of Minnesota

Suite 510, Bishop Henry Whipple Building, 1 Federal Drive
Fort Snelling, Minnesota 55111-4058
612) 713-7200 FAX (612) 713-7203

News Release # 99003
Release Date: Feb. 6, 1999

Vice President Gore Lauds Government On Display at Mall of America

Fort Snelling, Minn. - - The "Government on Display" Expo at the Mall of America this weekend, the largest government expo at a U.S. shopping center, is the newest recipient of Vice President Al Gore’s Hammer Award. Officials from the Mall of America and the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota will receive the award on Feb. 6 at 12:00 p.m. in the Rotunda.

"The Mall of America ‘Government on Display’ Expo is an outstanding example of reinvention," said Vice President Gore. "Local, state, and federal agencies are partnering with the private sector to deliver government services and information that the people of Minnesota need – when and where they want them."

The Hammer Award is given to teams of Federal employees and their partners who have made extraordinary progress in reinventing government. The Hammer award is the Vice President’s answer to yesterday’s government and its $400 hammer. Fittingly, according to National Performance Review officials, the award consists of a $6.00 hammer, a ribbon, and a personal note from Vice President Gore, all in a aluminum frame.

The "Government on Display" Expo, at the Mall of America on Feb. 6-7, will feature 51 Federal and State government agencies and their exhibits, according to Raymond Morris, executive director of the Federal Executive Board (FEB) of Minnesota. The FEB is an agency that coordinates all intergovernmental activity in Minnesota, according to Morris.

"This is the largest exposition of government agencies at a shopping mall in the United States," according to Morris. "The State of Minnesota and the Federal Government are the first and second largest employers - public or private - in the state of Minnesota with more than 80,000 employees state-wide, with the majority of them located in the Twin Cities area," he said.

One of the highlights of the Rotunda schedule on Feb. 6 is a naturalization ceremony at 2:30 p.m., welcoming 25 to 50 of the nation’s newest citizens to the United States, according to Morris. There will also be exhibitions of Border Patrol drug dogs, American Eagle and birds of prey shows, National Weather Service briefings, military bands, volunteer government choirs and singers, and the Air Force drill team from Washington D.C. at 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.

"The exhibits will be in each of the first floor courts: Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears," said Morris. "The Internal Revenue Service will provide free tax help on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the National American University on the West Market first level. The Small Business Administration and SCORE will put on free small business workshops on Feb. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Minnesota Room on the 4th level of the Upper East Side," he said.

The "Government on Display" event will run 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 and from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Feb. 7. News media interested in covering any part of this event should call the FEB office at (612) 713–7200 or the Mall of America media relations at (612) 883-8846/8826. On the days of the event, the FEB cellular phone is (612) 518-1196. News media must check in at the MOA East entrance guest services desk to obtain media credentials per MOA media procedures.

For More Information: Ray Morris, Federal Exec. Board, (612) 713-7200

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