ECA, which represents local governments impacted by DOE activities, released its Community Outreach Scorecard rating the Department’s intergovernmental activities.
EM headquarters serves as a model for engaging local government and community officials and continues to be the “gold standard” for public outreach in DOE, according to ECA.
The alliance credited EM Senior Advisor Dave Huizenga for doing a great job ensuring outreach is a priority. At last year’s Intergovernmental Meeting, Huizenga took time to meet with many local government officials and leaders of all governmental groups individually, and he participated in a “very open” hour-long, question-and-answer session with the groups, ECA said. The alliance’s members appreciated the opportunity to interact directly with him.
Huizenga was pleased with the A+.
“We are happy to know that our stakeholders recognize our efforts to be open and keep them involved in our decision-making processes,” he said.
ECA attributed the A+ — EM headquarters received the same score in 2010 — to the willingness of senior managers to meet with local government officials and others. ECA said EM strives to ensure local government officials and interested stakeholders understand the environmental, health and safety issues at their sites.
ECA described EM’s high marks as impressive given the size and complexity of the office. A member of the alliance noted that EM outreach is a “challenging and daunting task that they generally rise to.”
With outreach efforts led by EM Office of External Affairs Director Paul Seidler, EM headquarters employees regularly communicate with ECA members and staff, attend ECA meeting and peer exchanges, hosts conference calls on important issues and attempt to provide as much information as possible, according to the alliance.