In Pursuit of Excellence

Timothy B. Clark

At the Excellence in Government 2000 conference next month, some 1,500 of your colleagues will gather to discuss current challenges and possible solutions associated with doing the business of the federal government. On behalf of the 16 organizations hosting the event, I am pleased to invite you to join the fray.

The conference theme-"Connecting Citizens, Services, Results"-speaks to the continuing need to modernize agencies' services. Three dozen breakout sessions, organized in five different tracks, will show participants how leaders in government are breaking new ground. Plenary session speakers will provide context for these breakouts by offering a view of current theories of management innovation.

This, the only broad-ranging management conference to be held this year, traces its origins to two earlier conferences on government performance themes: the Federal Quality and Reinvention Revolution conferences. The first, begun in 1988, served the needs of people working to teach agencies the continuous-improvement techniques of total quality management (TQM). The second, started in 1996, provided a meeting ground for people caught up in the movement to "reinvent" government under the leadership of Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review.

The new conference is fortunate to retain support from reinventors at NPR (now known as the National Partnership for Reinventing Government) and quality gurus from the Office of Personnel Management and the Defense Department, whose continuing work in quality management is highlighted each year by the President's Quality Award program. The quality awards now are presented at the Excellence in Government conference. This year we also are benefiting from planning assistance from two important interagency groups: the Chief Information Officers Council and the Chief Financial Officers Council.

These federal organizations are joined as hosts by 12 other groups at the heart of the good-government movement. They include two major federal unions, the two top public administration associations, a leading quality management association, two major universities, a prominent think tank, and two nonprofit alliances of companies joined together to help agencies improve their business practices. Rounding out the list are Government Executive and our frequent partner in such government-improvement efforts, the Council for Excellence in Government.

The Excellence in Government conference, as well as the Government Technology Leadership Institute in late November, seem logical extensions of our work at Government Executive. In the magazine, we report on what is working in various corners of the huge government establishment to help programs, agencies and their people function more effectively. On the World Wide Web, keeps our audience up to date on key developments every day and supplies a guide to information on hot topics.

But there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with colleagues and the give and take of a professional conference-an additional service we provide by sponsoring these events. Terrific speakers will address the most important questions of our times at the Excellence in Government event here in Washington, July 11 to 13. To register, visit the conference Web site at Tim sig2 5/3/96

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