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Hammering home the point

hammer award recpients

In this picture from 1997, Defense Department officials show the Hammer Award they won for re-engineering DOD's temporary duty travel system. Pictured: Deputy Secretary of Defense John H. Hamre; Karen Alderman, director of DOD's travel re-engineering; and Bob Stone, project director of the National Performance Review. (DOD photo)

In the hunt for cost-savings across government, go to the people who handle the money—federal employees—and then offer incentives for smart decisions.

Employees, given the inspiration of the incentive, "are more than willing to do something," John Kamensky, senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Feb. 5.

Kamensky, who worked for eight years as deputy director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, reminded the committee members of then-Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award. The award was given to teams of employees that went the extra mile in the areas of cost-savings, customer service, or cutting red tape. The teams received a $6 hammer, a ribbon, and a note from Gore, all in an aluminum frame.

The inexpensive display was meant to ridicule the Pentagon's infamous $400 hammer.

"I actually had the opportunity to deliver some of these awards in ceremonies across the country and there were people in tears, saying, 'I've worked 30 or 40 years for the federal government and no one has ever told me thank you,'" he said.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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