Is Government Just Pockets of Excellence?

Government is full of the best and the brightest, in fact, you might argue that the world's foremost scientist, engineers, topic experts all reside in government. So why is it so difficult to make progress? "It's a pocket of excellence issue," said Richard Spires, CIO, DHS, " he told the crowd assembled at the Excellence.Gov Awards, that "the key to success on a grander scale will be leveraging those pockets of success into the whole government." "It's up to these pockets to create best practices and infuse their knowledge back into government," said Spires.  Excellence.Gov is an annual competition that features 5 categories. The event honors exceptional government programs and projects that use information technology (IT) in an innovative way to enhance government operations, provide a more open and transparent government, and deliver impactful citizen services. Here is the list of winners: Excellence in Innovation: Digital Government
  • GSA’s Drive to the Cloud Phase 2: Implementing a Cloud-Based Social Collaboration and Business Application Platform – U.S.  General Services Administration (GSA), Office of the Chief Innovation Officer
The multi-year Drive-to-the-Cloud initiative aims to save taxpayer money and improving operational efficiencies and innovation through the deployment of mobile and social applications in the cloud. In Phase 1, GSA transitioned to a cloud-based email platform that resulted in cost savings of $4 million dollars to date. Under Phase 2, GSA is implementing a cloud-based collaboration/application platform for 17,000+ users including agency employees around the world as well as partners and customers. Through the program, GSA has addressed the challenge of its legacy application portfolio and has gained operational efficiencies and cost savings in the areas of enterprise collaboration, ideation and back-office modernization. Excellence in Enhancing the Customer Experience - Check out our interview with Dr. Post
  • SuperTracker – Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
SuperTracker is a state-of-the-art, online diet and activity-tracking tool. Built and maintained by USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, this free application empowers Americans to build a healthier diet, manage weight, and reduce risk of chronic disease. Users can determine what and how much to eat; track foods, physical activities, and weight; and personalize with goal setting, virtual coaching, and journaling. Excellence in Enterprise Efficiencies
  • Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2) – Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS’s Customer Account Data Engine 2 Program (CADE 2) was initiated in 2009 to take advantage of new technology and modernize the way the agency does business. In January 2012, a decades-long rhythm fundamentally shifted when CADE 2’s Transition State 1 began to deliver daily versus weekly tax return processing. The Service also began deployment of the CADE 2 database – a central source of trusted data – to improve service to taxpayers and enhance tax administration. Excellence in Innovation: Pilots and Start-up Projects
  • Building YOURcloud: The Federal Government’s First Secure Hybrid Community IaaS Cloud – National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
YOURcloud is an innovative secure, multi-tenant hybrid community cloud powered by the award-winning Infrastructure on Demand (IoD) cloud service broker developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. YOURcloud allows sites to retain their own autonomy while leveraging a common cloud computing platform to enable the Department of Energy and NNSA labs, plants and headquarters to deploy resources into individually managed, secure cloud enclaves resulting in the federal government's first department-wide secure hybrid community cloud. Excellence in Intergovernmental Collaboration AND Overall Winner for 2013 Excellence.gov Award 
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Website – Defense Manpower Data Center
The SCRA website allows financial institutions, creditors, landlords, etc., to determine if their client is a Servicemember who is currently serving on Federal active duty service in one of the Uniformed Services. The SCRA protects Servicemembers serving on active duty from negative actions, such as foreclosures, excessive interest rates, and evictions.  The website produces a certificate for the court stating the Federal active duty status of the individual.  

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