SAVE Awards 2010: Vote For Most Innovative Federal Penny-Pinching

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Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients, Photo: omb.gov, Elnur

With budget cutting on federal minds everywhere, the White House announced the finalists in the Securing Americans’ Value and Efficiency award, celebrating its second year.

The contest, which garnered 18,000 submissions, seeks suggestions from federal workers on how the federal government can save money while at the same time work better and more efficiently.

Government Executive summarizes the SAVE finalists’ ideas:

  • Advertise property seized by Customs and Border Protection online instead of in newspapers — from Paul Behe, Homeland Security Department, Ohio
  • Stop automatically delivering hard copies of the Federal Register and require recipients to opt in — from Trudy Givens, Bureau of Prisons, Wisconsin;
  • Stop delivering empty lap samples back to the Agriculture Department’s inspection service using express delivery; use regular shipping instead — from Marjorie Cook, Agriculture Department, Michigan
  • Require mine operators to complete quarterly data reports online, rather than on paper forms — from Thomas Koenning, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Colorado

Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, took to the White House blog to tout the awards and President Barack Obama’s initiative in starting them. Zients said the president brought to the capital the “belief that the best ideas usually come from outside of Washington.”

Zients, who is also the federal chief performance officer, said the ideas represented simple fixes that, standing alone, won’t balance the balance, but still offer benefits.

“Make no mistake: the SAVE Award will not balance the budget,” Zients wrote. “But cutting waste and restoring accountability for taxpayer dollars is important if the budget is in surplus or in deficit.

Ideas can be voted on at: www.SAVEaward.gov

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