There is hereby established the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which shall be evidenced by a medal bearing the inscriptions Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and The Quest for Excellence. The medal shall be of such design and materials and bear such additional inscriptions as the Secretary may prescribe.
(b) Making and presentation of award
(1) The President (on the basis of recommendations received from the Secretary), or the Secretary, shall periodically make the award to companies and other organizations which in the judgment of the President or the Secretary have substantially benefited the economic or social well-being of the United States through improvements in the quality of their goods or services resulting from the effective practice of quality management, and which as a consequence are deserving of special recognition.
(2) The presentation of the award shall be made by the President or the Secretary with such ceremonies as the President or the Secretary may deem proper.
(3) An organization to which an award is made under this section, and which agrees to help other American organizations improve their quality management, may publicize its receipt of such award and use the award in its advertising, but it shall be ineligible to receive another such award in the same category for a period of 5 years.
(c) Categories in which award may be given
Subject to paragraph (2), separate awards shall be made to qualifying organizations in each of the following categories
(A) Small businesses.
(B) Companies or their subsidiaries.
(C) Companies which primarily provide services.
(D) Health care providers.
(E) Education providers.
(F) Nonprofit organizations.
(2) The Secretary may at any time expand, subdivide, or otherwise modify the list of categories within which awards may be made as initially in effect under paragraph (1), and may establish separate awards for other organizations including units of government, upon a determination that the objectives of this section would be better served thereby; except that any such expansion, subdivision, modification, or establishment shall not be effective unless and until the Secretary has submitted a detailed description thereof to the Congress and a period of 30 days has elapsed since that submission.
(3) In any year, not more than 18 awards may be made under this section to recipients who have not previously received an award under this section, and no award shall be made within any category described in paragraph (1) if there are no qualifying enterprises in that category.
(d) Criteria for qualification
An organization may qualify for an award under this section only if it
(A) applies to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in writing, for the award,
(B) permits a rigorous evaluation of the way in which its business and other operations have contributed to improvements in the quality of goods and services, and
(C) meets such requirements and specifications as the Secretary, after receiving recommendations from the Board of Overseers established under paragraph (2)(B) and the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, determines to be appropriate to achieve the objectives of this section.
In applying the provisions of subparagraph (C) with respect to any organization, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall rely upon an intensive evaluation by a competent board of examiners which shall review the evidence submitted by the organization and, through a site visit, verify the accuracy of the quality improvements claimed. The examination should encompass all aspects of the organizations current practice of quality management, as well as the organizations provision for quality management in its future goals. The award shall be given only to organizations which have made outstanding improvements in the quality of their goods or services (or both) and which demonstrate effective quality management through the training and involvement of all levels of personnel in quality improvement.
(A) The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall, under appropriate contractual arrangements, carry out the Directors responsibilities under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) through one or more broad-based nonprofit entities which are leaders in the field of quality management and which have a history of service to society.
(B) The Secretary shall appoint a board of overseers for the award, consisting of at least five persons selected for their preeminence in the field of quality management. This board shall meet annually to review the work of the contractor or contractors and make such suggestions for the improvement of the award process as they deem necessary. The board shall report the results of the award activities to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology each year, along with its recommendations for improvement of the process.
(e) Information and technology transfer program
The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall ensure that all program participants receive the complete results of their audits as well as detailed explanations of all suggestions for improvements. The Director shall also provide information about the awards and the successful quality improvement strategies and programs of the award-winning participants to all participants and other appropriate groups.
The Secretary is authorized to seek and accept gifts from public and private sources to carry out the program under this section. If additional sums are needed to cover the full cost of the program, the Secretary shall impose fees upon the organizations applying for the award in amounts sufficient to provide such additional sums. The Director is authorized to use appropriated funds to carry out responsibilities under this chapter.
The Secretary shall prepare and submit to the President and the Congress, within 3 years after August 20, 1987, a report on the progress, findings, and conclusions of activities conducted pursuant to this section along with recommendations for possible modifications thereof.