Alabama is being honored as a leader in e-government by being named to CIO magazine's annual CIO 100 list. Alabama is the only state government named to the list, which honors the top 100 institutions that exemplify the highest level of excellence in information technology (IT).

Alabama Chief Information Officer Jim Burns accepted the award on behalf of the state at a ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday.

"This award is further proof that Alabama has arrived on the national scene as a leader in technology," Burns said. "We have tremendous support to do what makes good business sense from both Governor Riley and state Finance Director Jim Main. Their support, coupled with the commitment to innovation by the state's technology staff, has enabled us to improve internal government operations and services for Alabama citizens."

"We're honored to be part of the CIO 100," said Governor Bob Riley. "We've dramatically increased the number of government services available to citizens online, while increasing overall government efficiency. Many citizens expect to be able to conduct their business electronically with the state. We continue to work not only to meet, but to exceed those expectations."

Several innovative programs led to Alabama's selection. More than 130 online e-government services are now available through the state Web portal, Alabama.gov. With the consolidation and modernization of the state's e-mail system, Alabama's citizens can now better communicate and interact with their government.

The award also noted the state's ACCESS (Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide) distance learning program provides opportunities for Alabama public high school students to engage in Advanced Placement (AP), elective and other courses to which they may not otherwise have access.