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News Release

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Contact: J. Porter
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Hosts 2004 President's Quality Awards

Six Agencies Receive President George W. Bush's Top Prize for Results Based on President's Management Agenda

Washington, D.C. - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last night hosted the President's Quality Awards (PQA) ceremony, the top award for managerial excellence in the Federal Government.  Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 and Harvard Law School student, served as special guest and Mistress of Ceremonies. 

"The President's Quality Award is the highest recognition given by the Federal Government for managerial excellence.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is proud to manage this prestigious program, but the award is the President's own," stated Director James.  "It is reserved for a select few who have fully embraced his bold management agenda and have shown the results the President has come to expect.  Leadership is key to improving the management and performance of our government, and tonight, we recognize you for providing that leadership, and for delivering real results to the real owners of the government, the American people."

The 2004 PQA recipients are:

  • The Department of Labor, a double winner, for agencywide performance in the areas of Strategic Management of Human Capital and Budget and Performance Integration.
  • The Department of Education agencywide performance in the area of Improved Financial Performance.
  • The Department of Agriculture, National Finance Center, for innovation in Expanded Electronic Government.
  • The Department of State for innovation in Budget and Performance Integration.
  • The Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, and NASA for innovation in Competitive Sourcing.

In her opening remarks, referencing the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken, Harold expressed her gratitude to the winners when she stated, "Thank you for taking the road less traveled in your careers and dedicating yourselves to excellence in serving the public's interest.  Not only have you impacted the lives of millions, but you have also blazed the trail for future public servants, like me perhaps, to follow."

Awards are not automatically made in each category every year.  This year, sixty-one nominations were submitted.  All nominations were reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges whose backgrounds encompass the public, private and non-profit sectors.  The panel's recommendations were reviewed by the Office of Personnel Management who forwarded the final recommendations to the White House.  President Bush then made the decision to recognize the six Federal agencies whose achievements were honored at the ceremony. 

These were the first awards given under the newly established rules instituted by Director James.  The first of the award changes for 2004 provided for three separate award categories.  These categories are designed:

1. To recognize specific innovative and exemplary practices. 

2. To recognize overall agency achievement in each of the five governmentwide initiatives outlined in the President's Management Agenda (PMA).

3. To recognize overall agency management and how effectively the different management systems are integrated.

The second new change made the scores given under the PMA scorecards a baseline condition for submitting an application in each category.

1. For submissions in the innovative and exemplary practices category the condition is status yellow for the governmentwide initiative under which the submission is made.

2. For submissions under the five governmentwide initiatives the condition is a status green score for the initiative under which the submission is made. 

3. For submissions in the overall management category the condition is status green scores in two of the five governmentwide PMA initiatives and no reds. 

Those agencies that are not scored under the PMA scorecards can only submit applications under the innovative and exemplary practices category.  The baseline for these submissions is that they directly and materially advance the common sense management objectives of the PMA.

The judges for the 2004 awards were:

Dan Blair - Chairperson
Deputy Director - Office of Personnel Management

William Keyes
President - Institute for Responsible Citizenship

Harriet McClure
Former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs - Department of Agriculture

Manuel Oliverez
President and Chief Executive Officer - National Association of Hispanic Federal Employees

Jeff Risinger
Deputy Associate Director - Office of Personnel Management

David Safavian
Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy - Office of Management and Budget 

Robert Shea
Counselor to the Deputy Director for Management - Office of Management and Budget 

Linda Springer
Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management - Office of Management and Budget 

Judge John Charles Thomas
Partner - Hunton and Williams

Timothy Young
Associate Administrator, Office of E-Government and Information Technology - Office of Management and Budget 


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