FOR RELEASE Contact: Mike Russell
Monday AM, December 16, 1996 202-632-0190
FIVE PHILADELPHIA FEDERAL TEAMS HONORED BY VICE PRESIDENT GORE
PHILADELPHIA, PA--The "reinventing government " successes of five Philadelphia-based federal worker teams were cited today (12/16) by the Clinton-Gore administration's reinvention task force, the National Performance Review (NPR). In ceremonies at Independence Park, each team received Vice President Al Gore's "Hammer Award" for significant innovations resulting in improved government services, less waste, and more savings for taxpayers.
Their Common Sense Innovations Cut Waste, Improve Service With Savings To Taxpayers
The actual $6.00 hammer is the Vice President's symbolic answer to the $600.00 hammer of yesterday's government. It is intended to highlight and encourage "islands of excellence" within the federal government.
The awards were presented by Bob Stone, NPR Project Director, who praised the teams for meeting the NPR goals of putting customers first, cutting red tape, and getting back to basics.
"I'm proud of Philadelphia's federal government reinvention teams," said the Vice President, "for their common sense approach to serving customers. Their work is an example of excellence. They are showing that the federal government can reinvent itself."
The "Philadelphia Five" include teams from the Health Care Financing Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, a joint Veterans Administration-U.S. Coast Guard team, the General Services Administration, and the Defense Personnel Support Center. They were nominated for the award by their local Federal Executive Board (FEB), comprised of the top executives of the area's federal agencies. The FEB represents more than 44,000 employees--the area's largest workforce.
Philadelphia Hammer Award Teams
- the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Teleservice Team for development of a prototype "one stop" teleservice unit for its elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries who rely heavily on telephone service for assistance and information. Lessons learned will eventually be applied to HCFA's current patchwork national system.
- the PATE (Public Affairs, Taxpayer Education, Electronic Filing) team of the Philadelphia District of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for successfully promoting, marketing and publicizing its new TeleFile system despite severe budget constraints and a shortage of staffing. Using groups such as Certified Public Accountants, corporate resources, attempting non-traditional methods of communication, the team saved $2.2 million and reached more than 25 million taxpayers.
- the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May, NJ for forging an agreement resulting in both easier access to VA medical care for qualified southern New Jersey veterans and in new Optometry, Orthopedic, and Women's Health clinics aboard the Coast Guard base. Savings of over $1 million--from the cost differential between VA and civilian medical services, and decreased active duty lost time--are anticipated for 1996.
- the Regional Office of the General Services Administration's (GSA) National Furniture Center for developing the Packaged Room Program. This allows the military to order whole rooms of furniture for its barracks and bachelor quarters using one purchase order, one stock number, all provided by one contractor. Prior to the "Philadelphia way", some items were in federal supply depots, some were bought on the open market, and all had different delivery schedules. Typically, up to a dozen purchase orders would be issued to seven to ten vendors for each room of furniture needed. Another contract was needed for installation. The new way will save taxpayers $140 million for the five year contract period.
- the Commercial Initiatives/Electronic Commerce Team from Philadelphia's Defense Personnel Support Center for its providing U.S. military personnel with brand name, high quality garments in a fast, cost effective manner. They talked to the troops, found out what they really wanted, then--working with suppliers like Jockey and Hanes--developed performance specifications that enables them to buy commercial products. The old stuff took up to 46 days for delivery. The new way uses electronic catalogs, etc., and gets it there in hours.