National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)


May 18, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 6

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

Awards, Awards, Awards

Seven Public Service Excellence Awards
Nineteen Federal Semifinalists in Innovations in American Government Award

Seven Government Programs Win Public Service Excellence Awards
This year's Public Service Excellence Award winners are outstanding federal, state, and local government workers who do everything from catching criminals to helping homeless veterans, to processing adoption visas. The key word is service-and these award winners are setting the standards.

"We are here to honor organizations whose members have gone one great stride beyond the good service that government routinely delivers, and which often goes unrecognized," said Office of Personnel Management Director Janice Lachance. She spoke at the awards breakfast in Washington, DC, on May 4 during Public Service Recognition Week. National award winners are:

Federal: New York/New Jersey Veterans Integrated Service Network Consortium on Homeless Veterans-This consortium saw that veterans who were living on the streets, often greatly in need and with chronic health concerns, were not being served properly. The Brooklyn VA took the lead, and today in partnership with eight VA medical centers and a host of state, city, and private sector programs, they provide seamless, accessible, continuous and comprehensive benefits to these homeless people who had also served our country in another day and time. Contact Henrietta Fishman at (718) 439-4334.

International: Immigrant Visa Unit, U.S. Embassy, Moscow--The Immigrant Visa Unit at the Moscow Embassy proves again that what really matters in public service is the commitment and effort of individuals. This small staff has streamlined the process and assisted the efforts of Americans to adopt 12,000 Russian orphans since 1993. This number is 64 percent of the visas being issued just since January 1996. Space is cramped, resources are limited, and phone, fax and cable communications are chronically unreliable. With greatly varied time differences between Russia and the United States, the Visa Unit comes to work early and stays late. Unlike probably all embassies in the world, the unit requires no appointment and has a same-day policy of issuing visas for those who arrive by 11 a.m. The staff goes out of its way to put children first-children who otherwise-with 99 percent certainty-would not be adopted. Contact: Michele Thoren Bond at 011-7-095-956-4225.

Community Service: Third Combat Communications Group, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma-The very words "Oklahoma City" send chills down the spines of all people in American public service, but for this group of 748 uniformed men and women (called the "Third Herd"), that disaster was a call to action. More than 500 volunteers and a veritable hardware store full of equipment and materials supported search and rescue efforts. In addition, these selfless women and men contributed $350,000 in goods and services to "Christmas in April," a program which refurbished 100 homes in their community. From Guyana to the Oklahoma Special Olympics, from donating blood and bone marrow to helping paralyzed veterans enjoy the great outdoors to helping a breast cancer benefit, these public servants remind us that deeds speak far louder than words. Contact: Major Amando Gavino, Jr., at (405) 734-2262 or

Winners in Other National Award Categories State: New York State Department of Civil Service; County: Orange County, Florida, Health and Community Services Division, Targeted Communities Initiative Program; City: City of Richmond, VA, Fire Department; Intergovernmental: Los Angeles County, California, Consolidated Criminal History Reporting System.

For More Information The awards are sponsored by the Public Employees Roundtable. Call (202) 401-4344. To get the full stories, visit Click on "1998 Public Service Excellence Award Winners."

Nineteen Federal Programs Are Semifinalists in the 1998 Innovations in American Government Award Programs
Nineteen federal programs from 13 agencies are among the 97 semifinalists in this year's Innovations in American Government Award Program. Semifinalists are eligible for one of 10 awards of $100,000 to be announced in December.

Innovations awards recognize original and effective government programs and initiatives at federal, state, and local government levels. The 1998 semifinalists were selected from more than 1,400 applicants. The program is sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government. Federal semifinalists are:

For more information call (617) 495-0558 or visit

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