National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)
An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On
"New Realities: Common Sense Government" Is the Theme
More than 2,500 federal workers and 100 exhibitors are expected to attend the Ninth Annual Conference on Federal Quality from June 3- 6 at the Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel.
Vice President Gore has been invited to preside over the President's Quality Award presentations. Keynote speakers include author Stephen R. Covey; Mary Ellen Withrow, Treasurer of the United States; Elaine Kamarck, Senior Advisor to the Vice President; and officials from Texas Instruments, Inc., Drucker Foundation, and Crocker Associates. Presentations will be made by officials of 1996 quality award winners.
"We invite you to join us ," said Jim King, director of the Office of Personnel Management. "The responsibility of creating common sense government rests with each of us." OPM is sponsoring the event, along with six co-sponsors, including the National Performance Review.
For More Information
Registration is coordinated by conference contacts in each agency or department. If you do not know your contact, or if you need more information, call Conference Coordinator Kim Exeter at (703) 312-7333 or Clint Sidwell at (703) 312-7329. As space permits, OPM is also offering a limited number of registrations for Awards Day only on Wednesday, June 5, for a reduced fee.
Vice President Gore asked the President's eleven Vanguard agencies--the agencies with the most public contact--to put important customer service information online, and all have done it. This includes their customer service standards, specific promises to the public, and a means to provide customer feedback. You may reach this information through each agency's home page. You may also access it through the White House home page (http://www.whitehouse.gov, then click on "What's New) or the NPR home page (http://www.npr.gov, then click on "Customer Service). Some agencies have gone beyond the Vice President's request by delivering services online. Here's one example:
VA Customer Service Goes Online--Since March 15, the Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters Consumer Affairs Service has been responding immediately to customers' inquiries received at the VA Home Page via Internet (http://www.va.gov/). Under the icon "Putting Customers First," VA staff answers questions, resolves complaints, or quickly forwards issues to appropriate offices in headquarters or the field for resolution. For information, call Clayton Cochran at (202) 273-5771 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the VA, the Vanguard agencies are: OSHA, IRS, EPA, Forest Service, Park Service, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, State's Passport Services, and Social Security.
Employee Express, an interagency reinvention initiative led by the Department of Health and Human Services, gives about 434,000 federal employees direct access to their own personnel and payroll records and the means to directly process such actions as address changes, direct deposit of paychecks, voluntary allotments and federal and state tax withholding. And it's easy--call the agency's 800 number from a touchtone phone or make a visit to a free-standing kiosk within the agency. Next year there will be a PC version.
The interagency task force was formed in 1994, with agencies sharing costs, defining the technologies, and using self-directed teams. The Phase I pilot, which ran from May to November 1995, affected 144,000 employees in 20 organizations. Without losing a beat, the initiative entered Phase II, which will add Thrift Savings Plan and Health Benefit actions by the November 1996 open season. "We now have 24 agencies on board," said Project Manager Lynne Doupont. "And some of the original organizations are expanding to reach even more of their employees." Future phases will reach more agencies and employees and more discretionary actions, with the aim to go governmentwide.
"A Neat Way to Make Government Work Better and Cost Less"
Employee Express gets rid of paper forms and eliminates the need for offices to key millions of personnel and payroll actions every year. Vice President Gore called the project the "Virtual Department of Reinvention" and wrote "using computer power to let people update their own personnel records is a neat way to make government work better and cost less."
In addition to HHS, original participants are Defense, Commerce, Agriculture, Interior, Treasury, Transportation (Federal Aviation Administration), Justice, Education, and the Office of Personnel Management. A small agency consortium represents the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Merit Systems Protection Board, Smithsonian, Endowment for the Arts, Farm Credit Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Emergency Management Administration, National Labor Relations Board, Office of Government Ethics, and the Small Business Administration. Organizations joining the partnership in Phase II are Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and the Social Security Administration. For more information about Employee Express, contact Lynne Doupont at (202) 690-8236 or by e-mail at LTD@OSPAHF.SSW.DHHS.GOV.
For more information, contact Pat Wood, National Performance Review, 750-17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 632-0223; FAX: (202) 632-0390; email: email@example.com. Reinvention Express is on the Internet at http://www.npr.gov. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to Listproc@etc.fed.gov with this message: SUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. (Put three spaces: after the word "SUBSCRIBE," after "EXPRESS-L," and after your FIRSTNAME.)