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Council for Excellence in Government

Harvard University and the Council for Excellence in Government are accepting applications for next year's Innovations in American Government Awards, commonly known as the Oscars of government programs.

Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial governments are eligible to nominate programs that demonstrate creativity, effectiveness, significance in addressing a public concern and replicability. Five winners will receive grants of $100,000 each. Applications can be submitted online (http://www.innovationsaward.harvard.edu/); the deadline is Sept. 15.

To be eligible, a program must have been in operation for at least one year and be administered under one or more government entities, which must also provide at least half of the program's funding. Nonprofit, private-sector and union initiatives are eligible if there is significant government oversight and a government entity submits the application.

About 1,000 applications were submitted for this year's awards. They were whittled down to 15 finalists, including a Department of Health and Human Services program called ClinicalTrials.gov. This year's winners will be announced July 28 during the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, D.C.

The Council for Excellence in Government — a nonprofit, nonpartisan group — and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government sponsor the awards program, which was established in 1986.

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