A new award program, that recognizes Federal agencies that turn citizens’ frowns upside down, debuts in May. The Service to the Citizens awards, founded by Martha Dorris, everybody’s favorite former govie and a lady that always makes me smile, honors Feds for service to citizens and citizen experience breakthroughs.

Hosted at the Willard in D.C. on May 1st this year’s award lunch high fives 90 Federal employees, from 12 departments.

Christine Williamson, wins from the National Park Service for creating the digital entry pass system, YouPassNow. It’s easy to jump on a toll road, why shouldn’t it be as convenient to visit a national park? GSA’s Vote.gov team gets a shout out for a new online tool that helps citizens register to vote. Vote.gov runs on cloud.gov and handled over five million user visits in a single day–seems folks are clamoring to vote these days.

But govies spell service to the citizen in different ways–and sometimes that FWA (fraud, waste, and abuse). The program will recognize agents from the IRS, FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services who collaborated to investigate and prosecute a doctor who deliberately misdiagnosed and treated thousands of patients for conditions they did not have, including cancer.

“Our goal in creating these awards was to honor the unsung heroes who work on important projects,” said Martha Dorris, of Dorris Consulting International, the award creator. “We want to recognize people at all levels across the agencies who have worked to deliver services and done good things to improve how their agencies work.”

If we’re voting for change in government, let’s start with efficiency and making citizens happy. Too often the motto for government service is “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” Congratulations to Martha for shining a light on the sunny side of the street in public service. I hope to see your smile at the Willard on May 1st.

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