Guidelines and Criteria

Guidelines and Criteria for the Local Government Innovation Awards

NOTE: 2017 Submission Forms will be available soon!

Entry to the Local Government Innovation Award is open to all government entities at the city, township, county and school district level (including public schools, charter schools, and school districts). New in 2017, Native nations, in collaboration with a local government entity, may submit to receive the Local Government and Native Nation Collaborative Award.

The innovation entered is underway or has taken place within the past two years.

The innovation has not been awarded previously or has substantially changed since previously awarded.

The innovation described in the entry is beyond the conceptual stage and has demonstrated progress and impact.

The innovation entered is located in Minnesota.

More than one entry is allowed by the same government entity. However, the same department within a government entity cannot win more than one award.

Please note that only what the entry form calls for is required. Supplemental materials are not necessary.

Special efforts will be made to recognize local government entities of varying sizes, from both the metro area and Greater Minnesota. 

If there is any question as to eligibility, finalists will be asked to provide written confirmation of their status as a government entity. Written proof could include one of the following: a copy of the legislative act creating a board or commission, a letter from an authorized government official confirming the status of a subsidiary body, or a Government Affirmation Letter supplied free of charge from the IRS. You may request this letter by calling the IRS Tax Exempt/Government Entity Cincinnati Call Site at 1-877-829-5500.


Judging Criteria

Judges will review entries based on the following criteria: innovation (40%), impact (30%) and sustainability/potential for growth (30%).

Innovation: (40% of score) Entries will be considered for their innovative approach to meeting a community need. Some of the possible strategies for service redesign and innovation could include, but are not limited to:

Creating Greater Accountability – Developing the parts of Performance Management Systems such as strategic plans, performance budgets, aligned employee objectives, customer surveys, and program evaluations;

Collaboration or Consolidation – Creating new sharing arrangements, collaborating across sectors or systems, or consolidating governmental organizations to improve efficient service delivery;

Using Incentives, Charges, and Targeting – Utilizing incentives rather than compliance for employees or functions, creating or rethinking fees, and targeting services to those in need;

Competitive Contracting – Contracting out public services by using bidders from multiple sectors;

Funding Consumers – Rather than providing a selected service for everyone, allowing consumers of the service to select their providers;

Prevention – Developing approaches to prevent problems so that no service is needed to eradicate the problem; and,

Divesting Services to the Community – Divesting current services to community groups like churches, athletic associations, service organizations, etc.

Impact: (30% of score) How does the innovation make a difference? Were considerable resources saved or implemented in a new way to yield greater results? Is there evidence of success or impact? Measureable impact could include:

Money or resources saved as a result of the innovation

Increasing the number of people served without increasing costs

Improvements in the quality/depth of service

Sustainability and Potential for Growth: (30% of score) Will the innovation stick? Can it be expanded or repeated in other communities? Judges will be looking for innovations that will still be in practice years from now and that other communities can adopt.