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National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Director James Lee Witt

“Through the fruits of our innovations we continue to
work with disaster aid recipients as partners, not victims.
In many ways, the Hammer Awards have been the heart,
soul, and motivating spirit of Reinventing Government.”

FEMA was among the first Agencies to receive the Vice Presidentís Hammer Award and has since been recognized by the Vice President for numerous innovative customer satisfaction initiatives.

The most important change FEMA made was to put the customer first. FEMA used to be organized according to disaster. Now, because FEMA is organized for its customers, people can count on all of the resources of the entire agency being brought to their assistance in any kind of disaster.

The new “all hazards” approach highlighted the advantages of Government reinvention in the Midwest Floods and the Northridge Earthquake. There, FEMA inspectors armed with hand-held computers with modems, instead of paper and notebooks, were able to reduce damage inspection waiting time from 18 to 5 days and the cost of inspections was 13.5 million dollars less that it would have been in the old paperwork system. But what is most important to FEMA employees is the alleviation of pain and suffering and the reduction in loss of life and property that its hammer awards have come to represent.

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Environmental Protection Agency

Administrator Carol Browner

The effect that “someone important noticed,” has fostered energy and enthusiasm among staff and managers at EPA. Through innovation and reinvention, EPA teams have developed an array of opportunities and program improvements that are leading to greater protection of human health and the environment at less cost. EPA is justly proud of the contribution that each of its 47 Hammer award-winning teams has made to improving how government works.

The Common Sense Initiative (CSI) was a broad-based agenda to make environmental protection cleaner, cheaper, and smarter for all Americans, creating innovative alternatives to the traditional environmental regulatory system: the single-media, “one-size-fits-all” approach to pollution control that has prevailed for more than 25 years. CSI created new ways of protecting the environment by taking into account the many different, complex issues affecting specific industrial sectors.

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Administrator Daniel S. Goldin

Since 1994, NASA employees have been members of more than two dozen Hammer Award-winning teams, some nominated by NASA, others nominated by sponsoring agencies like the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and Federal Executive Boards around the country. But, in every case, the Awards have recognized NASA employees and contractors for demonstrating the values of partnership and shared responsibility.

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U.S. Office of Personel Management

Director Janice Lachance

Reinvention efforts at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have changed the way we do business and serve the American public. Today OPM is a more efficient and customer service oriented organization. Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, OPM implemented a number of government reinvention initiatives for which it received eleven Hammer Awards. In addition, the National Partnership Council, chaired by OPM Director Janice R. Lachance, received an award for successfully promoting labor-management partnerships.

OPM received a Hammer Award for assisting displaced employees with their career transitions.

The OPM of today is an organization that looks at the future with renewed enthusiasm and the certainty that in partnership with Federal agencies and other organizations, it can continue delivering great service to the public.

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Department of Transportation

Secretary Rodney E. Slater

When the Vice President created his Hammer Award, USDOT employees recognized it as a signal of empowerment to follow their natural and best instincts for public service. The Hammer has helped DOT move beyond a culture of merely working within the system to a culture of changing the system to make it work for the American people.

From its first award in 1994 for the rebuilding of Santa Monica I-10 Freeway following the Northridge Earthquake in California, USDOT has focused its attention on improving transportation services to the traveling public.

USDOT has streamlined processes while enhancing mission accomplishments. Most importantly, in the team spirit of the Hammer Award, USDOT has broken down internal stovepipes and external barriers that prevented it from working collaboratively to achieve excellence for the American people.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development

Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo

HUD was the proud recipient of over 45 Hammer Awards. The Hammer Awards exemplify both Vice President Al Goreís and Secretary Andrew Cuomoís leadership and commitment to government reinvention. Literally hundreds of HUD employees (a significant percentage of its overall staff) have been participants on Hammer Awards teams.

When Secretary Cuomo took office in 1997, he made management reform the hallmark of the first years of his administration. HUDís Management 2020, as it came to be called, has focused on establishing a new management system organized by function instead of program, a new evaluation system for HUD operations and employees that stresses performance over process, new training for the HUD work force, new technology to integrate HUD management systems, and a new enforcement organization dedicated exclusively to fighting fraud, waste, and abuse.

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Department of Treasury

Secretary Lawrence H. Summers

Since the inception of the program in 1993, Treasury has received more than 200 Hammer awards. Each award is a testimony to the creativity and innovation of Treasury's workforce.

Many significant achievements accomplished within Treasury include the U.S. Customs Service partnership with air and sea carriers to diminish the flow of illegal drugs into the United States and efforts at the Internal Revenue Service to improve customer satisfaction.

In 1996 Americans had not seen a new U.S. coin since the Susan B. Anthony dollar in 1979. Leaders of the U.S. Mint and the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee asked customers, collectors, consumer groups, and Congress to identify ways to spark interest in coinage. Many suggested “commemorative” quarter-dollars with designs honoring each State. Follow-up research confirmed nationwide enthusiasm for the concept. The Quarters program has been a resounding success, with over 120 million Americans actively collecting the coins out of pocket change. Since the inception of the program, demand for U.S. Mint produced quarters has quadrupled to over 6 billion state quarters annually.

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United States Postal Service

Postmaster General
William J. Henderson


“The recognition the Postal Service has received through
the Hammer Award Program serves as a testament to the
dedication and hard work of our 800,000 employees and
their commitment to excellence.”

Reinvention has made a difference in the Postal Service. It has resulted in record performance in customer satisfaction and service. Ten years ago the Postal Service lacked a coordinated method of managing its entire operation. Today it relies upon a Baldridge-based performance system to drive consistent improvement by focusing the energies and resources of this vast organization on common goals and targets.

In 1997, USPS received the 1000th Hammer Award for a public-private partnership it established that created a “Movers Guide” and “Welcome Kit.” These kits helped reduce the hassles experienced by approximately 20 percent of the postal customers that move each year.

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