Winner Aung Gye (holding the check) with MeriTalk CEO Steve O’Keeffe, left, and Mark Forman of the Office of Management and Budget. (MERITALK)

“By helping one agency use another agency’s unused automobiles, construction equipment, office space or other government assets, we can maximize taxpayer dollars and optimize the assets themselves,” Gye said in a statement about his award.

The aim of the awards was to generate ideas for government innovation, something that MeriTalk founder Steve O’Keeffe joked in an interview with Faster Forward was viewed by many as an oxymoron. But four of the five finalists in this competition were government employees, he said in his Tuesday blog post about the awards.

Other finalists’ ideas were to create a mobile U.S. passport application; to develop a mobile early warning system for natural disasters using data from the NOAA, National Weather Service, FEMA and other agencies; a proposal to streamline government classification definitions; and a proposal to reform how the government awards contracts.

There’s no word on whether Gye’s plan will be implemented, MeriTalk said, but O’Keeffe said in his post that he hopes the government will sit up and take notice of the innovative ideas that have bubbled up from its own ranks.

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