Reinvention Express, October 24, 1999, Vol. 5, No. 5


National Partnership for Reinventing Government


October 24, 1999 Vol. 5, No. 5 - reinvention news from NPR - new stories about electronic government every Monday - virtual headquarters of the Federal Communicators Network

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Two Federal Programs Win Innovations in American Government Award

WASHINGTON - The nation's top 10 innovative government programs were named on October 14, each winning $100,000 to promote the replication and expansion of their work. The programs range from a tribal government's efforts to rehabilitate spouse abusers to a nationwide network that uses the latest technology to identify and stop the source of food-borne illness.

Here are the ten winning programs:

Continuum of Care, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- HUD gives communities incentives to collaborate in their efforts to help the homeless become self-sufficient. This program has also won Vice President Gore's Hammer Award.

PulseNet, CDC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- New technology and a network of laboratories help to quickly identify and address sources of food-borne illness.

Behavioral Health System, County and City of Philadelphia -- County and city governments create seamless mental health and substance abuse services, drawing down Medicaid money.

Cangleska, Inc., Oglala Sioux Tribe, Kyle, SD -- Tribal government invokes native mores to rehabilitate spouse abusers and reintroduce them to the community.

Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, New York City -- Dilapidated and abandoned city-owned housing is purchased, renovated and returned to the tax rolls with city-sponsored financing.

Electronic Bond Bidding Initiative, Pittsburgh, PA - First-time sale of muni-bonds over the Internet proves to increase competition, save money and open the process to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Rehabilitation Subcode, State of New Jersey -- Repair and renovation of existing inner-city buildings are accelerated with the development of special building codes. Texas School Performance Review, State of Texas -- School performance is enhanced and costs are cut through this district-by-district audit of school practices.

Toxics Use Reduction Program, Commonwealth of Massachusetts -- Toxic waste is reduced and expensive clean up is avoided through this public-private agreement that made prevention a priority.

Wisconsin Works, State of Wisconsin - A fundamental change in the system and an exceptional array of services facilitate a transition to work more likely to result in long-term success.


Two of the 15 finalists are Reinvention Labs. The programs are:

Move Information, Not Property, U.S. Department of Defense -- The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service has dramatically changed the reutilization business. DRMS has more than doubled the access to an interactive web-based system for redistributing excess Department of Defense property. This program has also won Vice President Gore's Hammer Award.

Salmon and Watersheds, State of Oregon -- The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds is a statewide, public/private partnership to recover wild salmon species and restore water quality in Oregon. It relies on community-based action, government and stakeholder communication, monitoring and accountability and improvements over time. The Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency are federal partners in the project.

Other federal finalists are:

Internet Rulemaking for Organic Food Standards, U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Internet Rulemaking for Organic Food Standards opens the regulatory process to the public by accepting comments and providing full and timely disclosure of all information via the Internet while reducing paper-handling costs and facilitating communication among all stakeholders.

Medicaid Prescription Drug Dispute Resolution, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- The Medicaid Prescription Drug Dispute Resolution Project was developed by staff of the Health Care Financing Administration to resolve disputes between states, drug manufacturers, and the federal government over how much money pharmaceutical manufacturers owed states under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program.

Finalists are considered winners and receive $25,000 each.


Sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the Kennedy School of Government in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government, the awards are given each year to federal, state, local and tribal initiatives.

"These are only 10 of the many cutting-edge strategies that government employs to improve our daily lives," said Susan Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. "As these programs are adopted elsewhere, our government continues to become more efficient and more competitive."


Today's selection caps a yearlong assessment of 1,600 applicants with the winners graduating through academic, policy and site reviews. The selection of the winners follows presentations by 25 finalists before a prominent group of public policy experts and former government officials. Chaired by David Gergen, editor-at-large of U.S. News and World Report, the selection committee includes former members of Congress, former mayors, scholars and practitioners in public policy.

"This program gives us a refreshing look at the imagination and tenacity of public servants all over the country," said Gergen. "Once again, the Innovations in Government awards has recognized ten great models for the future."

Year 2000 Award Deadlines

The deadline for the 2000 Innovations in American Government awards competition is Monday, January 10, 2000 for paper submissions and Monday, January 17, 2000, for electronically submitted applications.

For More Information

More information on the Innovations in American Government Awards, including the application for the 1999 awards competition, is available at the Innovations in American Government Website or by calling (617) 495-0558.

Reinvention Express. To submit reinvention stories or calendar items, contact Pat Wood, National Partnership for Reinventing Government, 750-17th St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 694-0063; e-mail:

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