Hammer Award
National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Hammer Award Highlights

March-April 1999

Since 1994, more than 1,250 teams of government reinventors have received a $6 hammer, a ribbon, and a note from Vice President Gore, all in an aluminum frame. The Hammer Award is the Vice President's tribute to teams of federal reinventors and their partners in state and local government and the private sector. The award recognizes them for using reinvention principles to create a government that works better, costs less, and delivers results the American people care about.

Below is a partial list of Hammer Award winners for March and April. Contact Lee Wexel at (202) 694-0036 or if you have additions, corrections or changes.

Congratulations to these winners.

March 1, 1999
Who: Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) - The Bay Area Partnership Building Healthy Communities
Results: HHS partnered with U.S. Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, The Bay Area Council, The Northern California Council, the United Way of the Bay Area, state and local government, and many private sector organizations to serve children and families in their communities. Children and families are getting health, education, and welfare information and services faster. Additionally, this partnership is encouraging greater collaboration.

POC: Audrey Borja 301 827-4225
Where: San Francisco, CA
Presenter: Vice President Al Gore

March 1, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Okinawa Facility Relocation
Results: To meet new agreement requirements, the Government of Japan (GoJ) agreed to relocate $4 billion dollars worth of US Forces Japan (USFJ) facilities. For this size project the USFJ would normally do around $35.8 million worth of planning and construction surveillance but this time the GoJ negotiated for these services to be done with highly qualified contract support. This cuts red tape for the GoJ and cuts workload for the USFJ, and ensures both sides win. The USFJ get quality facilities meeting their needs and the GoJ get better control of $4 billion in their building costs and improved military support, over the long run. Win-Win!

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Yokota Air Base, Japan
Presenter: Commander, Pacific Ocean Division, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

March 2, 1999
Who: Department of Veterans Affairs - Acute and Intensive Medical Care
Results: This team, by working with staff, implemented a materiel management system and organized inventories in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. This freed up professional time for improved patient care, reduced breakage, improved control of "dated inventory", and streamlined stocking. The team reduced the inventory by $160,000. The reduced inventory is easier to manage, better stocked, and generates less waste.

POC: Carstine Thompson (202) 273-5071
Where: Grand Island, NE
Presenter: Vincent Ng, Director VA Central Plains Health Network

March 2, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Strategic Planning Project Team and Akutan Naval Station Team
Results: These teams planned how to clean up pollution and then cleaned up, saving an estimated $9 million dollars. The planning team grouped site work geographically and saved millions in relocation costs. The Akutan team cleaned up primary contamination sources first, combined investigation and clean up steps, emphasized clean up over documentation, and worked as a community team. The Total Environmental Restoration Contract approach eliminated 5 years of contamination risk that the Alaskan people care about.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Anchorage, Alaska
Presenter: Lisa Mallory

March 8, 1999
Who: Department of Commerce
Results: The Gas Metrology Team worked with ten specialty gas producers to develop and produce gases, that are used to measure other gases, 70% faster. This ultimately reduces the cost to users and maintains our air quality. These specialty gases affect $110 million in business.

POC: Dr. Franklin R. Geunther (301) 975-3939
Where: Gaithersburg, MD
Presenter: Secretary William Daley

March 10, 1999
Who: Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Performance Assessment Team
Results: This team comprised of FAA and city employees reviewed existing safety conditions and procedures. Based on their review they installed new lights and signs, simplified traffic instructions, and reorganized the work. Within weeks these changes drastically reduced safety problems on the runway.

POC: Liz Hoefer (202) 366-6610
Where: Cleveland, OH
Presenter: Gloria Hilton

March 11, 1999
Who: Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center - Long Term Care Laundry Process Improvement Team
Results: By eliminating nine redundant steps, the Nursing Home Care Unit is now able to process personal laundry much faster than the previous ten day standard.

POC: Carstine Thompson (202) 273-5071
Where: Leavenworth, KS
Presenter: Patrica Crosetti

March 11, 1999
Who: Department of the Interior - Management Control Reengineering Lab Automation Team
Results: The Lab's Automated Assessment Team benchmarked performance-based assessment approaches and found tools that support their reporting to the Office of Management and Budget. The team then incorporated off-the shelf surveying and analytical software tools which enables assessments using email. This innovation simplifies reporting, improves performance information, and reduces costs.

