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FCW Insider: The Fed 100 and industry nominees

In recent weeks, I have received numerous queries about whether industry executives are eligible for the Federal 100 award (on a related note, see yesterday's post about the prize value). So for everyone's benefit, here is how I respond.

Yes, the Fed 100 is intended to recognize individuals from both government and industry. That has been the intent of the award from the beginning, because industry employees often play an essential role in the success of government programs.

It is true, however, that fed winners far outnumber their industry counterparts -- often by a three-to-one ratio. There are several reasons for this. Feds, of course, are often in better position to have a direct impact on a given program or initiative. That's easy to understand. But there's more to it than that.

It often seems that the judges hold industry nominees to a slightly higher standard.

In reviewing a nomination, one or more judges will often comment that the individual did good work -- but that they were paid well to do that work. Their compensation is their primary reward. What they want to see is an indication that the individual went above and beyond, or that they brought unique skills or talents to the job.

A classic example is a contract award. Few people will win a Fed 100 award for winning a contract. But occasionally, someone will receive the Fed 100 if they took an innovative approach (and one from which the agency will benefit).

There's a final factor: We always receive fewer industry nominations. In many cases, the nomination comes from a co-worker of the nominee and does not include relevant supporting nominators.

Generally, a nomination related to work done on a government program ought to include an appropriate government official as a supporting nominator.

One final note: I advise against listing a government official without their knowledge: The judges will look into these things. In fact, we've had cases where a judge was listed as a supporting nominator but knew nothing about the project. Whoops.

The deadline for nominations is Dec. 23. You can find the form here.

Posted by John S. Monroe on Dec 09, 2008 at 12:18 PM


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