Federal Research Agency Honors Excellence
McGinnis February 7, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has honored two groups and two
individuals with "Administrative and Financial Management (AFM) Support Awards
for Excellence" for their roles in an agency construction project, the ARS
ethics program, and other initiatives. ARS is the chief scientific research
agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The winners were recognized during an awards ceremony on February 7 at
USDA headquarters here.
"These employees have all demonstrated a commitment to this
organization that exceeds their basic duties," said ARS Administrator Edward B.
Knipling. "We want to commend them for their exemplary dedication and service."
Jones, Debra Kerr and
Thompson (left to right in photo) of ARS'
Modernization Branch received the AFM Gold Award for their contributions to
modernization of the agency's National Animal Disease Center (NADC)
in Ames, Iowa.
The Ames Modernization Branch was established in February 2002 to
oversee the engineering of the modernization project, which is the most
significant USDA construction effort in 40 years. It involves building
approximately 1 million square feet of laboratory and animal research space,
including two Biological Safety Level 3 facilities.
When the NADC project was accelerated following the September 11,
2001, attacks, the Ames Modernization Branch responded by initiating procedures
to expedite project delivery methods that reduced delivery time by about 6
months. The innovation and flexibility of the staff facilitated the quick
development of first-rate facilities to promote the safety and health of U.S.
Prada of USDA's Research, Education and Economics (REE) Mission Area
Ethics Program received
the AFM Silver Award for developing several tracking programs and databases to
increase the effectiveness of the REE Ethics Program. She also helped develop
the first USDA ethics website, which
is frequently referenced by other federal agencies and has been used as a model
within the USDA.
Winners of AFM Bronze Awards included
Wong, an engineer in the ARS
Plains Area Office, and the Competitive Sourcing Team led by David Love and
Riordan and composed of 13 employees in the agency's Acquisition and
Property Division and Human Resources Division. Wong's personal designs for
pre-engineered facilities have saved ARS more than $100,000 in design costs.
The Competitive Sourcing Team helped develop and implement the competitive
outsourcing initiative for the
Area and the National Agricultural