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Four DoD Programs Make Semifinals for Harvard Innovation Award

Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2002 – Four Defense Department programs are among the 99 semifinalists named Nov. 13 for the 2002 Innovations in American Government Awards.

The award program is sponsored by the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Contest officials said the award recognizes outstanding programs that devise imaginative and effective ways to meet urgent social and economic challenges.

The DoD nominees were selected from nearly 1,000 entries. Four criteria are used to evaluate each application: novelty, effectiveness in addressing important problems, significance and the potential for replication by other government entities.

The 99 semifinalists will be winnowed to 15 finalists in early winter. The National Selection Committee on Innovations in American Government, chaired by journalist David R. Gergen, director of Harvard's Center for Public Leadership, will choose five winners. They will receive their awards in May 2003 in Washington along with $100,000 grants to promote and replicate their efforts.

The DoD semifinalists are:

o Bridges to Friendship was created by the Navy to revitalize the historic Washington (D.C.) Navy Yard, transforming it from an urban waste site into a modern military office park. The program served as facilitator, broker and convener, bringing together community groups, business leaders, and local and federal government agencies. Residents of the public and low-income housing that bracket the yard were offered job training, business development opportunities and other improvements that resulted in gains for both the Navy and the community.

o Brooks City-Base Project is a partnership between the City of San Antonio and the Air Force that is converting Brooks Air Force Base into a technology park. The project reduces costs for both partners, stimulates economic development in the community and enhances Air Force mission activities.

o Pharmacy Data Transaction Service is a central repository for prescription data from all DoD pharmacy services. The service uses a centralized data system to store and analyze information about prescriptions filled across DoD's network of pharmacies, improving efficiency and patient safety by reducing the likelihood of life- threatening drug interactions. Its interconnection of high-level, disparate pharmacy services is unprecedented in government and civilian health care applications.

o Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System is a comprehensive benefits system for military members and their families that uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure prompt and accurate benefit delivery. DEERS is flexible and adaptive, and it has become the platform for many new benefit systems and DoD medical programs and the source for current and accurate demographic information.

Other semifinalist federal programs hail from the Interior, Justice, Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture departments; Environmental Protection Agency; General Services Administration; Library of Congress; and the federal courts.

A list of all 99 semifinalist programs is available on the Web at www.excelgov.org.

(Based on a press release from the Council for Excellence in Government.)

 

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