Administration announces finalists in cost-cutting contest

Obama administration officials on Monday announced the finalists in a contest asking federal employees to share their ideas for curbing unnecessary government spending.

The Securing Americans' Value and Efficiency award, now in its second year, was created to help federal agencies perform better and save taxpayers money. The winner will earn a meeting with President Obama, and his or her proposal will be included in the fiscal 2012 budget.

Federal employees this year submitted more than 18,000 cost-cutting ideas. While in 2009 Office of Management and Budget staff reviewed the proposals, the 2010 contest rules allowed employees to rank the submissions, after which administration officials narrowed the list to these four finalists:

  • Advertise property seized by Customs and Border Protection online rather than in newspapers (from Paul Behe, Homeland Security Department, Ohio);
  • End automatic delivery of Federal Register hard copies to employees and instead require recipients to opt in (from Trudy Givens, Bureau of Prisons, Wisconsin);
  • Use regular ground shipping, rather than express service, to return empty lab sample containers to the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service (from Marjorie Cook, Agriculture Department, Michigan);
  • Require mine operators to complete quarterly data reports online, rather than on mailed paper forms (from Thomas Koenning, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Colorado).

The public can view and vote on the finalists at SaveAward.gov.

"Make no mistake: the SAVE Award will not balance the budget," OMB Acting Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in a blog post. "But cutting waste and restoring accountability for taxpayer dollars is important if the budget is in surplus or in deficit."

In its inaugural year, SAVE generated more than 38,000 cost-cutting proposals from federal employees in just three weeks. Though 20 proposals were included in the fiscal 2011 budget, OMB estimates that the winning idea -- letting veterans take home medications that otherwise would have been thrown away after their release from the hospital -- will save $14.5 million through 2014.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.