The Government of the Future,
Federal Semifinalists for Innovations Awards
Offer e-Government at its Reinventing Best
June 28, 2000
The use of information
technology was predominant in an overwhelming majority of the 21 federal
government initiatives named as semifinalists for this years prestigious
2000 Innovations in American Government Awards program. Thirteen of the
21 projects are already completely accessible on the World Wide Web. From
search agents to software downloads, these initiatives, and their web
sites, are setting the standard for the new e-government in the making.
Although most federal
agencies provide at least some level of web services, these innovative
web-centered programs selected in part as models for others --
are providing better quality government services to citizens at lower
The 21 federal programs
are among a total of 96 government jurisdictions named as semifinalists
from among 1,300 applications. The 96 range in size from large federal
agencies to small rural counties.
Started in 1986,
the Innovations Awards
are sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by Harvard Universitys
John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for
Excellence in Government. The awards recognize government initiatives
that are original and effective. The rigorous selection process is based
on four criteria that are used to evaluate each application: originality
of the approach; effectiveness in addressing important problems; value
of services to clients; and the potential for replication in other jurisdictions.
In early September, the National Selection Committee will name 25 finalists.
On October 13, 2000, they will announce the ten winners who are then awarded
$100,000 each from the Ford Foundation. The remaining 15 finalists will
each receive $20,000.
Here are the websites
of 13 of the 21 federal semifinalists:
The Bureau of the Census, at the millennium, is re-examining its responsibilities
for making its trove of societal data accessible to users. American FactFinder
provides versatile, pervasive access to its wealth of societal data, without
tedious manual searching of immense paper documents or CD-ROM compilations.
Economic Redevelopment Initiative
Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response
The Brownfields Initiative empowers citizens and encourages innovative
methods of cleaning and safely reusing blighted properties. It reflects
a new model of environmental protection which creates economically viable,
environmentally sound, self-sustaining communities.
Office of Science
The Community College Institute was created to provide the largest population
of undergraduate students in our country with science/technical experience
that would bring them into the mainstream of the workforce. This goal
was accomplished by incorporating new Internet technologies, grassroots
recruiting, and on-going communications among students, faculty, laboratory
scientists, and DOE program managers.
The Forest Service has proven it can transform the way it works. Applying
solid business principles, it has implemented an innovative program that
engenders increased efficiencies and market-based incentives, benefiting
management and employees.
Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking
Office of Environmental Information
Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT)
is an interagency program that works with communities to provide residents
with current and reliable local environmental information. EMPACT projects
provide information to millions of people in the United States enabling
them to make informed decisions about activities and behaviors as they
relate to environmental conditions and concerns.
Technology Verification Program
Office of Research and Development
By working with public and private sector partners to make credible environmental
technology information available to decision makers, the Environmental
Technology Verification Program enables more widespread adoption of improved
technology to meet the national goal of protecting human health and the
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology &
Logistics) Department of Defense
Fast Track is a bold experiment in public-private collaboration to enable
small companies to develop commercially successful new technologies.
VI Mixed-Finance Public Housing
Public and Indian Housing
Housing and Urban Development
HOPE VI is transforming the fundamentals of public housing in the United
States by using public and private development resources to replace the
bleak, isolated public housing of the past with attractive new mixed-income
communities. HOPE VI partnerships help residents achieve self-sufficiency
and spur housing authorities to higher standards of housing design, finance,
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
The Advisors are a suite of expert software programs available for free
on OSHAs web site. They enable businesses to answer a few simple
questions and receive reliable answers on how volumes of government regulations
apply to their unique workplaces.
for a Sustainable Campus
Office of Administration
& Resources Management
In building its largest facility outside Washington, the EPA decided to
create a model of sustainable design and construction. The result is a
state-of-the-art, sustainable campus that provides tremendous educational
opportunities, encourages market development of more sustainable products
and services, and demonstrates that environmental and economic objectives
can be met without compromising quality.
Bureau of Land Management
Service First merges
the services of the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service at
the local level. It is a model for how several natural resource agencies
and jurisdictions may overcome significant statutory, policy, and operational
barriers to provide a single, common sense source of service to taxpayers
and citizens, while protecting the integrity and productivity of government-owned
Electronic Application System
Patent and Trademark Office
The Patent and Trademark Office provides access to a comprehensive, interactive
web-based electronic application that enables all users, from those with
little trademark knowledge to experienced attorneys, to file for federal
trademark registrations on-line.
Office of Community Planning and Development
Housing and Urban Development
The Youthbuild program offers a comprehensive approach to ending joblessness
by combining academic and vocational training for high school dropouts
while producing homes for low-income persons.
For More Information
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Council for Excellence in Government
Federal Initiatives Named Semifinalists for Innovations Awards
Compiled by Charles
Rombeau. Charles is an intern with the communications team of the National
Partnership for Reinventing Government. E-mail questions or comments to