Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life: Recognizing public service

Heads up: May 4-10 is Public Service Recognition Week, a time when many states and localities pay special note and honor the work of public servants. In fact, 49 cities are marking the occasion with special events, including Washington, D.C., where federal agencies are showcasing exhibits of “Government Goes Green” on the National Mall. 

Speaking of recognizing public employees, new Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry showed some understanding of employee commuting problems in the nation’s capital.  He announced he was here to “put some giddy-yap into telework,” with a plan to have thousands more employees working from home one or two days each week.

The plan includes establishing a telework managing officer in every agency and having training to remove managerial resistance to telework.

Meanwhile, Public Service Recognition Week, hosted by the Partnership for Public Service ( and the Public Employees Roundtable, will highlight the work of government programs at the Mall event.  

The Opening Ceremony on May 7 will feature a naturalization ceremony by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  On May 8, a NASA astronaut will help kick off Students Day; May 9 will be Family Day with a performance from the U.S. Air Force Rock Band Max Impact and an opportunity to climb aboard an F-16 fighter plane.

The social network GovLoop is also taking part by hosting an online dialogue ( for Public Service Recognition Week. With more than 10,000 members, GovLoop is encouraging participants to share their experiences of the week and suggest ideas to improve government.

Given the work of federal employees on so many challenging fronts – economic, health, environmental, defense and more – recognition is more than deserved. 

Posted by Judith Welles on May 05, 2009 at 12:12 PM


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