Created in 2009, the President's SAVE (Securing Americans' Value and Efficiency) Award answered President Obama's call for "a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better."
When the SAVE Award program was first launched in September 2009, over 38,000 ideas were submitted in the first three weeks. All ideas are evaluated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In rating the ideas, OMB looks for ideas that will yield savings while also improving the way that government operates.
Are Their Ideas Any Good? Winner of the 2009 SAVE Award, Nancy Fichtner, who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), suggested that medications and medical supplies used for patient treatment in VA hospitals be sent home with the patients, rather than being destroyed. "Currently the inpatient medications such as ointments, inhalers, eye drops, and other bulk items are being disposed of upon patient discharge," wrote Fitchner. The VA has now implemented Fitchner's idea, which officials estimate will save taxpayers a cool $14.5 million from 2010-2014 alone. Not bad.
Several other money-saving ideas from the 2009 competition were included in the 2011 budget proposals of the various government agencies.
While anyone can read their cost-cutting ideas, only federal employees can register and submit ideas on the SAVE Award 2010 Web site. The winner of the 2010 SAVE Award will be announced in September 2010.
How Would You Save? Whether you are a federal employee or not, you probably have some good ideas on how the government could save money. Share your ideas here.