The Center for Digital Government will be honoring selected public agencies and leaders for their outstanding information technology (IT) innovations and contributions with the 2006 Best of Texas awards. The ceremony will be held in Austin on Oct. 30.

"Texas has been battle tested and it shows in this year's nominees and winners," says Paul W. Taylor, chief strategy officer for the Center for Digital Government, a division of e.Republic, Inc. "[Hurricanes] Katrina and Rita did their worst - but Texas communities and their governments were better, and demonstrated Texas-sized grace under pressure. They had prepared responsibly, responded competently and created an environment where Texans and the thousands of displaced Louisianans could do the hard work of recovery and getting on with their lives. The innovations in hurricane response set a high bar for evaluating the other nominees, making this year's Best of Texas winners among the best the nation has to offer."

The Best of Texas awards program was established to salute IT professionals and local government organizations for their dedication, hard work and contributions in the state of Texas. The winners are selected based on a set of criteria, including collaboration between agencies, innovative use of technology, and improvement of services to citizens or state employees.

Winners in each category of the 2006 Best of Texas awards program are:

LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Visionary Award for State, County, and City Government Leaders

George K. (Skip) Noe, City Manager, City of Corpus Christi

Demonstrated Leadership in Advancing Technology to Satisfy Business Objectives

Information Quest group at The University of Texas, Austin

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Delivery

Peter E. Collins, Chief Information Officer, City of Austin

Demonstrated Excellence in Project Collaboration

Gus Roman, IT Director and Todd Snelgrove, GIS Coordinator, City of Bryan

Demonstrated Excellence in IT Operations, Support and Service

Will Anderson, Tech Services Manager; Mark Satchell, Computer Lab Technician III,

Alamo Community College District Advanced Technology Center

PROJECT EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Best Application Serving Organization Business Needs

EPIC - Eagle Plan Investment Accounting and Custody Interface, Texas Employees Retirement System

Best Application Serving the Public

Houston TranStar Traffic Information Web Site, Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, and City of Houston

Best Application Serving the Public

TexKat Web-based Evacuee Assistance Program, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Best Application Serving Multiple Jurisdictions

Regional Emergency Response Database, Tarrant 9-1-1 District and the North East Fire Department Association, North Central Texas Council of Governments, City of Bedford and City of Euless.

Best Application Serving Multiple Jurisdictions

Statewide Shared IP Services Platform, Texas Department of Information Resources

Best Application Serving Organization Business Needs

eDMR - Electronic Discharge Monitoring Reports, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Most Innovative Use of Technology

No More 800-Calls from the Juvenile Justice Center, Harris County Information Technology Center, Texas