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The Internal Revenue Service Center here next month will receive the nation's highest award for quality in the federal government.

The Presidential Award for Quality, comparable to the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the private sector, will be presented May 29 in a ceremony at the 5th annual National Conference on Federal Quality in Washington D.C.President Bush announced this year's winner in a letter to Shirley D. Peterson, the new commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

"We in government uphold the public trust, and the American people deserve the best that federal agencies can provide," the president wrote. "Today that means the kind of service being provided at Ogden."

"The men and women at our Ogden Center have worked hard to deserve this recognition," Petersen said in a release. "One of the IRS' key management objectives is improving the quality of the service we give to taxpayers, and an award like this provides tremendous encouragement."

The award is administered by the Federal Quality Institute, the government's lead agency in promoting Total Quality Management (TQM). It goes to federal organizations that involve their total work force in achieving customer satisfaction.

The Ogden Center is the first civilian organization honored since the award was established in 1989. The two previous winners were the Air Force Logistics Command in 1991 and the Naval Air Systems Command in 1989.

The Ogden Center, which serves a 14-state area, processed 26 million tax returns, collected $100 billion in tax payments and issued $9 billion in refunds in 1991. Since implementing Total Quality Management in 1986, a spokesman said the center has made improvements in processing, reviewing, correcting and entering tax returns that resulted in more accurate and timely service to taxpayers while saving the government more than $11 million.