Attention, feds: It’s once again your chance to change the government, or at least one small piece of it, as the Obama administration this week launched the fourth annual SAVE Award competition.
If not quite on par with the summer Olympics (another competition getting under way shortly), the contest does provide a useful outlet for federal employees with tips for cutting costs or improving efficiency. And there are plenty of them; according to the White House, the previous three competitions have drawn more than 75,000 ideas.
You have to get your suggestions in before July 24, but can encourage your co-workers to vote for them on-line. After the top ideas are whittled to a final four, the public has the last word. The winner gets the chance to present the idea to President Obama.
This is all window dressing because our putative leaders are hardly interested in real cost savings or improvements in efficiency. As a long time DoD employee, I have suggested things that would save billions of dollars every year, to no avail. Among these ideas:
1. Eliminate service specific laboratories (Naval Research Lab, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Lab) and combine into a single, joint lab with divisions focused along technology, not specific services. A lot of overhead disappears that way.
3. Combine intelligence functions. Do we really need separate entities like NGIC, MSIC, ONI and NASIC? Wouldn’t combining these under DIA make more sense and cut out needless bureaucracy? There’re also the advantage of more open communciation and the production of standardized intelligence data consistent across DoD, not just a particular service.
3. Eliminate fluff functions like the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds and military bands. We simply can’t afford them today and they contribute nothing towards national security.
4. Eliminate naval aviation. It’s outdated and carriers are tempting targets. Let the AF deal with the stuff in space and in the air and beef up the navy in areas of submarines, especially attack subs capable of employing anti sub, anti ship and land attack weapons. We need more subs, and more surface combatants especially high technology DDGs like the Zumwalt class. Cut out 6 carriers and their air wings and the navy gets 60 more surface combatants and subs for the same money.
I agree that these are a waste of time. They get hundreds of good ideas per year, implement 1, and say how great the save award is. If they were really looking to save money, they would have overhauled IT years 5 years ago. A lot of the suggestions get bogged down because it takes years for research, then someone writes a report, which is to long, so it gets shortened to a brief. Then it sits on someone’s desk who doesn’t read it or have interest. Then they see it six months later and want another study done. 3 years later, this thing that could save millions is still sitting on someone’s desk.
GSA is too busy going to Vegas to overhaul a broken procurement system (we currently pay double the otc price for laptops, among other things).
We’re too bogged down in antiquated ways to be nimble enough to change as the times change. Which is why the best ideas submitted, that could save large sums of money, are never implemented, making the save award, something to not save.
Sounded good first time, then wnet into popularity contest, boting on others ideas…allows for too much buddy voting…idea picked one time was from antiquated timeframe, like double sided copies and no mags sent out monthly, nothing really cost effective, efficient…
Postal Service: Rural carriers should use time cards to swipe a clock like City carriers. This would simplify time keeping and reduse pay adjustments which cost $100.00 each. City carriers should be put on the evaluated system like the rural carriers. The evaluated system would eliminate 90% of the overtime and greivences. The unions would fight these changes but the craft employees would benefit.
I still wonder how everyone seems to see the same problems and recognize them, however, still nothing seems to be done about them.
I would like to recommend that federal employees who have a work schudle which starts at 5:45 AM and ends at 2:15 PM belowed to opt out of there 30 min unpaid lunch and belowed to start work at 6 AM this will save the goverment 15min of nigh differencial which in turn say the goverment millions of dollars in the long run.
I would like to recomment that the Goverment change the retirement to 25 yrs or 30 yrs with 75% of your salary this would allow many staff to retire, it sounds like alot of money but in the long run this would let the goverment change pay grades to lower ones if needed and this will save alot of money.
I would like to recommend the the Buearu Of Prisons cut back on feeding the inmates 3 hot meals a day, if they would feed the inmates 1 hot meal aday just think how much money the Justice Department would save, but in turn the food service in a Federal Prisons throw hundreds of dollars worth of food in the trash daily and there are over a hundren instutitions throughtout the country just do the math. Also why does the instutitions at the end of the fiscal year tell all departments to spend everything they have so they don’t have to give the unspent money back, this is a waste of goverment funds as well. Also the RDAP program that the instutitions are running is a paper chase and the Psychology Department are way over paid because. I have been in the system for 28 yrs and I have never seen them really help anyone, also another waste is GSA they are way over priced when you can go to the local store in your area and buy an item for 90% less for what GSA is selling it for, and I would like to point out Goverment Travel the contrat the goverment has with sable is highway robbery when you can book a flight to dallas texas for $350 on your own and then you are told you must buy it through Sable and they charge the Goverment $750.00 for the same ticket ther eis something wrong, if someone in accounting would do there job millions of dollars would be saved every year, I am on my way out soon but lets make it a little bit better for the new employees coming in peace and God Bless America the Greatest Country on earth.