SAVE Award winner announced

Flickr user o palsson

The 2012 SAVE award is going to Education Department program officer Frederick Winter, acting Budget Director Jeffrey Zients announced Friday.

Winter proposed that federal employees who use public transit benefits switch from Metro’s regular fares to the reduced senior citizen fare immediately after they become eligible. In the Washington area, Zients said, such a move would lower the employee’s travel cost by half, without reducing any of the benefit.

Winter, who commutes on the Orange Line from the East Falls Church Metro station in Virginia, drew 19,000 votes for his scheme, out of 46,000 ballots cast. His win entitles him to meet personally with President Obama in the Oval office. His Metro savings idea, like previous winners in the four-year-old efficiency contest, will be included in the president’s next budget. (The runners-up will be considered for inclusion.)

Winter, a Ph.D. who worked previously for the National Endowment for the Humanities, has training in archaeology and takes an active interest in folk music.

How did the idea come about? “I turned 65 and realized there’ s a transit benefit and immediately I went down and got it,” Winter told Government Executive. “I mentioned it to colleagues, and found that many didn’t know it existed. Others were shy about admitting they were over 65, and others figured it was a benefit not being paid by them anyway.” Because the age at which full Social Security benefits kick in is now 66, that leaves “a Metro benefit window for a year,” Winter added.

In a blog post Friday, Zients said: “These SAVE Award ideas, along with others submitted over the last four years won’t solve our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges, but they represent common-sense steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our government, and they are saving the government hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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