USA — Obama Announces Return of the SAVE Award

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma wants fed­er­al employ­ees to sub­mit their ideas for elim­i­nat­ing gov­ern­ment waste and sav­ing Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey as part of the 2010 SAVE Award pro­gram.

Oba­ma made the announce­ment in a video on the White House web­site July 8.

“If you see a way that the gov­ern­ment can do its job bet­ter or do the same job for less mon­ey, I want to know about it,” he said.

The pro­gram – its acronym stands for “secur­ing Amer­i­cans’ val­ue and effi­cien­cy” — began last year and was an instant suc­cess.

“In just three weeks, fed­er­al employ­ees sub­mit­ted more than 38,000 ideas iden­ti­fy­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to save mon­ey and improve per­for­mance,” said Peter Orszag, direc­tor of the Office of Man­age­ment and Bud­get.

Nan­cy Ficht­ner, a fis­cal pro­gram sup­port clerk at the Col­orado Vet­er­ans Affairs Hos­pi­tal in Grand Junc­tion, Colo., received the 2009 SAVE award for her pro­pos­al that saved about $2 mil­lion. She sug­gest­ed that the Vet­er­ans Affairs Depart­ment find a way to reuse med­i­cines that are pre­scribed by physi­cians, but not used by patients.

The dead­line for sub­mis­sions is July 22, with the win­ners being announced in Sep­tem­ber.

“In a change from last year, we also are ask­ing fed­er­al employ­ees to help rate the sub­mis­sions from their fel­low work­ers,” Orszag said. “This new fea­ture will allow employ­ees to apply their insight to the eval­u­a­tion process, mak­ing sure the best ideas make it into the fis­cal 2012 bud­get.”

Some of the most inno­v­a­tive ideas for effi­cien­cies and sav­ings come from those fed­er­al employ­ees on the front lines, Oba­ma said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)