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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Obama meeting with award-winning fed on Friday

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

In between his usual mix of speeches and briefings Friday, President Obama will take a few minutes to meet with an award-winning federal worker.

Trudy Givens, of Portage, Wisc., is the winner of the second annual Save Award, a contest that seeks cost-cutting ideas from federal workers, who, the White House believes, know best where to trim the federal fat.

Givens, a 19-year Bureau of Prisons employee, was one of about 18,000 federal workers who submitted ideas for the contest, which received more than 57,000 votes from workers and the general public. Givens's idea won with more than 20,000 votes, according to an administration official.

So what was her award-winning idea? She recommended that the government stop printing and mailing 8,000 copies of the Federal Register to employees who don't need them and -- frankly -- don't read them. Besides, the newly redesigned FederalRegister.gov is a perfectly good way to search for the latest rule-making updates.

Federal law requires that hard copies be available however, so Givens recommended that current recipients be allowed to opt-in for hard copies if they want them. When a similar opt-in option was offered to the general public, the number of hard copies mailed was cut from about 25,000 to 500.

Last year's winner suggested that Veterans Affairs hospitals allow veterans to take leftover medication home with them when they are discharged.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama took questions from YouTube Thursday. Jay Carney will be the new White House press secretary. Rahm Emanuel ruled eligible (again) to run for Chicago mayor. A White House intern tried out for "American Idol." Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the Pentagon faces a spending "crisis" and blames Congress for potential cuts. Senate leaders agree on changes in the filibuster and confirmation process.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Gates says new military policy on gays can start soon: Pentagon officials have nearly finished revising rules on personnel, recruiting and housing and were close to completing plans for the training of commanders and the rank and file.

FBI:
FBI warrants into service attacks by WikiLeaks supporters: The investigation is part of a larger international inquiry into a loose confederation of hackers calling itself "Anonymous."

FINANCIAL CRISIS INQUIRY COMMISSION:
Government blames both regulators and financial institutions for economic collapse: The panel spares virtually no one in assigning culpability for the worst financial calamity in generations.

GOVERNMENT WORK/OPERATIONS:
History shows Obama's effort to reorganize government could be an uphill battle: He is far from the first president to vow to streamline and rationalize the workings of the vast federal machinery.

IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:
Immigrant database failed to detect suspect before rape of young girl:
Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a member of the MS-13 street gang, was charged with raping an 8-year-old girl at her Fairfax County home last month. But he never should have been in Fairfax in the first place.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2011; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

i have another idea.stop sending my social security update every year since i will not be able to collect from it.should save millions

Posted by: nugy | January 28, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who finds it depressing that we need a nationwide competition to get the feds to realize they should stop printing things people don't read? This really seems more like common sense than innovation.
Doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Props to Givens for coming up with it, but I would be embarrassed if I were the one whose job it should have been to come up with this sort of thing (and I'm sure that's someone's job already).

Posted by: nicolasajimenez | January 28, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Common sense is rare in government. Be happy she wasn't fired.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 28, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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