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Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, discusses awards recognizing innovative ideas in federal management, and new developments at OMB.

The Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center Challenge awarded three grand prize winners on September 10. The joint project between the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget aimed to find innovative solutions to achieve goals lined up in the President’s Management Agenda. Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at OMB says that while they couldn’t award $300,000 to every plan, the goal is to keep the gears turning.


“The notion that we have with the GEAR Center, is that it a catalytic engine. We want to actually use money as a signal. But It is not the only signal. The fact that we are giving honorable mentions to these very worthy projects as well is saying this is exactly the kind of thing we need to do. Hundreds if not thousands of projects like this that are bringing together diverse groups of people. It was an incredibly difficult set of decisions because we had over 50 really strong proposals. These are the ones we’re highlighting,” Weichert said. “Our hope is once we get the GEAR center fully lunched, we can fund with a capital that would come in from the private sector as well as from grants and other government funding sources. As many projects as could have real impacts. That is the end goal.”

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