2005 Fed 100: Why the system works

Fed 100: Complete list

People often talk about Government, with a capital g, in anthropomorphic terms, as if agency officials and federal employees were nothing but functional nodes in a collective hive mind.

Everyone else, meanwhile, is subject to the whims of this Government, which is why it takes so long for anything to get done. Decisions are delayed or funding is held up, and we all sit around and wait. Perhaps there is some truth to that. Government work is process-oriented and for a good reason. The work must be done year in and year out, as presidential administrations come and go, and people must be protected from individuals’ capriciousness.

Still, the Federal 100 awards are an important reminder that people make a difference.

They dream up innovative uses for technology and turn those ideas into real-life solutions. They resolve political disputes that threaten to derail important programs.

And they improve government rules and regulations, so that the processes serve the interest of the people, instead of the other way around.

That is why the Federal 100 program recognizes people, not systems or programs. In the end, government works because of individuals’ efforts.

Similarly, the awards are not given to teams. Winners will often make the case for their team’s work, but experience shows that the most successful teams typically draw on individual players’ energy and inspiration.

As you flip through the next 20 pages, you will come across a handful of people who have won in previous years. The Federal 100 is not a “people’s choice” award, with sentimental favorites winning year after year, nor is it a lifetime achievement award. The fact is, success for some people is a matter of habit. But you won’t find previous Eagle award winners on this year’s Federal 100 list. They are ineligible for future Federal 100 awards.

As always, many deserving people were nominated for awards this year, but the field is limited to 100, so tough choices were made. Even so, it is always inspiring to see how much good work is being done in the federal community.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group