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News Release

August 30, 2004

Contact: J. Porter

OPM Director James Calls For 2004 President's Quality Award Applications

Two Important Changes Introduced into the 2004 PQA Program

Washington, D.C. - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced the call for applications for the 2004 President's Quality Awards (PQA) Program. In a recent memo James outlined two important changes to the awards program designed to strengthen the alignment between the PQA and the President's Management Agenda (PMA).

"Over the last two years, since OPM redesigned the PQA program to recognize the people and internal agency programs that stand out in implementing common sense management objectives of the PMA, we have seen a healthy and growing competition among agencies," stated James in the announcement memo. "The awards recognize agencies and employees for their achievements in creating integrated systems and practices which better support the achievement of their respective agency missions."

The first of the award changes for 2004 is providing for three separate award categories. These categories are designed:

1. To recognize specific innovative and exemplary practices.

2. To recognize overall agency achievement in each of the five governmentwide initiatives outlined in the PMA.

3. To recognize overall agency management and how effectively the different management systems are integrated.

The second new change is making the scores given under the PMA scorecards a baseline condition for submitting an application in each category.

1. For submissions in the innovative and exemplary practices category the condition is status yellow for the governmentwide initiative under which the submission is made.

2. For submissions under the five governmentwide initiatives the condition is a status green score for the initiative under which the submission is made.

3. For submissions in the overall management category the condition is status green scores in two of the five governmentwide PMA initiatives and no reds.

Those agencies that are not scored under the PMA scorecards can only submit applications under the innovative and exemplary practices category. The baseline for these submissions is that they directly and materially advance the common sense management objectives of the PMA.

The PQA's recognize outstanding programs and Federal civil servants who are doing extraordinary things to make our Government results-oriented, citizen-centered and market-based.

Submissions for all categories are due to OPM no later than October 1, 2004. The specific award criteria and application instructions are available electronically at www.opm.gov/pqa. This year's award ceremony will be held the evening of December 14, 2004.

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