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Obama Wants Public Input on How to Eliminate Government Waste

money-wastedPresident Barack Obama wants federal employees to share their ideas for eliminating government waste and saving taxpayers’ money as part of the 2010 SAVE Award program.

“If you see a way that the government can do its job better or do the same job for less money, I want to know about it,” he said in a video announcement July 8.

The program, which stands for “securing Americans’ value and efficiency,” began last year and became an immediate success.

“In just three weeks, federal employees submitted more than 38,000 ideas identifying opportunities to save money and improve performance,” said Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Nancy Fichtner, a fiscal program support clerk at the Colorado Veterans Affairs Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., received the 2009 SAVE award for her proposal that saved about $2 million. Her suggestion was for the Department of Veterans Affairs to find a way to reuse medicines that are prescribed by physicians, but not used by patients.

“In a change from last year, we also are asking federal employees to help rate the submissions from their fellow workers,” Orszag said. “This new feature will allow employees to apply their insight to the evaluation process, making sure the best ideas make it into the fiscal 2012 budget.”

Civil servants interested in submitting their ideas should visit the SAVE Award website. The deadline for submissions is July 22, and winners will be announced in September.

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