USCIS saves $600K through videoconferencing

Agency now conducts employee training and conferences online

The Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has reduced its annual expenses for employee training by $600,000 by converting to Web-based videoconferencing, the department announced on its blog.

As part of the DHS Efficiency Review process, Jan Lane, chief of the USCIS Office of Security and Integrity, adopted videoconferencing software that allows for virtual meetings involving employees around the country, the March 31 blog entry states.

“Jan and her team fundamentally changed the way they were conducting trainings and conferences for more than 10,470 USCIS employees around the country -- saving time, reducing travel costs, and cutting back on training materials,” the blog states.

The switch to videoconferencing resulted in cost avoidance of more than $600,000, but that total does not include indirect cost savings of travel time and expense, the blog added.

“When you consider the indirect or harder to measure savings, such as lost productivity due to travel days, coordinating travel, and conferences, the overall impact of this efficiency is even more impressive,” the blog item said.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano started the efficiency reviews a year ago.

Another DHS blog item highlights $3.2 million in savings in fiscal 2010 from consolidation of background investigation contracts at DHS' Customs and Border Protection agency . The average time for completion also was reduced to 40 days, from 60 days.

The blog credits Robert Namejko and Richard Winkler of CBP’s Office of Administration and Judy Shetler and Dora Shomette of CBP’s Office of Internal Affairs for the savings.


About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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