National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)
National Performance Review


EXPRESS April 25, 1996 Vol. 2, No. 12


An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On

Innovative Employees Start Interagency Benchmarking Council and You Can Join

A group of pioneers from five federal agencies, concerned about problems and inefficiencies as more and more federal organizations benchmark against world-class companies, have chartered an Interagency Benchmarking and Best Practices Council.
"With so many federal agencies involved in improving processes, cutting costs, and improving customer service," said Dolores Livingston at Energy, "it seemed reasonable to begin to work together. We realized that by serial benchmarking, we were not making the most efficient use of staff and travel resources and we stood the chance of wearing out our welcome with world-class companies." The charter organizations in the new Council are Transportation, Veterans Affairs, IRS, the Patent and Trademark Office, and Energy. Richard Hopf, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Assistance Management at the Department of Energy, has championed the effort.

Combining Capabilities and Reducing Duplication
The new group expects to leverage their combined benchmarking capabilities, reduce duplication of effort, and develop common definitions, ethics, and approaches. They are planning a free one-day fall conference in Washington, DC, with the date to be announced. They are designing an Internet home page that will contain a skills and capabilities directory, an annotated bibliography, a clearinghouse of completed and planned benchmarking projects, and bulletin boards. The National Performance Review will partner with the new Council. BenchNet, NPR's online benchmarking resource, will be linked to the Council's home page.
Working since last August, the group also formed partnerships with the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse of the American Productivity and Quality Center, the Strategic Planning Institute, Germany's Informationszentrum Benchmarking, and Canada's Innovation and Quality Exchange.

Your Agency Can Participate
Federal, state and local governmental organizations that are willing to actively participate in benchmarking projects are encouraged to join the Council. Contact James J. Cavanagh, Department of Energy, by email: or at (202) 586-8257.

New NPR Benchmarking Consortium Study:

Make It Easy for Your Customers to Complain

Companies that are the best-in-business want their customers to complain, and so should federal agencies. And, resolving complaints on the first contact can save money and build customer confidence.
This advice for federal agencies appears in the latest NPR-sponsored Federal Benchmarking Consortium Study Report, Serving the American Public: Best Practices in Resolving Customer Complaints. President Clinton, in his 1993 Executive Order 12862, "Setting Customer Service Standards," directed federal agencies to give customers an easy way for citizens to complain and get problems fixed. The interagency benchmarking team, representing 13 federal organizations, studied 10 corporate and government organizations with the best record for resolving customer complaints. For information, call Dan Curtis at (202) 632-0490. To get a copy, call the NPR customer service desk, (202) 632-0150. The report will also be on NPR's home page by May 1. The Web address is Look under "Reports."

Call for Papers on Productivity and Quality Research

Government reinventors, take a look. Here's a place you may be able to showcase your efforts. The International Society for Productivity and Quality Research has put out a call for papers for its Sixth International Conference in Houston, March 16-19, 1997. The main theme is the development of new knowledge, its transition to practice, and the results that come from this new practice. The major focus will be the proven or potential impact on an organization's productivity and quality. Papers are sought worldwide from government, business, and academia. A one-page abstract is due June 1, 1996. For details, contact Carl G. Thor at (703) 548-7306 or FAX (703) 548-7908. The Web address is

Federal Quality Consultants Live On

Consultants from the former Federal Quality Institute continue to offer consultation, facilitation, and education services to federal leaders. Now known as the Federal Quality Consulting Group, the consultants are co-located at the National Performance Review. Their services are extremely flexible and help organizations implement NPR recommendations, resulting executive orders, and the Government Performance and Results Act. For more information, contact Barbara Reeder at (202) 632-0307, FAX 632-0390, or email:

Here's Our Fine Print in Big Print

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