How HUD met its goals to speed grants — and cut costs

Monday - 8/22/2011, 10:26am EDT

Ann Marie Oliva, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, HUD

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Saving money and making things more efficient is something Ann Marie Oliva of the Housing and Urban Development Department knows well.

As the head of HUD's Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, Oliva helped shorten the time it takes the agnecy to award the homeless housing grants — from 213 days to just 61. She also found a way to reduce administrative costs by 90 percent.

Her efforts earned her a spot as a finalist for a Service to America Medal by the Partnership for Public Service.

Oliva joined the Federal Drive to discuss the new data systems used to cut costs. She also shared her special recipe for success and some advice for other federal employees looking to make a meaningful difference.

HUD officials told Federal News Radio earlier this month that its robust practice of measuring performance goals had helped the agency reduce homelessness among veterans.

Peter Grace, director of HUD's Office of Strategic Planning and Management, said the agency's goal-setting practices are "extremely performance focused" and "grounded in data."

Hear all of our interviews with the 2011 Sammies finalists.