RealTime IT News

VIP Q&A with Fred Morris

Fred Morris is Governor Locke's Executive Policy Advisor for Science and Technology. He advises the governor on measures to sustain and enhance the climate for science and technology in Washington.

Seattle.internet.com caught up with Morris earlier today to get the scoop on "Technology Innovators Day" and more...

seattle.internet.com: Why did you decide to proclaim yesterday "Technology Innovators Day"?

Fred Morris: Governor Locke proclaimed February 1, 2001 "Technology Innovators Day" to honor WSA and its members on the occasion of their sixth annual Industry Achievement Awards. As the governor states in the proclamation, WSA "has worked hard to foster the tremendous growth that technology innovation has brought about in the last 15 years."

seattle.internet.com: With all the layoffs and adjustments in the high-tech sector, where do you see the future of this industry headed in Washington State?

Fred Morris:Governor Locke foresees technology as a continued engine of growth for Washington's economy. The highly publicized layoffs and adjustments at dot-com companies need to be viewed in perspective. In some cases, they reflect a company's transition to more digital business methods. In other instances, they simply represent the churn that is inherent in a highly entrepreneurial, dynamic sector. And in most cases, other tech companies in the state are quickly snatching up the displaced workers. Of course, we do not take our continued success for granted. As Governor Locke has stated "If our prosperity is to last for the long-term, we have to work strategically and diligently to build and maintain the foundations of a knowledge-based, technology-based economy." That's why the governor's proposed budget includes set of key measures to educate our children for the knowledge-based economy, build a workforce for the 21st century, and strengthen our research institutions.

seattle.internet.com: How has Governor Locke's administration incorporated the internet into its daily routine?

Fred Morris: Led by Steve Kolodney and his outstanding team at the Department of Information Services, Washington's award-winning Digital Government initiative is transforming the way we do business in countless ways. To name just a few: our employees purchase goods and services over the internet via Central Stores Online; they download many frequently used state forms and complete them electronically; they can enroll in, take, and be tested in any of 500 course titles related to information technology; they can record planned performance objectives and track performance. Similarly, our citizens can find government information through the powerful Find It! Washington search tool; they can track the progress of any bill pending in the state legislature; they can order certified copies of vital records. This is just a tiny sample of the available government-to-government and government-to-citizen applications. The complete portfolio is at http://www.wa.gov/dis/e-gov/plan/applications.htm.