President's SAVE Award

President's SAVE Award

President Obama launched the SAVE Award to give frontline Federal employees the chance to share with the White House their ideas about how to make government more efficient and effective.

Over the past four years, Federal workers from across the country submitted more than 85,000 cost-cutting ideas – covering everything from implementing new measures to conserve energy use to eliminating the waste of unused medication. These ideas alone won’t solve the Nation’s long-term fiscal challenges, but they are saving hundreds of millions of dollars and represent common-sense steps to improve government and provide a better value to the American people.

Keeping with tradition, the winner will present his or her idea to the President in the Oval Office, and other proposals will be directed to agencies for potential action or inclusion in the President’s Budget.

This year’s winner is:

Frederick Winter, Shift to Senior Transit Fares. Many Federal employees are choosing to stay at their jobs into their senior years. Frederick Winter of the Department of Education proposes that all Federal employees who receive public transit benefits shift from regular transit fare to the reduced senior fare as soon as they are eligible. In the D.C. area, this change would lower the cost of the employee’s travel by 50 percent, with no loss in the effective benefits for the employees.

    The runners-up were:

    • Angela Leroux, Reduce Employee Shuttle Buses. Many Federal agencies maintain buses to shuttle employees from one government office to another for work purposes. Too often these vehicles are empty and sit idle, or travel their routes with just a few passengers. Angela Leroux at the Internal Revenue Service recommends that agencies eliminate or consolidate the bus service and encourage the use of conference and video calls, or provide metro cards to those with a need to travel.
    • James Szender, Use Digital Transcription. A written transcript of Federal meetings or hearings is often required. James Szender of the Department of Interior proposes, whenever possible, using digital equipment for transcripts instead of hiring a court reporter, since using digital transcription is significantly less expensive than contracting with a certified court reporter to attend, record, and transcribe the proceedings.
    • Laurie Dempsey, Post Customs Inspection Information Online. Customs and Border Protection is required to post a bulletin weekly that lists all imported items that have completed the customs inspection process. Currently, Customs ports across the country print this bulletin, which can be hundreds of pages long, and post it in the customs house. Laurie Dempsey from the Department of Homeland Security suggests instead posting the bulletin electronically on This change would save paper, as well as make it easier for the public to find out what items have been inspected without having to visit the facility in person.

    If you voted, thank you.  Please be on the lookout for next year's contest next fall.