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OMB streamlines SAVE Awards

applause

Will fewer ideas submitted for the SAVE Awards lead to more applause-worthy offerings?

The government is streamlining its annual search for money-saving ideas from federal workers in the hope that gathering fewer ideas will yield better ideas.

Agencies are being given more time to evaluate proposals, according to a July 26 memo from acting deputy director for management and CIO Steven VanRoekel. Deadlines for agencies to nominate SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) candidates is being pushed back to Sept. 20, and agencies are being asked to identify just the top three to five money-saving ideas – down from five to 10 in years past. Additionally, agencies are being asked to package their SAVE Award ideas with their fiscal year 2015 budget submissions.

SAVE Awards reward federal employees who come up with practical ideas that save the government money, improve operations and can be easily replicated across government agencies. Agencies are required to submit a list of ideas to the director of OMB, who picks a group of finalists. The public is then invited to vote on the winning entry.

This year, agencies are being directed to avoid ideas that are similar to past finalists. The winning 2012 idea proposed making sure federal employees receiving public transit benefits are shifted to lower senior citizen fares as soon as they are eligible. In 2011, a NASA employee won with an idea to create a lending library of specialized tools, to avoid duplicate purchases.

The SAVE Award competition has generated more than 85,000 ideas since it was instituted in 2009.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM


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