POC: Sylvia McCarney (202) 208-1818
Where: Washington, D.C.
Presenter: John Berry, Assistant Secretary for Policy

March 12, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Project K: A family Advocacy Re-Engineering Effort
Results: This team studied documentation processes associated with family abuse referrals. By reorganizing the procedures they: eliminated unnecessary steps, electronically reused information, increased caregiver time, generated patient trend information, and managed the work better. Another words, patients weren't subjected to unnecessary procedures, the patients that needed more time got it, paperwork was reduced by 90%, information was collected that prevented abuse problems, and cost saving ranged from $58-130K for each hospital that makes similar improvements.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Germany
Presenter: Major General Bell

March 15, 1999
Who: Department of Transportation - Coast Guard - The Maritime Differential GPS Service Team & the Nationwide Differential GPS Team
Results: These teams expanded an existing navigational locating system by using a combination of new and old technologies and facilities. By combining navigational systems they were able to provide increased capability, lower costs, improve quality, and develop new tools that support commercial industries. Example industries include farming, transportation, weather predicting, and surveying.

POC: Liz Hoefer (202) 366-6610
Where: Alexandria, VA
Presenter: Morley Winograd

March 18, 1999
Who: Housing and Urban Development - Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs
Results: This team streamlined the process for applying for homeless housing money and required applicants to partner with community groups, design programs, and obtained matching funds. This resulted in greater transition to permanent housing and better use of HUD and McKinney Homeless funds.

POC: Richard Greenfield (202) 708-0030
Where: Washington, DC
Presenter: Secretary Andrew Cuomo

March 22, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Advanced Distributed Electronic Warfare System
Results: This team invented a way to simulate jamming of communication signals, which allows testing of weapon systems without interfering with TVs and radios. This invention lowers testing costs, adds realism, lowers power requirements, and provides unlimited use.

POC: Lois Douglas, 703 697-9708
Where: Fort Huachuca, AZ
Presenter: BG Gatanas

March 23, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - River Crisis Response Working Group
Results: This team developed a standard plan for dealing with floods on the Mississippi. When the plan is implemented, during the next flood, actions will be taken faster, mistakes will be avoided, and the right people will be contacted. This plan will save lives, reduce property loss, and move goods more efficiently.

POC: Lois Douglas, 703 697-9708
Where: Louisville, KY
Presenter: Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater

March 24, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Pharmacy Customer Service Team, 45th Medical Group
Results: This team reorganized one large pharmacy into four smaller ones. This reduced waiting times from 25 minutes to 5 minutes for the express pharmacy and 12 minutes for the three mini-pharmacies. In addition to saving time for 70,000 customers per month they will save $1,215,000 annually in operating costs.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Patrick AFB, FL
Presenter: Lt. Gen. Roadman

March 24, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Texas Pollution Prevention Partnership
Results: This partnership that included State and Federal installations promoted pollution prevention as a standard way of doing business. By reducing waste generation by 40%, water usage by 44,000 gallons, and reducing the generation of hazardous waste, they saved $2.1 million and prevented new environmental hazards from developing.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: The Pentagon
Presenter: Bob Stone

March 29, 1999
Who: Treasury/IRS Montana/STAWRS Single Point filing Project Team
Results: This team consolidated reporting of quarterly tax information into one location. The consolidation improved service to the customers, reduced documentation, and improved IRS operations.

POC: Shirley Branch (202) 622-6425
Where: Helena, Montana
Presenter: Commissioner Charles Rossotti

March 31, 1999
Who: Treasury/U.S. Customs - Outbound Vessel Manifest Team
Results: This team worked with shippers to more accurately document what is being exported. By working with exporters, freight forwarder, and carriers through educational programs instead of punitive inspection programs this team significantly improved reporting of outbound cargo. This improved export reporting, in turn, directly improves economic decisions such as: interest rates, stock market prices, and currency values.

POC: Janiene Jones 202 927-0398 Peter J. Baish 927 6060
Where: Washington, D.C.
Presenter: Commissioner Chuck Winwood

March 31, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - National Security Administration - Automated Data Processing Equipment Recycling Team
Results: This team streamlined the way computer equipment is disposed. They ensured it was offered for reuse, to include schools and non-profit organizations, and then sold quickly so more money is recovered.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Ft. Meade, MD
Presenter: Cherie Stallman

April 2 1999
Who: Department of Energy - Office of Chief Counsel - Savannah River Operations Office (SRO)
Results: This office reorganized using teams geared towards specific customer needs, empowered the team to work smarter, and created an innovative culture. They cut their staff 25%, reduced contract staff by 75%, saved millions of dollars, and made significant legal contributions.

