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Fiscally, Physically Fit at OMB

By Ed O'Keefe

It's day one of Fiscal Year 2010 (woohoo!) but the White House is already thinking about Fiscal Year 2011.

As of last night, the Office of Management and Budget had received 10,266 cost-saving ideas from federal employees hoping to win the first Save Award.

Peter Orszag
OMB Director Peter Orszag.

The winner gets a meet-and-greet with President Obama and their idea will be included in the his proposed FY 2011 budget. The agency with the highest participation rate also gets a prize. (More money in the budget, perhaps?)

The ideas "will help us identify what works and what doesn’t, so taxpayer dollars are used in the most productive and effective way possible," OMB Director Peter Orszag wrote on his blog.

Federal employees still have two weeks to submit their ideas to (Then leave your cost-saving ideas in the comments section below).

In another development, Orszag has also just challenged his OMB colleagues to beat his physically fit lifestyle by tracking their physical activity and overall health.

Employees competing in the new OMB Pedometer Challenge will get a pedometer to track their steps and overall physical activity. An internal Web site will allow OMB staffers to enter their health statistics, record their daily steps and compare them to Orszag's. The most active employee wins a lunch with Orszag at the White House and the most active team wins a "healthy happy hour." (Do Bloody Marys count?)

Pedometers helped increase physical activity by as much as 27 percent by increasing average daily steps by more than 2,000 per day, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association cited by OMB.

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 1, 2009; 11:36 AM ET
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