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Feds End Snail-Mail Delivery of Federal Register

Photo: archives.gov

About 8,000 federal workers scattered throughout the country, will — in the near future — wake up, put the coffee on, drive to work and not find a copy of that old doorstopper, also known as The Federal Register, waiting for them.

That’s because, in an effort to cut costs, the White House is ending hard-copy delivery of the federal government’s daily publication, chock-full of proposed rules and notices and the latest executive orders.

Okay, so People magazine, it’s not.

But, it’s likely most federal workers won’t really feel a difference.

“The Federal Register was made available online years ago, and most members of the interested public reference that online version now,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob “Jack” Lew, in a blog posting announcing the change.

But, don’t call this the ending of a tradition by cold-hearted executive fiat.

The proposal was one of more than 18,000 ideas submitted by the general public for the SAVE Awards — a competition designed to gather ideas from federal employees across the country on how to cut unnecessary spending and make the government more efficient.

Trudy Givens, who toiled away for 19 years in the Bureau of Prisons, currently serving as a business administrator at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisc., had the bright idea of ending the expensive snail-mail delivery of the Register every workday, not least of all because employees rarely referenced the tome.

“Trudy thought that in keeping with the president’s spirit of cutting out waste and going green, the government should cease the printing and mailing of thousands of Federal Registers to employees who don’t need them,” Lew wrote on the OMB blog. Her idea was voted on by the public and selected as the SAVE Award winner.

By limiting print distribution to those who opt-in (with a fee), Lew said, the government could save as much as $4 million.

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