Earlier this year, the President launched the SAVE Award – a program that offers every federal employee to chance to submit their ideas for how government can save money and perform better. In just a few weeks, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received over 38,000 submissions, many of which will be implemented in the coming months. Now for a twist, the “final four” SAVE Award ideas were selected as finalists and will be voted on beginning today. Voting is open to federal employees as well as the general public. Watch President Obama’s open call for votes here.
We are proud to announce that Julie Fosbender, a USDA employee and Recreation Manager for the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, is one of the finalists. Julie has worked for the Forest Service for over 16 years. While welcoming visitors, she noticed that when the Forest Service collects money from the public, it converts the cash into a money order. A Unit Collection Officer then generates receipts, copies of the money order, bills, and other paperwork and mails the package to a bank in San Francisco. If they used local banks instead, the Monongahela National Forest would save a lot of paperwork and time.
“Hopefully this will make us more efficient, because there won’t be so much running around. If they are not running around cashing checks, they could actually be talking to visitors”, said Julie.
The winner of the SAVE Award will get to present his or her idea directly to President Obama and also have it included in the FY 2011 budget. When asked what she thought about the Award and a possible chance to present her plan to the President, Julie said “Even when we had the invitation to participate, I thought that it was really cool. I don’t ever recall getting a message from the President, saying ‘Hey I want to hear your idea’. If I get selected, I’d share with him how wonderful its been working as a federal employee and working for the Forest Service.”
To vote for Julie’s idea and learn about the other finalists visit the President’s SAVE Award Website. And even though OMB is no longer accepting new submissions for the FY 2011, federal employees can still their idea for future consideration.