POC: Marge Gildenhorn/Linda DeLong 202 586-4699
Where: SRO Aiken, SC
Presenter: Greg Rudy, Manager SRO Office

April 6, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - The ICE Team
Results: This team developed an Incurred Cost Electronically (ICE) program that reviews the overhead costs submitted by contractors. By highlighting potential errors, early, auditors are able to coordinate changes with the contractors and avoid time-consuming audits. This saves them approximately $2.1M in audit hours and makes contracting with the government a little more "hassle free".

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Presenter: John K. Robinson

April 7, 1999
Who: Commerce/NOAA - Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine Reef Cleanup Team
Results: This project is not only saving an endangered species, the "monk seal," it is also making the waters safer for other marine life and critical to the overall archipelago marine ecosystem. Cleanup of debris is paramount to the survival of the reefs as well as the seals.

POC: Ashley Chappel (202) 482-2152
Where: Honolulu, Hawaii
Presenter: U. S. Senator Inouye

April 7, 1999
Who: US Information Agency - Interagency Working Group on United States Government Sponsored International Exchange and Training
Results: Through partnering with 28 federal agencies, this working group issued information on international exchanges, which included inventories of programs, cases studies of public-private partnerships, a clearing house on exchanges, and works in progress such as visa usage and web-based information.

POC: Alan King (202) 619-5684
Where: Vice President Al Gore's Ceremonial Office - OEOB, Washington DC
Presenter: Morley Winograd

April 8, 1999
Who: U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - The Acquisition Reform Team for Oral Presentation
Results: Starting in 1994, this team pioneered the use of oral presentations in lieu of written proposals to streamline the procurement process. This means that companies come in, make a presentation, leave their view graphs, but don't have to write a formal written proposal. Use of this innovation, which is now available to all agencies under a regulation that came out last year, has saved both the taxpayer and private industry thousands of dollars in materials and staff hours needed to prepare and evaluate proposals.

POC: Timothy Hagan (301) 415-7305
Where: U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Rockville, MD
Presenter: Cherie Stallman

April 8, 1999
Who: U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Procurement Reinvention Laboratory Team
Results: As the first Procurement Reinvention Laboratory, this team reduced contract processing time by 5,500 days and saved $500,000 in administrative costs by using an agency bankcard program.

POC: Timothy F. Hagan (301) 415-7305
Where: Rockville, MD
Presenter: Cherie Stallman

April 9, 1999
Who: Department of Veterans Affair - Highway 1/VBA Project
Results: This team developed a way to electronically review a veteran's claim. This electronic process eliminated paper handling delays, reduced time to collection records, eliminated searching for lost claims, and provided instant status information over the phone instead of by letter. When implemented throughout VBA, it will save $10M in filing space each year. Veterans will finally get a level of service they deserve.

POC: Carstine Thompson (202) 273-5071
Where: Washington, D.C.
Presenter: Jack Thompson

April 13, 1999
Who: General Services Administration (GSA) - U. S. West Team
Results: Denver Federal Executive Board - This collaboration of GSA, National Partnership for Reinventing Government, and regional telephone companies replaced organizational listings with service-oriented listings and provided new tools. The blue pages help people get the services they need, without the hassle of needing to know how they're organized.

POC: Claudia Bogard (202) 501-0332
Where: Denver, CO
Presenter: Don Elder

April 13, 1999
Who: Treasury-IRS - Automated Substitute of Return (Non Filer) Process Team
Results: This team saved over $1million by automating the way non-filers is processed. In making the changes they considered the effect on themselves and the effect on their customers.

POC: Shirley Branch (202) 622-6425
Where: Andover, MA
Presenter: Director

April 14, 1999
Who: Veterans Affairs-VHA - Urology Clinic Re-engineering Team
Results: By re-engineering their approach to prostrate cancer screening, this group of employees was able to meet a critical customer need and shorten the waiting time from 4 months to 1-2 weeks without requiring additional resources. Virtually every patient referred for prostrate cancer screening is now seen within 1-2 weeks; if a biopsy is required the procedure is scheduled and performed within a week (after appropriate patient education and preparation).

