ranked third in the annual grading of states according to the progress they have made in adopting digital technologies. Maine tied for fifth place with Arizona, filling out the top five rankings.

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