Federal agencies recognized for ‘bright ideas’

Harvard University campus Harvard University campus Lisa Poole/AP File Photo

A top university has recognized a dozen federal agencies for their “unique and creative solutions to some of nation’s most difficult challenges.”

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy’s School of Government acclaimed the federal agencies, along with scores of local governments, as part of its Bright Ideas program, which uses a team of policy experts to assess the best initiatives throughout the previous year.

“Government innovation does not require endless resources and generous budgets,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, some of our country’s smartest innovations can in fact reduce government’s size while serving our citizens more efficiently and effectively.”

Among the agencies recognized for multiple initiatives was the Defense Department -- for its accelerated payments program created by its Small Business Office and its Readiness Training program, which trains National Guardsmen and reservists in projects that help underfunded areas.

The Environmental Protection Agency also was recognized twice, for its Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse program, which promotes environmentally friendly clean up and redevelopment of contaminated sites, as well as for its SmartWay Transport initiative, which reduces greenhouse gases in freight transportation.

The Agriculture, Energy, Education, Navy, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs departments were all recognized, as were NASA, the Export-Import Bank, and the National Archives and Records Administration. 
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