Matthew Ritsko submitted his proposal as part of last year’s third-annual SAVE Award — a White House contest that seeks cost-cutting ideas from rank-and-file federal employees. As part of his submission, Ritsko suggested that NASA establish an agency “lending library” to avoid duplicative purchases of expensive tools.
“It’s like a toolshed at your house” where tools are retrieved and then returned, Ritsko told Obama in November when the president held a videconference with the contest’s four finalists.
During the meeting, Obama said he liked the idea of having all NASA workers use “the same super-duper space wrench” instead of buying more than one. Ritsko won the contest a few days later.
All of the winners have earned an Oval Office meeting with the president and their ideas have been included in the formal White House budget request. But none of the ideas has been formally approved by Congress.
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