2011 Budget: Cost-cutting ideas from federal workers
President Obama's 2011 Budget includes 20 cost-savings ideas submitted by federal employees for consideration. Do you agree or disagree with the ideas? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below:
• Ending the Agriculture Department's Resource Conservation and Development Program: The goals of the 47-year program have been accomplished, the budget said. Cutting the program saves the government $51 million.
• Reducing IT Duplication at the Interior Department: The proposal would save $20 million by reducing duplication on IT infrastructure. A team of technical experts will sort out the details.
• Strategic Sourcing at the Interior Department: The government could save a net $30 million by consolidating purchases for common goods and services it needs.
• Cutting Interior Department's Travel Costs: The department will focus more on high-priority travel, management reforms and it will reduce conference costs by using more teleconferencing and web technology. Total savings: $12 million.
• Labor Department Will 'Power Off' Computers: In the "can you believe they haven't done this already?" category, employees will be instructed to turn off personal computers, laptops, printers, and monitors when not in use or at the end of the work day, saving about $50 per computer annually or $727,000 over five years.
• Air Force Cellphone Savings: There's more than 12,000 cellphone accounts that could have more cost-conscious calling plans, the budget said. Estimates state the Air Force could save approximately $2 million in 2011 and $2.1 million per year from 2012 to 2015.
• Allow Veterans to Keep Medication When They're Discharged: The award-winning SAVE Award idea would allow veterans leaving VA medical facilities to keep leftover medications, including eye drops and inhalers. The plan would save taxpayers $14.5 million in the next four years.
• Streamlining the Army's Unemployment Compensation Process: Expanding the reach of the Army's Unemployment Compensation Office to all 50 states would save $76 million over the next four years.
• Common Sense Administrative Savings at the Education Department: Another one to file under the Duh! category: The department will "emphasize" two-sided printing, videoconferencing over travel and putting more documents online to cut back on FOIA requests. The cuts will save more than $350,000 per year or $1.82 million over four years.
• Eliminating Paper Pay Stubs at the Treasury Department: If the department can secure an agreement with the unions, the plan should save $2 million annually.
• FECA Reform: Proposed changes to the program provides wage-replacement and medical benefits to federal civilian workers could save $310 million in the next nine years. The law hasn't been updated since 1972, and some elements for much longer.
• Increased Use of Videoconferencing at the Energy Department: The department will cut travel budgets by 5 percent versus 2009 expenditures. The switch to videoconferencing could save $10 million over four years.
• Make Social Security Appointments Online: The plan would result in $850,000 in savings based on less staff time needed to schedule appointments by phone.
• Streamlining Administrative Support on Navy Ships: Instead of flying officers and sailors to land-based personnel offices, the Pentagon will explore using electronic personnel records and digital signatures. No immediate word on cost savings, but it could be "significant," the budget said.
• Oracle Enterprise License Agreement: The Department of Veterans Affairs will award one Oracle ELA to consolidate all of the existing Oracle software programs currently owned by the department. The plan should save taxpayers $117.75 million over four years.
• Personal Computer Power Savings at VA: The department will save $32.5 million over four years by using energy efficient software, including systems that will make laptops "hibernate" when not in use to save battery power. The department has more than 300,000 personal computers.
• Save Money When Collecting Money at USDA: The U.S. Forest Service will save $1 million annually by switching from weekly to monthly bank depots.
• Shipment Policy Adjustment at Consumer Product Safety Commission: The agency's investigators ship product samples from various locations back to its laboratory in suburban Maryland for testing and analysis. The agency plans to reevaluate its shipping costs and hopes to save approximately $10,000 in 2011.
• Space Consolidation at EPA: The agency will cut unnecessary training space in Lakewood, Colo. $960,000 over four years.
• Streamline Redundant Subsidized Housing Inspections: The plan calls for just one compliance review for any owner that receives funding from more than one Housing and Urban Development program or also benefits from other agency assistance. The idea would save $550,000 in 2011 and $2.2 million over four years.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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