Census director kick-starts efficiency blog

Robert Groves pledges to read all proposals submitted by employees

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves promises to read every idea submitted from the agency’s 4,000 employees as part of a drive for efficiency and innovation.He made the promise in a blog entry today.

“We seek proposals for change and innovation from all employees. They send the proposals directly, not through their supervisory chain,” Groves wrote today in a post in The Director’s Blog. “My deputy and I read every proposal.”

A previous idea program there yielded hundreds of responses.

“The first time we did this, I thought we'd get a handful of proposals,” Groves wrote. “We had over 670 sent in! About 400 of them came from field interviewers, the real front line of the workforce.”

To help publicize the effort, the bureau posted a link to the director’s blog post on Twitter today.

Groves also highlighted some of the employees’ ideas that have been successfully implemented:

  • Buying Easy Pass cards for regular toll payments for employees.
  • Continuing staff members hired during the 2010 census to process workmen's compensation claims, resulting in savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
  • Consolidating multiple requests for same software purchases to reduce costs by 80 percent.
  • Allowing data keyers to see their evaluative reports online instead of printing out the reports, saving on paper, toner, and printer usage and providing faster feedback to the employees.

“Change is still difficult to achieve, but when you listen to those running the key processes, innovation toward greater efficiency can be achieved. We all need to work against the normal forces of inertia in big organizations,” Groves wrote.

About the Author

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

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected