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The Administrative Conference of the United States has selected the U.S. Census Bureau as an honorable mention recipient of the Walter Gellhorn Innovation Award for the agency's development of the “America’s Economy” mobile app.
In its second year, the Walter Gellhorn Innovation Award recognizes federal agencies with best practices and models that can be adopted at other government agencies. The award is named after the conference’s longest-serving council member who was known by many as the “Father of Administrative Law.”
The honorable mention was presented at the Administrative Conference’s 57th Annual Plenary Session in Washington on Dec. 6. The Gellhorn Innovation Award went to the National Archives and Records Administration’s efforts on the 1940 Census records release, which had Census Bureau contributions as well.
“This recognition from the Gellhorn Innovation Awards is a great achievement and a milestone in teamwork between the U.S Census Bureau and the National Archives,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. “We are thrilled to see such recognition for our friends in the Census and are proud to be their partners in such worthwhile projects.”
A distinguished panel of four judges awarded federal agency innovations based on criteria such as cost reduction, reducing duplication of effort, increasing transparency and enhancing customer service.
The judges for the award were Sheila Bair, former chair of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; John Dilulio Jr., a University of Pennsylvania professor; David Lewis, a Vanderbilt University professor; and Robert Litan, director of research for Bloomberg Government.
“The Census Bureau received a 2012 Walter Gellhorn Innovation Award Honorable Mention for their innovative and collaborative use of 21st century technology to provide real-time statistics to the public,” said Paul R. Verkuil, Administrative Conference chairman. “Amidst strong competition, the Census Bureau’s mobile applications submission stood out because it fully met the Gellhorn Award ideals of increased transparency, innovation and customer service. We are honored to recognize the Census Bureau’s mobile applications endeavor as a model agency best practice.”
“America's Economy” is the first mobile app from the Census Bureau that provides smartphone and tablet users with the real-time government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions and assist economists, researchers, planners and policymakers. The app combines statistics from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The economic indicators track monthly and quarterly trends in industries, such as employment, housing construction, international trade, personal income, retail sales and manufacturing.
The “America’s Economy” app has been developed as part of the Census Bureau’s Web Transformation Project and fulfills a key goal of President Obama’s Digital Strategy to provide the general public with greater access to government information and services. The creation of this app is also consistent with the Census Bureau’s longtime mission of providing accurate statistics about the nation’s growth and changes using 21st century technology to make that information available more quickly and easily.