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Bureau of Reclamation public meeting, Managing for Excellence

The Bureau of Reclamation will hold a meeting to inform the public about the Managing for Excellence project on May 30 and 31 in Denver, Colo. This meeting is the fifth public meeting to inform the public about the action items, progress, and results of the project and to seek broad feedback. The key topic of discussion in Denver will be discussion of progress being made on Reclamation’s efforts to “right-size” the century-old agency. The workshop is part of an eighteen-month process called “Managing for Excellence”, which the Family Farm Alliance has been actively engaged in.

This process provides an important opportunity for Western water users to find further ways to improve transparency in Reclamation decision-making, provide improved accountability, and make the organization as efficient as possible.

I urge that you take advantage of this opportunity and join us in Denver.

Reclamation is currently considering four options regarding right-sizing, including alternatives that provide opportunities for districts to outsource. The discussion of these options will form the primary purpose of the Denver workshop. Regarding “right-sizing”, the Alliance in the past year has advocated that Reclamation should adopt a policy that contractors who pay for specific work can elect to use District personnel or private consultants for design, procurement, construction, and contract and construction management. If Reclamation is to review this work, those related costs must be controlled, possibly through an outside peer review process if differences exist between Reclamation and District engineers.

The meeting will be held: May 30, 2007: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. May 31, 2007: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Marriott Hotel, 16455 East 40th Circle, Aurora, Colo. A block of rooms has been reserved under "Bureau of Reclamation." As a courtesy, please complete the online registration no later than May 22, 2007 at http://www.usbr.gov/excellence/denverpw.html

The Managing for Excellence Project will identify and address the specific 21st Century challenges Reclamation must meet to fulfill its mission to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

Although you may register the day of the conference beginning at 7:00 a.m., Reclamation highly encourages you to pre-register for the conference online at www.usbr.gov/excellence or by phone at 303-445-2935. Please direct requests for sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired, or other auxiliary aids, at 303-445-2935 by May 16.

To find out more about the Managing for Excellence Action Plan, please visit the website at:www.usbr.gov/excellence or call Debbie Byers at 303-445-2790.

If you have questions about the Family Farm Alliance’s involvement in this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dan Keppen
Executive Director
Family Farm Alliance


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