Establishing the Governor's Telecommunications Policy Coordination Task Force

WHEREAS, business, the public, and government all depend on efficient and affordable telecommunications services; and

WHEREAS, businesses manufacturing telecommunications equipment and providing telecommunications services are an important part of the state's economy; and

WHEREAS, the State of Washington must have integrated and consistent policies regarding the various sectors of the telecommunications industry to ensure that the industry can meet the current and future needs of the citizens and businesses of the state; and

WHEREAS, many of the state's policies relating to telecommunications were developed prior to the recent changes in telecommunications technology; and

WHEREAS, the convergence of telecommunications, cable television, wireless communications, and other information industries are providing increased opportunity for access to government information and services and for citizen participation in government;

THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the power invested in me, do hereby establish the Governor's Telecommunications Policy Coordination Task Force.

1. The Task Force shall consist of ten members as follows:. The director of the Department of Revenue, who shall serve as the chair of the Task Force; the directors of the Department of Information Services, the Office of Financial Management and the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development; the chair of the Utilities and Transportation Commission; a representative of the Governor's office; and, four legislators, two from the House of Representatives and two from the Senate, to be appointed by their respective caucuses.

2. The Task Force shall review, and where appropriate make recommendations on state telecommunications and information policies relating to the various sectors of the telecommunications industry, and identify any gaps or inconsistencies in those policies. This review shall include the following elements:

a. An assessment of economic trends and factors affecting growth and development in the various sectors of the state's telecommunications industry and an assessment of the role of telecommunications in the state's economic development. This should include a review of the state's current telecommunications infrastructure, trends in the demand for telecommunications services, and factors affecting future development, as well as an examination of policies which may enhance the economic development of the telecommunications industry and the development of the state's telecommunications infrastructure.

b. An assessment of the tax structure as it applies to telecommunications industry in the state and an analysis of the comparable tax burdens among telecommunications sectors. If any inconsistencies in tax structure or burdens are identified, the Task Force shall recommend policies for fair and equitable tax application.

c. An assessment of the effect of information policy on individual rights of privacy, including an examination of the accuracy, integrity, and security of data bases maintained by both public and private entities.

d. An assessment of the effect of technological development on consumer rights, including an analysis of how to promote equity and diversity and to maintain reasonable levels of service to geographically remote areas and to the economically disadvantaged.

c. An assessment of the role of telecommunications in state government and the use of telecommunications technology by government to provide services more effectively and to promote more efficient use of public resources. This should include an examination of the potential for increasing the use of telecommuting and for delivering government services to remote locations using telecommunications technology.

f. An assessment of the state and local regulatory framework in light of changing federal policies and the convergence of telecommunications, cable television, wireless communications, and other information industries.

g. An assessment of the appropriate role for government in the development of the telecommunications infrastructure, including an examination of the role of public private partnerships and the appropriate conditions imposed on the use of public rights of way.

3. The Task Force shall appoint Advisory Groups with representation from private industry, state and federal agencies, consumers, local government public schools, institutions of higher education, and the general public, as necessary for the solicitation of information and advice.

4. The Task Force shall not have control or authority over state agencies or existing statutory or ad hoc committees, but shall work collaboratively with these entities in developing its report and recommendations.

5. The agencies represented on the Task Force shall provide staffing and administrative support to the Task Force.

6. The Task Force shall provide a final report and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by November 1, 1995, and shall provide interim reports as needed.

This order shall take effect immediately.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
my hand and caused the seal of the State of
Washington to be affixed at Olympia this
13th day of September A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-four.

Mike Lowry
Governor of Washington


Assistant Secretary of State