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Pace Award winners help Army save millions of dollars

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (May 05, 2011) -- The Army's civilian recipient of the Pace Award saved $128 million by bringing employees back to work and the military winner helped prevent the loss of $324 million in total obligation authority.

Lt. Col. Patrick L. Walden, a senior acquisition program analyst with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, received the award Thursday morning at the Pentagon, partly for helping the Army defend programs and retain resourcing.

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Daisy P. Crowley, a human resources specialist with the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, received the award for helping lower the workman's compensation rolls.

She explained that Army civilian employees receiving a workman's compensation check don't have to come to work -- and they get a tax-free paycheck from the Army.

It's the Army's responsibility to get those employees back on the job, and off the workman's compensation payroll, Crowley explained. Thanks to her effective management and hard work, the number of employees getting that workman's compensation check has dropped by about 25 percent.

"We got about 5,000 people off the roles," said. "Previously we had about 20,000 civilians who were receiving workman's compensation, and we brought it back to 15,000."

That move produced a future cost avoidance for the Army of some $128 million dollars last year -- and earned Crowley the civilian Pace Award for 2010.

"We believe we will do more in the future as we get more and more people back to work and also not permit people to just be lost in the system -- which is what happened in previous years," Crowley said.

The Pace Award is given annually to one Army officer, lieutenant colonel or below, and one civilian employee, GS-14 equivalent or below, whose work benefits the Army by providing substantial financial savings, or technological military development.

Walden said he analyzes programs for those inside the Army to make sure they are "balanced and appropriate." For those outside the Army looking in, he provides the metrics senior leaders need to defend Army programs.

"When the Office of the Secretary of Defense, during program review, challenges how the Army builds a program -- we are the first to defend it," Walden said.

"Walden ensured that the Army's equipment programs are properly resourced to support Soldiers today and into the future," read the citation for his award.

In 2010, Walden's analysis of Army programs were instrumental in retaining significant resourcing and preventing the loss of $324 million in total obligation authority.

"It's a great honor," Walden said, on receiving the award.

Thomas L. Lamont, the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs presented the awards to the two recipients, and said the Pace Award is for those Pentagon employees "who have gone well beyond the call of duty."

"Never more than today are the impacts of improving performance, transforming business processes and procedures, and finding savings and efficiencies been so vital," Lamont said. "Through the talent of people like Miss Crowley and Lieutenant Colonel Walden, whom we honor today, our Army will continue to improve."

The Pace Award is named for former Secretary of the Army Frank Pace Jr., who served in the position between 1950 and 1953, during the Korean War. The award has been presented annually since 1962.

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