Editorial: Recognizing good work

Now is the time to nominate deserving people for the Federal 100 awards. The deadline for entries is Jan. 5, 2007

Federal Computer Week begins accepting nominations for the Federal 100 awards program this week. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. That date seems far away, but we all know that deadlines sneak up on us, so nominate early and nominate often.

The Federal 100 awards recognize government and industry employees who have played pivotal roles in the federal information technology community. Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations that our panel of judges must sift through and sort. Many people are deserving of the award, but we recognize only 100. We want you to remember a few guidelines when you are compiling your nominations.

Focus on the person: The Federal 100 awards recognize people, not a project or team. And the winners are people — in government and industry — who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities. They bring uncommon dedication or unique vision to their jobs.

Impact, impact, impact: The Federal 100 awards program recognizes good work and people who made a difference in the way technology was bought, managed or used in the past year. If that person had an impact on the community, tell the judges how and why that matters. If you are nominating someone because of the work he or she did on a successful program, it helps if you describe the impact the nominee had on that program and the effect that program had on an agency or a community.

Think 2006:Don’t get nostalgic. The Federal 100 is not a hall-of-fame award. Instead, think of it as an award for the most valuable player of the past year. Many government programs go on for years, so it is important to remember that the award is for the impact the person had on that program in the past year.

It’s not a popularity contest: There are people who make a big impact by pushing an unpopular agenda. Although that impact is not always seen as positive, there is no question that the person has influenced the community.

Remember industry: It is interesting that as more government work has been outsourced, the number of industry Federal 100 winners has decreased. There are many reasons for that. Paramount are government employees’ ethics concerns that a Federal 100 nomination is tantamount to endorsing a company. Industry also faces a higher standard for winning because people in the private sector get paid well if they do good work. So judges are often looking for truly outstanding work. They are looking for evidence of people doing more than is expected. We know industry is doing good work for government agencies, and that good work deserves to be recognized.

Again, the deadline will be here before you realize it. Find more specific information and submit nominations at www.fcw.com/fed100.

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About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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