Global High Tech Industry Alliance Awards Exceptional Users of IT

June 13, 2000

For More Information Contact:
Bob Cohen
+1(703) 284-5301
bcohen@itaa.org

Tinabeth Burton
+1(703) 284-5305
tburton@itaa.org

Taipei - The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) today announced ten winners of its inaugural Information Technology Excellence Awards 2000 at the World Congress on Information Technology 2000 in Taipei. The awards honor exceptional achievements in the application of information technology around the globe and were presented to winners in three broad categories: Public Sector Excellence, Private Sector Excellence, and Digital Opportunity. A special Chairman's Award was also presented.

"Candidates for these Awards were hand-picked by IT experts from around the world who are part of our 41-country WITSA industry network," said Harris N. Miller, President of WITSA and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). "Each of the winners have demonstrated world-class achievements in their use of the latest IT products and services, and it was a natural choice to hold the ceremony at the 2000 World Congress on IT in Taipei - the preeminent global IT executive conference."

WITSA Chairman Robert B. Laurence noted, "With an industry network spanning more than 97 percent of trade in IT products and services, WITSA was able to select some of the very best applications of IT around the globe, based on a large pool of highly qualified candidates."

"It was a particular honor for me to select P&G 2000 as the winner of our special Chairman's Award: P&G 2000 was a remarkable success story where companies from different industry sectors came together in an impressive effort to provide students and schools in Romania with computers, and a ticket to a new and brighter future for this maturing European country," Laurence continued.

Candidates for Information Technology Excellence Awards 2000 were nominated by IT experts from WITSA's network of 41 global IT associations, then voted on by the executives of WITSA member associations.

About the Winners

CHAIRMAN'S AWARD

P&G 2000 "A computer, a better chance for the future": Initiated by Procter & Gamble and supported by major partners such as IBM, Xnet, the Ministry of National Education, Pro TV and Save the Children, the P&G 2000 Program provided computers to schools throughout Romania beginning in October 1999 to February 2000. For more information, visit the project website at www.pg2000.ro.

PUBLIC SECTOR EXCELLENCE

State Tax Administration Agency of the Spanish Ministry of Finance (A.E.A.T.): Covering the tax payers in one of Europe's most populous nations, AEAT offers Internet access to individual tax returns and payment, on-line certificate applications, information on processing state of tax refunds, consulting fiscal information available to the Agency, and assistance programs for the preparation and presentation of tax refunds. Fore more information, please see www.aeat.es.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore? (IDA): This program champions a nation-wide effort to promote an information and communications technology (ICT) culture in Singapore, ensuring that people from all walks of life are comfortable and adept at using technology. For more information, visit http://www.ida.gov.sg.

Foster Parents Plan, a member of PLAN International: A successfully implemented technology initiative was designed to touch all areas of the Foster Parents Plan: attracting new donors, providing high-quality customer service, improving internal efficiencies and responding quickly to the changing charity environment in Canada. For more information on this leading child-focused development organization, visit: http://www.fosterparentsplan.ca.

PRIVATE SECTOR EXCELLENCE

Leonia WAP Bank: About 30% of Leonia's customers are linked to its Internet bank, one of the highest percentages of online users in the world. Leonia is one of the first banks in the world to offer a full range of financial services to its customers via the Internet, including balance and statement enquiries, bill payment, list of open payments, VISA transactions, loan information, online trading in stocks and shares, as well as insurance and bond portfolio management. Mobile shopping will be available for customers by midsummer, 2000. http://www.leonia.fi/.

Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd.: Fifth-Generation Total Information System: One of the world's largest networks comprising satellite communications and an integrated services digital network (ISDN). The Fifth-Generation Total Information System, as an outstanding backbone infrastructure, has contributed significantly to an increase in the rate of sales while competing stores have registered a decrease in the same period. For more information, visit http://www.sej.co.jp.

Banco Río de la Plata S.A.: Deployment of the latest and most advanced IT technologies has allowed Banco Río to compete, offer superior products, and become the leader of financial services in Argentina. Services include home banking for individuals, services for small and mid-sized companies and for multi national corporations. For more information, see www.bancorio.com.ar.

DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY

The National Information Infrastructure (NII) planning agency in Chinese Taipei: In Chinese Taipei, the government has made the improvement of national information infrastructure a center of development plans for industries, communications, scientific research, education, culture, society, and government administration. For more information, see www.nii.gov.tw.

Open University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain): The UOC is an innovative web-centric virtual organization which relies on the intensive use of information technologies, for the conception and development of the learning materials, the delivering of its courses and for its management and internal functioning. For more information, see http://www.uoc.es/.

South African Post Office & Department of Communications: Chosen for the introduction of Public Information Terminals (PITs) at post offices to give access to Internet, E-mail, Education and Government information for citizens who cannot afford private access. For more information, see http://www.pit.co.za/.

About WITSA

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance is a consortium of 41 information technology (IT) industry associations from economies around the world. As the global voice of the IT industry, WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance the industry's growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in IT products and services; strengthening WITSA's national industry associations through the sharing of knowledge, experience, and critical information; providing members with a vast network of contacts in nearly every geographic region of the world; and hosting the World Congress on IT, the only industry sponsored global IT event. Founded in 1978 and originally known as the World Computing Services Industry Association, WITSA has increasingly assumed an active advocacy role in international public policy issues affecting the creation of a robust global information infrastructure. For additional information about WITSA and its activities, go to www.witsa.org.

The WITSA Secretariat is currently hosted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). For more information about ITAA, please visit its web site at www.ITAA.org.

About the World Congress on IT

The 2000 World Congress on IT is a biannual high level program for information technology executives around the globe, including renowned speakers such as Bill Gates, John Chambers, Carly Fiorina and others. The theme of the 2000 World Congress is IT for a Better World: A New Millennium. The event examines how technology works to the mutual benefit of people throughout the globe, and how IT can contribute to better education, government services, and healthcare. The WITSA Awards were presented during the June 13th 2000 World Congress on IT evening program, Culture Night, which took place at the renowned Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei. Information about the WCIT2000 can be found at www.worldcongress2000.org.


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