Cast Your Ballot and SAVE

A few days ago, we announced the finalists for this year’s SAVE Award (Securing Americans Values and Efficiency) competition and already thousands have made their voices heard in selecting this year’s winner. There’s still time for you to vote too. Just go to take a moment, and choose your favorite cost-saving idea.

Since 2009, the President’s SAVE Award has served as an opportunity for frontline Federal workers to offer their ideas on how to make government work smarter for the American people and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. From reducing paper copies of outdated publications already available online, to implementing new measures to conserve energy use, to eliminating the waste of unused medication, these simple yet innovative ideas are saving money and represent common-sense steps to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government. 

Voting is open until 12:00 PM EST on Friday, December 20, 2013. So, cast your vote – and the winner will present his or her idea to the President in the Oval Office, and other proposals will be directed to agencies for potential action or inclusion in the President’s FY 2015 Budget. 

The 2013 finalists are:

Kenneth Siehr, Online Tracking of Veterans Mail Prescription Deliveries. The Department of Veterans Affairs sends the majority of outpatient prescriptions to patients via mail. Currently, in order for Veterans to track the delivery of mailed prescription medications they must call their local VA Medical Center directly. Kenneth recommends saving pharmacy staff time and enhancing customer service by making the package tracking information available to Veterans online through the Veterans Health Administration’s existing web-based portal, MyHealtheVet.

Patrick Mindiola, Electronic Passport NotificationThe State Department sends thousands of Information Request Letters (IRLs) in response to passport applications via regular mail. These mailings delay the processing time for applications and result in unnecessary added costs. Patrick recommends saving time and money by responding via email first, requesting any additional information needed and asking the applicants to verify submitted information. Mail notifications would be used only when email addresses are missing or returned, or if no response is received.

Dirk Renner, Share Certifications Across AgenciesDirk has worked for multiple federal agencies and recently found out that his USDA Forest Service All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) training was not transferable to the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, where he now works. Dirk recommends allowing comparable agency certifications to transfer from agency to agency or between departments.  This change would save time and reduce duplicative training and travel costs for employees across the government. 

Buyar Hayrula, Collect Custom Fines and Penalties Online. Buyar suggests creating a secure website to allow Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agriculture specialists to collect payments by credit card at land ports of entry. Currently, payment requests are often sent via mail when a cashier is not available. Automating this payment process would increase revenue collections and operational efficiencies at CBP while also helping reduce wait times for individuals entering the U.S. at land ports of entry.   

Related Topics: Fiscal Responsibility