White House opens voting for its SAVE Award final four

President Obama is known to follow the NCAA basketball tournament, so it’s no surprise that his administration would promote a “final four” for its annual Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) contest.

The competition asks federal employees to submit ideas for improving workplace efficiency, and the public votes from the proposals of four finalists. (Click here to vote).

The winner … well, he or she has the honor of presenting his or her idea to the president in the Oval Office. Not quite loads of confetti falling from the rafters and a big trophy presentation. But who wouldn’t want to meet the president?  

Last year’s winning idea came from Matthew Risko of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Risko recommended creating a “lending library” to store used tools so employees wouldn’t end up reordering tools that were already available. 

The White House claims to have included 26 SAVE proposals in the president’s 2013 budget proposal.  

The White House announced the 2012 SAVE Award finalists this week. They are: 

• Frederick Winter, Department of Education: Proposed that all federal workers who receive public transit benefits shift to reduced senior fare as soon as they are eligible, and idea that could potentially save up to 50 percent of employees’ travel costs, according to the White House.

• Angela Leroux, Internal Revenue Service: Recommended eliminating under-used shuttle buses dedicated to transporting workers between government offices.

• James Szender, Interior Department: Proposed using digital equipment to produce mandated transcripts of federal meetings, as opposed to hiring court reporters to do the work.

• Laurie Dempsey, Department of Homeland Security: Suggested switching from print to digital for posting the required weekly import-listing bulletins from Customs and Border Patrol. Each report can be hundreds of pages long, according to the White House.  


Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



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