The Government of
the Future, Here Today
Semifinalists for Innovations Awards Offer e-Government at its Reinventing
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.
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 costs.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the
websites of 13 of the 21 federal semifinalists:
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
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 environment.
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
VI Mixed-Finance Public Housing
Public and Indian Housing
of 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, and management.
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
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
of the Interior
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 lands.
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
of 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.
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Council for Excellence in Government
Federal Initiatives Named Semifinalists for Innovations Awards
Charles Rombeau. Charles is an intern with the communications team
of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government. E-mail questions
or comments to Charles.Lee.Rombeau@npr.gov.