The Washington Post

NASA employee wins White House SAVE Award


Matthew Ritsko of Crofton, Md., earned the most votes in a four-way contest that included ideas from workers at the Treasury Department, Social Security Administration and Housing and Urban Development. There were 48,000 votes cast. A financial manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Ritsko proposed establishing a centralized tool repository, or “lending library,” for NASA employees to use when developing and building space flight projects.

Ritsko’s idea earned 19,000 votes, and as the winner, he’ll get a face-to-face meeting with President Obama to present him with the idea. The runners up also will have their ideas incorporated into next year’s budget requests.

“We really appreciate Matthew’s hard work and thinking out of the box on this,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement congratulating Ritsko. “His idea has the potential to save the federal government a considerable amount of money.”

As with previous years, the White House didn’t reveal details of how the “lending library” would be established, how much it would cost to implement and how much money would actually be saved.

And with a drawn-out federal budget process in the last few years, it’s also unclear whether the award-winning ideas are ever implemented.

The award program launched in 2009 in an effort to tout the administration’s budget-cutting focus and to boost morale among the rank and file.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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