June 18, 1997, Vol. 3, No. 6

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

Does the Name James Earl Jones Ring a Bell?

  James Earl Jones, Bell Atlantic spokesperson, joined GSA Administrator David J. Barram in presenting the Vice President's Hammer Award to a team of 23 employees of Bell Atlantic and two employees each from the Baltimore Federal Executive Board and the Department of Veterans Affairs on May 28.

The team was honored for redesigning government listings in the Blue Pages of Bell Atlantic's local phone directories to make them more user friendly. Vice President Gore has called phone directory Blue Pages "the low-tech puzzle that must be solved before reaching the high-tech government."

GSA Administrator David J. Barram, James Earl Jones, and
Patrick Cantwell and Barbara Connor, Bell Atlantic.
Government services have traditionally been listed by organization. The new listings are by topic--"Passports," for example, instead of "State Department." In addition to the Hammer Award, recipients got directory covers of the redesigned Blue Pages for Baltimore and Washington, DC, which were autographed by the Vice President and Jones.
GSA Team Leader Jack Finley and James Earl Jones (holding the Hammer Award) with the
Blue Pages Team.
The Blue Pages Project is sponsored by the National Performance Review and coordinated by the General Services Administration. It is a collaborative effort of phone companies, directory publishers, and 24 federal agencies to make it easier to find federal services in more than 6,200 telephone directories nationwide. "The Blue Pages are used 81 million times a year," Barram noted at the ceremony."They are often the first contact someone has with the government. So simplifying the Blue Pages also provides a great service to taxpayers," he said.

For More Information
For more information about the nationwide Blue Pages Project, contact Jack Finley at (202) 501-3932 or or Bonnie Seybold at (202) 273-3440 or

Hammer Awards Reflect Culture Change in Federal Agencies

Hammer Awards presented in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 21 demonstrate what happens when front line workers --who are the experts--are empowered to make changes.

Warehouse Goes from Woe-be-gone to Wow!--The managers and supervisors at the Department of Commerce, National Weather Service, National Logistics Support Center Central Region asked the employees to determine the best way to conduct the day-to-day business of the warehouse and distribution operation. As a result, NLSC has been transformed from a virtually non-responsive government operation into one which sets the standard for the warehousing and distribution industry. Among the achievements: reduced a 2-week average response time to 2 days, raised the accuracy rate to 99.97 percent--and kept it there for 3 years, saved more than $337,00 in recurring annual costs, and reduced the center's 1997 budget to 5 percent less than 1996. Contact: Darrell Wallace at (816) 926-3990.

Energizing Idea-- National Weather Service told its employees in Kansas City that they were empowered to come up with common sense ideas to make the government work better and cost less. A team of employees negotiated with regional power companies to save utility costs and help protect against brownouts. NWS offices agreed to go to emergency generator power during projected peak energy usage periods. Annual energy cost savings are in the tens of thousands of dollars in that region alone. Additional cost for running the emergency generators is minimal because the generators must periodically be run for maintenance purposes anyway. This idea has been shared with the other NWS Regions and will be implemented in the Southern and Western Regions. Contact Patrick Slattery at (816) 426-7621, ext. 621 or

Defense Gives Away Computers, Printers, Desks, Chairs...and Gets a Hammer

Defense organizations used a cross-organizational partnership to conduct a nation-wide search to locate and set aside surplus computers, printers, desks, file cabinets, and other equipment to donate to the DC Public Schools. This effort, made in response to the White House's appeal to federal agencies for aid during the budget crisis, netted 198 file cabinets, 200 desks and chairs, 100 computers and 10 computer printers for the students. DoD delivered all this equipment to the schools at no cost to the District. For this outstanding effort in cutting red tape, Defense got a Hammer Award on May 13. Contact Shirley L. Fields at (703) 696-1894.

Interagency Regulatory Reinvention Forum Is June 24

The monthly meeting of the Interagency Regulatory Reinvention Forum will be from 9:30 a.m. until noon at the Customs Building, Room 3428, 14th and Constitution, NW., Washington, DC (Blue/Orange Metro to Federal Triangle). Topics include compliance and performance measurements, GAO's perspective of GPRA (the Results Act) and an overview of what the Council for Excellence in Government is doing in the area of helping agencies implement the Results Act and other current issues. For more information, contact Marie Urban or Audrey Borja at the Food and Drug Administration, (301) 827-4225.

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