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Criteria for Vice President Gore’s Hammer Awards

The Vice President's Hammer Award is reserved for teams of pioneers who create an innovative and unique process or program to make government work better and achieve results Americans care about. The Award recognizes accomplishments that are not repetitive of other awards or do not show only plans for future accomplishments. Hammer Awards go to teams who have shown large impacts on customer service, bottom-line results, streamlining government, saving money and exemplary achievements in government problem-solving. Nominations should reflect effective and creative examples of government at its best.

The Hammer Award is a tool to spur as much reinvention as possible across the front lines of government. Since 1994, over 1200 teams have won the Vice President's Hammer Award for starting and spreading reinvention. These teams, along with many others, always look for ways to make government work better, cost less, and get results Americans care about. It's part of their daily routine. Congratulations to those teams for their outstanding efforts in making this happen.

  1. The Hammer Award recognizes teams not individuals.
  2. The team must include a federal component; state, local, and private/nongovernment entities can receive the award only in partnership with a federal agency.
  3. Nominations must reflect real accomplishments (a plan does not qualify for an award) and innovative reinvention.
  4. Nominations must show real innovation in at least one of the following areas of reinvention:
    • Putting customers first
    • Empowering employees
    • Cutting red tape
    • Cutting back to basics (stop doing things not in core mission)
    • Achieving results Americans care about
  5. Nominations are strengthened if they show the following:
    • Bottom line savings or cost avoidance
    • Strong partnership (interagency, intergovernmental, private, nonprofit, or others)
  6. Nominations must be written in plain language.

NPR denies nominations if they do not meet the above criteria, or they cause concerns in the agency, department, or the Office of the Vice President.

For more information, contact Sandra Eubanks Brown (202) 694-0040, or Leslie Schwager at (202) 694-0107, at the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

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