POC: Carstine Thompson (202) 273-5071
Where:Washington DC
Presenter: Deputy Secretary Hershel Gober

April 15, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Air Post Office (APO), 18th Communications Squadron, Kadena HAZMAT Spill Response Team, Civil Engineer Eagle Hardware Process Action Team, Kadena 18th and Logistics Support Squadron.
Results: The Air Post Office (APO), 18th Communications Squadron reinvented the process of U.S. mail shipment handling up to 25,000 customers daily. Through automation, they dramatically improved mail delivery times while reducing the need to travel to the Post and saved $150,000.

The Kadena HAZMAT Spill Response Team worked with local inspectors to jointly understand Polychlorinated Biphenyl soil cleanup requirements and then more expediently handling spills. Cleaning up spills faster saved over $200,000.

The Civil Engineer Eagle Hardware Process Action Team established blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) with local and stateside vendors to procure materials directly, without using contracting channels. These BPAs cover entire vendor catalogs and reduced single item BPAs from 50 to 6. Items are received in 1 versus 8 months, costs are 12% lower, and vendors have fewer hassles selling to the government.

The Kadena 18th and Logistics Support Squadron reached a 98% flyable rate for its aircraft by switching to a daily review of the contractor's performance. The flyable rate directly affect how many aircraft are needed. Additionally they strive to make continuous incremental process improvements that are saving $1M each month.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Okinawa, Japan
Presenter: Lt. General Handy

April 16, 1999
Who: Environmental Protection Agency - Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM) Work Group Team
Results: By making survey and investigation a multi-agency effort many duplicated steps are eliminated and cleanup actions are being expedited. Developed training was given and helps multi-agencies in their collaboration.

POC: Jeff Morin (202) 260-5067
Where: Philadelphia, PA
Presenter: Anna Doroshaw

April 19, 1999
Who: Department of Defense Corpus Christi Army Depot Material Management Process Improvement Team Corpus Christi Army Depot Continuous Improvement Team
Results: The Corpus Christi Army Material Management Process Improvement Team developed 34 ways to improve management of helicopter parts. These parts can be ordered in half the time, which will ultimately save $8M dollars. The Corpus Christi Army Depot Continuous Improvement Team considered the needs of its internal DoD customers and redesigned its inventory and order repair forms to avoid cost overruns and overall system delays in ordering parts.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Corpus, Christi
Presenter: Congressman Ortez

April 21, 1999
Who: Veterans Affair-VHA Subsistence Prime Vendor (SPV) Management Team
Results: This team reconfigured their procurement process to allow direct vendor delivery for themselves and other government organizations. By partnering with other government organizations they earned $6.5M in volume discounts.

POC: Carstine Thompson (202) 273-5071
Where: Washington, DC
Presenter: Deputy Secretary Hershel Gober

April 22, 1999
Who: Department of Energy - Energy Working Capital Fund
Results: The Working Capital Fund provides customers and suppliers with incentives and opportunities to be more efficient. Decisions are based on needs and costs. Customers can fund ways to keep their consumption in line with their priorities.

POC: Marge Gidenhorn (202) 426-1384
Where: Washington, DC
Presenter: Meshell Jones

April 27, 1999
Who: Department of Defense - Acquisition Policy and Deskbook Design Team
Results: This team streamlined acquisition regulatory and policy management and developed an automated acquisition information system. They reduced over 1200 pages of guidance into 16 pages of mandatory policy and 122 pages of implementing guidance. As a result, the saved more than $118M per year with $25 in savings for each dollar invested.

POC: Lois Douglas (703) 697-9708
Where: Washington, DC

April 29, 1999 Who: Department of Energy - Integrated Contractor Purchasing Team
Results: This team established a national Government-Industry partnerships that: organized experts around commodities, services and information; simplified and streamlined how the government deals with suppliers; negotiated office supply, equipment, and software contracts at 14% below norm, and provided web based information for other government buyers. DOE estimated savings in the tens of millions.

POC: Marge Gildenhorn (202) 426-1384 or Linda DeLong (202) 586-6019
Where: Washington, DC
Presenter: Cherie Stallman

For More Information
Visit the Hammer Awards webpage. Please contact Denise Clyburn at if you have questions.

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