Federal employees hoping to win one of President Obama's SAVE Awards are once again in the process of submitting more than 75,000 ideas to "make government more effective and efficient and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely."
Since the 2009 launch of the SAVE (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) Awards program, the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has selected and incorporated more than 60 money-saving suggestions from government workers into the last three annual federal budgets.
According to the OMB, the SAVE Award ideas incorporated in the budget so far have resulted in the saving of "millions of taxpayer dollars."
"That's what the SAVE Award is all about -- enlisting the creativity and expertise of federal employees on the front lines to find ways to cut waste and make government work better," stated the OMB on its blog.
A few of the cost-cutting, efficiency-increasing SAVE Award ideas selected and implemented so far, include:
2011: A "lending library," or centralized repository for sharing specialized tools purchased by NASA in developing and building space flight projects. Prior to the lending library, many of these expensive tools were being purchased for each new project, instead of being shared among the various NASA units.
2010: Stop mailing individual hard copies of the massive Federal Register to more than 8,000 federal employees every workday. Federal employees must now specifically request a hard copy of the Federal Register. Otherwise, they can view it online, just like the public has done for years.
2009: Allow patients at Veterans Administration hospitals to take medications given to them while in the hospital home with them, instead of throwing them away.
The SAVE Award program is just one example of what has become a federal policy of allowing agencies to run similar idea challenges offering recognition, promotion and prizes as a way to encourage innovation and efficiency.
Information on all of the current federal innovation challenge programs can be found on the Challenge.gov website.
What's Your Idea? While the president's SAVE Award program is open only to federal employees, you are always welcome to share your suggestions for how the government could save money and work more efficiently. Read what others have suggestedor share your own idea.