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Proof Positive

Winner of the Dorothy Tharnish Customer Service Award Joseph Armstead - FAA Logistics Center (FAALC)

Joe Armstead is an entry-level Logistics Management Specialist at the FAALC. He manages inventory for the Airport Surveillance Radar Model 8 (ASR-8). The ASR-8, first fielded in the 1970's, is a short-range analog radar system essential to air traffic control at 38 FAA airports. Because of its age, components for this system have become increasingly difficult to repair and are nearly impossible to buy.

The Radar Site Services Branch needed an increased supply of ASR-8 components to perform antenna pedestal installations, however the parts weren't available. This shortage threatened significant impacts to the operational availability of ASR-8 radar systems. Disruption to the Site Service schedule would have had cascading effects on other activities as well as increasing costs. Even though Mr. Armstead was new to the job, he embraced his role in meeting customer needs. He took the initiative and worked closely with the Radar Support Technicians to resolve supply issues.

One of his first challenges was obtaining pinion shafts. The FAALC's stock was completely exhausted. In order to meet the antenna pedestal installation time-line, he contacted the vendor and arranged partial delivery on his purchase order. He also ensured the vendor would produce more pinion shafts on an accelerated schedule. He traveled to the vendor's location to pick up the pinion shafts and then personally delivered them to the distribution center, along with all of the required documentation. He collaborated with warehouse personnel to ensure the parts were immediately available for ASR-8 pedestal repairs. This proactive approach enabled the FAALC to support the customers' schedules.

When he took over, Joe found that the ASR-8 technicians who repair parts returned from NAS sites had been trying for months to obtain main bearings and spider gears. Without these piece-parts, the technicians were unable to replenish the FAALC's stock and NAS support was at risk. Joe took immediate action. He issued purchase orders and worked with a contracting officer to invoke 'expedite' clauses in acquisition contracts. He also coordinated with technicians to determine priorities and schedule delivers. As a result he was able to mitigate damage from the parts shortage. ASR-8 stock levels quickly improved and backorders have fallen to their lowest level in 3 years.

Mr. Armstead has made improvements to system support and enabled the FAALC to continue supporting the 40-year old ASR-8 systems. He also helped to build morale and trust with the ASR-8 technicians, as they knew he was doing everything possible to help them get their jobs done, allowing them to provide quality and timely products to customers. By keeping these radars operational, he reduced cost and minimized travel delays for the flying public.

Winner of the Phyllis F. Scheinberg Award The DOT Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) Team

The DATA Act called for establishing and implementing Government-wide data standards for financial data to provide consistent, reliable, and searchable spending data for easy public consumption. To meet this monumental challenge, DOT's Data Act Team, formed in 2014, led a three-year phased approach requiring multi-disciplinary coordination among dozens of DOT financial, accounting, grants, procurement, budget, and program staff from every DOT OA and the Enterprise Service Center in Oklahoma, City. The Team's wealth of knowledge and unparalleled expertise was tested repeatedly during the extensive DATA Act implementation.

However, the DATA Act Team's superior program execution resulted in DOT being recognized as a trusted partner with OMB and Treasury in realizing the goals of the DATA Act and Treasury and OMB adopted many of DOT's formal recommendations based on feedback and collaboration with other agencies.

The DATA Act challenged the Team to rethink DOT's long-standing business processes and to foster a team-based focus on innovation and creativity. In addition to massive internal process improvements, the DOT DATA Act Team worked tirelessly with stakeholders from many external agencies to develop better inter-governmental processes to ensure accurate reporting of cross-agency efforts. The DOT DATA Act Team was responsible for working through significant last minute issues to ensure that data was reported consistently and accurately.

Despite the significant challenges faced by the DOT DATA Act Team over the past 3 years, DOT reported 3 days in advance of Treasury's deadline, and was the 7th out of 78 agencies to provide Treasury with a validated and certified submission. Overcoming obstacles and resolving issues was a cornerstone of the team's effort to meet the deadline. The most significant accomplishments of the DOT DATA Act Team included dramatically improving DOT-enterprise processes, overcoming the adversity of extremely aggressive schedules, and submitting over 90% of DOT data ahead of schedule.

Considering the magnitude and complexity of this challenge, the Data Act Team is richly deserving of this recognition in the true spirit of Phyllis F. Scheinberg!


The Phyllis F. Scheinberg Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions made by a Department of Transportation employee or team of employees working in the budget, finance or performance areas.

Winner of the FAA Making a Difference in the Workplace Award MMAC Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Compliance committee (OSHECCOM) Center-Wide Cross Organizational Team

The FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) is a large campus which encompasses over 3.7 million square feet of space in 128 buildings spread over 1,100 acres. It is home to an average of 6,300 employees, contractors, and students daily. It has become the most industrialized facility in the Department of Transportation and has the largest number of DOT employees outside of Washington, DC. FAA employees at MMAC perform activities that include logistics management and warehousing, FAA equipment training, medical research, facilities management and a wide variety of office activities. These worksites provide interesting and challenging activities during each work day; however, between 2011 and 2016, 232 federal employees were seriously injured at work and required a day off work or medical care. The injury rate of MMAC employees was relatively low at 1.2 injuries per 100 full-time workers. That translates into an average of 39 federal employees each fiscal year missing a day of work due to a workplace injury.

During FY17, the MMAC Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Committee was instrumental in leading the MMAC to reduce workplace injuries and improve employee engagement through safety and health initiatives. With the broad range of employees and activities one single approach to increase employee engagement was a challenge, so a variety of initiatives were utilized. Specific accomplishments of the OSHECCOM include:

  • Employee Engagement activities within the FAA Distribution Center were directly correlated to the overall reduction in the FY17 rate reduction. This group experienced a 58% reduction of serious incidents, from an average of 7.3 incidents per year to only 3 incidents during FY17. They focused on developing an environment of open communication and establishing a culture where management and employees collaborate to create a world class Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program.

  • The OSHECCOM has been the primary supporter and communication platform for the MMAC Safety Stand Down (SSD) events which are held twice each year. They voted to implement a Safety Stand Down in 2013 that promotes and improves workplace safety throughout the MMAC campus. This vote was supported by all lines of business and staff offices housed at the Center. This decision formed a SSD team to serve as the focal point for SSD events. The team works in conjunction with MMAC labor and management to determine the OSH areas that the MMAC will focus on during events.

The combination of their initiatives results in an employee workplace engaged in the MMAC safety and health program. As a result, the FY17 incident rate was reduced by 29% from 1.2 to 0.85, from an average of 39 incidents to only 25 incidents in FY17. The OSGECCOM continued focus on employee engagement through hazard identification, SSD events, and quarterly worksite inspections emphasizes the importance of safety culture at MMAC.

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