President Obama is again asking federal employees to submit ideas on how the government can save money and cut waste. Today began the call for entries for the second annual SAVE Award. President Obama says he is interested in ideas from those who work on the front lines.
Federal employees sent in more than 38,000 money-saving ideas last year, which were winnowed to a top four. The winner was selected from among those by tens of thousands of Americans who voted on the top choice.
Last year’s winner was Nancy Fichtner of Loma, Colorado, who suggested a way to save money in how the Veterans' Administration uses prescription medication. As the winner, she visited the White House to discuss her concept face to face with the president.
Several suggestions from last year were included in this year’s budget, said the president, in a video shot for the contest. After an employee suggestion, the Department of Homeland Security shifted from paper to electronic payroll statements. The shift is saving 4 million dollars per year in printing, shipping, and distribution costs. Another suggestion submitted last year, that Air Force cell phone plans match usage, has saved 2 million dollars since being implemented, according to the White House blog.