National Partnership for Reinventing Government


October 30, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 13

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

--Three Federal Reinvention Programs Win $100,000 Innovations in American Government Award

--Vice President Gore Presented Plain Language Award to HUD Employees

--President Clinton Salutes American Hero John Glenn and the Discovery Crew; Calls Attention to NASA's Reinvention Success

Three Federal Reinvention Programs Win $100,000 Innovations in American Government Award

The Office of Naval Research's Best Practices Program, Forest Service's Collaboration Stewardship Program-both Reinvention Labs-and Consumer Product Safety Commission's Hammer Award-winning "Fast-Track" Product Recall Program took three of the top ten Innovations in American Government Awards announced in Washington, DC on October 22.

"Many of government's most creative programs are now so familiar that we forget that their origins were experimental. From the GI bill to the Internet, our government has created many new ways to fulfill our nation's potential", said Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation, which provides the grant funds for the program. These winners "remind us that, despite the media's frequent contention to the contrary, government paves the way for much of our country's success."

Federal Winners

The CPSC's Fast-Track Product Recall Program offers companies an option for recalling defective products up to three times faster. This gets dangerous products out of consumers' hands sooner, and saves taxpayers and companies money because the recall process is streamlined. Fast-Track eliminates the lengthy investigation, product testing and negotiations with companies that can take months. If a company reports a defective product and presents an acceptable recall plan, the Fast-Track recall can be undertaken within 20 working days.

The Navy's Best Manufacturing Practices (BMP) database now contains over 3,000 validated, cutting-edge developments in the manufacturing sector and are available for adoption by other U.S. industries. BMP enables American companies to develop the most globally competitive products while supplying the Navy with the best products and services at the best prices. Navy estimates the program has saved industry $6.1 billion dollars.

Northern New Mexico has been the battleground for a war waged by public lands managers, local community members, and environmental activists. Weary of litigation and poor community relations, the Camino Real Ranger District of the Carson National Forest initiated a collaborative process, identifying conditions that can enhance the forest's ability to sustain its community's many needs. The process ensures that everyone is involved in the democratic management of public lands. The time, money, and energy once spent on appeals and lawsuits are now focused on successful forest projects and collaboration.

About the Awards

The competition is rigorous. Beginning each January, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, which administers the program, reviews approximately 1,500 applications. Each application is evaluated according to four selection criteria: they must be novel, effective, solve a significant problem, and be replicable by other government entities. In May, 100 semi-finalists are selected from this pool of applicants, and in September, 25 finalists are chosen. Each finalist receives a $20,000 grant. Ten are selected each October to receive $100,000.

January 8 is the deadline for 1999 applications. For more information on next year's program, as well as award winners and finalists over the years, including contact information, visit You can download the application form. You may also call (800) 722-0074.

Vice President Gore Presented Plain Language Award to HUD Employees

Housing and Urban Development's Harry Carey and Sara Pratt got the "No Gobbledygook" Award for putting into plain language a regulation on how to file a housing discrimination complaint in a ceremony at the White House on October 28. See picture and news release at

We Want Your Plain Language Nominations

Send us your nominations for the award. You may send regulations, notices, letters, and other communications with the public. The award goes to federal employees, not agencies. FAX your nomination to Annetta Cheek at (202) 632-0390. For more information, including award criteria, visit Calls to (202) 694-0075 will be returned within 24 hours.

President Clinton Salutes American Hero John Glenn and the Discovery Crew; Calls Attention to NASA's Reinvention Success

President Clinton, at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on Oct. 29 to thank the astronauts and NASA staff for the new space mission, also acknowledged NASA's reinvention efforts.

"I feel profoundly indebted to all of you who work at NASA," the President said, "because I know the changes through which this agency has gone in the last five years, I know the challenges this agency has faced, I know how, more than any other agency in have embodied the ideal of the reinventing government mission of our administration that the Vice President has headed.

"You have truly done more with less. We're now sending eight missions up a year as opposed to two before. We are doing it in much less time at much lower cost -- all thanks to you... This mission is going to give America a chance to see what you do through new eyes -- not only to experience the adventure, the spirit, but to understand the extent to which what we find out up there helps us live better lives down here. It has broadened the frontiers of medical research. It has helped us to understand how to cope with all kinds of physical conditions that otherwise were not manageable. It has helped us to learn about environmental trends and how to deal with them. It has helped us to see our future on Earth."

Visit NASA's website at See the benefits of NASA technology to U.S. enterprises, economic growth and competitiveness, and quality of life at

National Partnership for Reinventing Government, 750-17th St., NW, Washington, DC 20006. Back issues of the Express are at To subscribe by e-mail, send a message to Put this message: SUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (no period). Send reinvention stories to Pat Wood, (202) 694-0063, or fax (202) 362-0390. How to Unsubscribe from Listserv: Send a message to Put this message: UNSUBSCRIBE EXPRESS-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (no period).

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