2009 SAVE Award
The first-ever annual SAVE Award drew more than 38,000 submissions from frontline employees across the federal government.
Through a rigorous process of evaluation, the insightful ideas were narrowed to a “final four,” and then voted on by the public. Nancy Fichtner – our eventual winner – visited with the President in the Oval Office on December 21, 2009 to share her idea in person.
Nancy’s idea, as well as the proposals submitted by her fellow finalists, are included below. The “final four” submissions and countless others were included in the President’s FY 2011 Budget – and are now being implemented.
2009 Winning Idea
Nancy Fichtner, Colorado
Department of Veterans Affairs
As is the case in most hospitals all across the country, medicine that is used in the hospital is not given to patients to be brought home; instead, it is thrown out. “Currently the inpatient medications such as ointments, inhalers, eye drops, and other bulk items are being disposed of upon patient discharge.” Nancy proposes ending this waste and finding a way to allow this medicine to be used by those who need it.
2009 SAVE Award Additional Finalists
Julie Fosbender, West Virginia
Department of Agriculture
"When Forest Service personnel collect money from the public (e.g. selling a pass or collecting campground fees), we take that money, count it, drive to a bank to convert the cash into a money order, and then turn the paperwork, checks, and money order over to a unit collection officer. The unit collection officer then recounts the receipts, makes two copies the money orders and checks, creates a bill for collection, waits 24 hours for the bill to print, fills out a remittance report, runs two calculator tapes of receipts (one for her and one for the bank) and mails the package (via certified mail) to a bank in San Francisco, CA. … Why can't we just deposit our collections into a local bank?”
Christie Dickson, Alabama
Social Security Administration
“I think it would be cost effective to allow (with stipulations) the public to also schedule appointments online. We set up appointments about two-thirds of the time on the phone. By having access to a schedule online, that would allow us time to assist more people.”
Huston Prescott, Alaska
Department of Housing and Urban Development
“Subsidized housing units all across the country receive funds from many different grant programs. As Huston notes, “The constant in the majority of the developments that I have been involved with is that each of these funding sources requires its own physical inspection of the units as well as calculating incomes in different manners and annual audits. …They report the same information in multiple formats. Countless hours spent recreating information could be used in more productive ways.”