Want a chance to meet President Barack Obama? Come up with a way to save a lot of money at your agency.
The president laid out a challenge to federal employees this weekend in his weekly blog/radio address, calling for new thinking and creativity among the federal workforce:
“That’s why we’ll establish a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better. We’ll put the suggestions that work into practice. And later this year, I will meet with those who come up with the best ideas to hear firsthand about how they would make your government more efficient and effective.”
There is far to go in modernizing federal agencies to better apply technology, but there also is far to go in modernizing the mindset of how government operates and views itself, he said:
“So much of our government was built to deal with different challenges from a different era. Too often, the result is wasteful spending, bloated programs, and inefficient results. It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.”
In that spirit, President Obama said he plans to motivate agencies to find savings within their current budgets by allowing them to keep a portion of money they don’t spend and reinvest it elsewhere toward programs that are more effective. The end goal, he said: a smaller budget and more effective government programs.
In addition, Obama said he’s also looking for ideas from businesses and reform experts on how to make government operate leaner and more smartly. Later this year, he said he will host a forum on reforming government for the 21st century as a way to bring outside voices into the government reform discussion.
So, will you take the Obama challenge? Tell us what great ideas you have for saving money.