Feds submit more than 10,000 ideas to OMB in effort to SAVE money

Thursday - 10/1/2009, 4:25pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
FederalNewsRadio

Federal employees have submitted more than 10,000 ideas to improve government, and feds still are two more weeks to enter.

The Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag wrote in his blog today that his office has received 10,266 entries under the Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award.

OMB announced the competition Sept. 23, and it runs through Oct. 14.

"If you are a federal employee and have not participated yet, there is good news: you have two weeks to enter," Orszag writes. "To submit your idea visit www.SaveAward.gov. The winner will meet with President Obama and have his or her idea incorporated into the fiscal 2011 Budget. (We also will recognize the agency with the highest participation rate so make sure your co-workers enter too!)."

The goal of SAVE Award is to obtain the ideas from front line federal employees on how best to save money and make the government more efficient.

Orszag also launched a new initiative within OMB to get employees to exercise more.

Through the OMB Pedometer Challenge, each OMB employee will have the chance to get a pedometer, track their steps, increase their physical activity, and improve their overall health, OMB states in separate release.

OMB says the pedometer challenge is part of a larger effort to improve the health and wellness of the federal workforce to help boost productivity and reduce health care and disability costs.

OMB will track staff progress on an internal Web site where they will be able to enter their daily steps, compare their steps to Orszag's and see their divisions' average steps.

Employees also will be able to enter their health statistics (including body mass index, blood pressure and resting heart rate) so that improvements in their actual health can be measured over the next few months.

OMB will provide free testing to employees who do not know their current health data.

Each month the employee who walks the most steps will have lunch with Orszag and the best performing team will be treated to a healthy happy hour, OMB says.

OMB's Pedometer Challenge comes as there is a push across government to improve the health and wellness of employees. Earlier this year, Office of Personnel Management director John Berry asked agencies about their programs to promote employee well being.

In a July 14 memo, Berry wanted information about areas such as the number of programs or services, the number of employees taking part and the cost per agency.

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On the Web:

OMB -- Save Award Web site

FederalNewsRadio -- Can you SAVE the government?

Chief Human Capital Officer's Council -- OPM memo on health and wellness programs

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