President Bush signs bill to expand prestigious Baldrige Award
Milwaukee, WI, Oct. 7, 2004 —- The American Society for Quality (ASQ) today announced that President Bush signed into law a bill to create a not-for-profit category of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award expansion marks the culmination of a two-year campaign led by ASQ to recognize outstanding not-for-profit organizations with the prestigious honor.
Amendment H.R. 3389 will allow not-for-profit organizations to receive the Baldrige Award for their achievements in overall performance excellence and quality improvement. A significant sector of the United States economy, not-for-profit organizations will benefit from recognition, assessment, and feedback based on the Baldrige Award Criteria for Performance Excellence.
“The signing by President Bush is a significant accomplishment for ASQ members and Baldrige supporters who have worked so hard to ensure that the many benefits of the Baldrige Award process extend every segment of the economy,” said ASQ President Daniel M. Duhan.
The Baldrige Award, presented annually by the President of the United States, sets the standard for American organization and business performance excellence, while making quality a national priority. The award and its performance excellence criteria stimulate organizations to improve their overall performance, enhance efficiency and standards in the workplace, and promote community involvement.
Prior to recent legislation and passage, only for-profit organizations received recognition for their achievements in performance excellence. These industries include manufacturing, the service sector, small business, as well as education, and healthcare. Businesses and organizations are judged in seven areas: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis, and knowledge management, human resource focus, process management, and business results.
Originally established by the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act, the award is named after Malcolm Baldrige, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Several key players have an active role in the Baldrige Award process, including ASQ, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. NIST manages the award, while ASQ assists in the application review process, preparation of award documents, publicity, information transfer, and administration. The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award provides private-sector support for the award.
ASQ will lead the efforts to secure the appropriate funds required to initialize not-for-profit Baldrige Award activities. NIST expects to begin accepting not-for-profit applications by March 2006. NIST will also develop a not-for-profit case study, as it pertains to Baldrige criteria, in the near future.
“We can all point with pride to the new Baldrige law,” said Harry Hertz, director, National Quality Program, NIST. “With the approval of a not-for-profit category by President Bush, we have reached a great milestone in the life of the Baldrige Award. The award now covers the full U.S. economy. Soon we will be able to identify organizations in government, charitable, professional, and other not-for-profit areas that can serve as role models of quality and performance for the rest of the United States to emulate. We look forward to receiving the appropriation of funds that will enable the submission of applications. Thanks to all who helped the Baldrige Program reach this milestone.”
NIST, a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, develops and promotes measurements, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life. NIST provides quality improvement and technology-based innovations to help American businesses and organizations maintain a competitive advantage. For more information on the Baldrige National Quality Program visit www.baldrige.nist.gov .
The American Society for Quality (www.asq.org) is the world’s leading authority on quality. With more than 100,000 individual and organizational members, the professional association advances learning, quality improvement, and knowledge exchange to improve business results, and to create better workplaces and communities worldwide. As champion of the quality movement, ASQ offers technologies, concepts, tools, and training to quality professionals, quality practitioners, and everyday consumers, encouraging all to Make Good Great TM . Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, the 58-year-old organization is a founding partner of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a prominent quarterly economic indicator.
For more information, please contact Michael DeBoer at (414) 271-1314.