These Awards Make Government Look Bad

By Tom Shoop

December 17, 2013

Yesterday, when I wrote about the finalists for this year’s SAVE Awards, in which the Obama administration recognizes federal employees for ideas to improve the efficiency of federal operations, an erstwhile colleague of mine weighed in on Twitter: “Frankly, these seem like things that should have been fixed years ago,” she wrote.

I wish I could say I thought she was wrong. But look at the finalists’ ideas:

All of these are worthy suggestions, and it would be hard to argue that they shouldn’t simply be implemented immediately. (Using email to correspond with applicants? That’s a cutting-edge notion, circa 1995.) But that just begs the question why these proposals haven’t already been put in place. It’s something of a sad commentary on the state of the federal government that it apparently takes action at the highest levels to implement common-sense measures like this.

I know that’s not entirely true, and that unsung efforts to implement ideas along these lines occur every day in government without attracting a lot of attention. Still, at this point, the SAVE Awards have two problems:

Maybe it’s time for the administration to start declaring victory, and focus more on disseminating stories of impressive accomplishments by federal employees and organizations. That might even move the needle a little on the public’s overall view of government.

(Image via Nfoto/Shutterstock.com)


By Tom Shoop

December 17, 2013

http://www.govexec.com/federal-news/fedblog/2013/12/these-awards-make-government-look-bad/75637/