Legislative Branch

Excessive Fees and Charges through the Travel System

Excessive processing fees are needlessly charged and many times inflated prices for flights are billed to the federal government through the travel system. The government is charged for every voucher processed through the system. The simplest voucher that pays an employee a single per diem without hotel charges, costs the government over $13; and the travel agency did not do anything except their computer system was ...more »

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180 votes
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Department of Agriculture

Optional Early Out Retirement

Give the Option of Early Retirement since most agencies are Top-Heavy (experienced employees maxed out at the top of their pay level). This allows new hires to be made and reduces the overall payroll cost of the US Government. Savings might well be in the billions!

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140 votes
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Department of Homeland Security

BALANCING LIFE AND THE MISSION: COMPRESSED SCHEDULING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

Over the past few decades, many state and municipal law enforcement departments across the country have studied the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a compressed work schedule (CWS) for their uniformed officers and agents. “Lateral thinking,” coined by Edward de Bono (1970) is a set of approaches and techniques designed to find radically new approaches to problems - to come at them from the side rather than ...more »

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104 votes
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Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Too HOT, but way COOL

Many government office buildings are kept too cold in the summer, and too hot in the winter. It is not uncommon to see employees in sweaters in federal offices in the summer. This not only uses excessive energy, but sets a bad example for the general public. All agencies would save significant overhead costs for utilities by adjusting building temperatures a few degrees warmer in the summer (encouraging wearing short ...more »

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87 votes
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Legislative Branch

Strongly encourage all Federal Prisons to grow their own produce and compost the excess waste.

There are many federal prisons that have enough space to effectively grow enough vegetation to reduce the amount of produce purchased from outside sources. This would also help the environment by decreasing the amount of fuel used to ship and transport produce purchased on a weekly basis. The compost would be an asset to the earth and help to replenish and stabilize nutrients within the ground. The consumption of ...more »

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77 votes
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Department of Transportation

Teleworking Benefits to Reduce Transit Costs

Institute two Teleworking benefits, one for the employee (to subsidize cost of internet & electricity) and another for the agency (to incentivize savings in electricty, transit benefits, etc). Even a small token benefit would encourage and support more frequent teleworking, saving the Government millions in transit benefits and lost time in the event of a weather emergency.

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67 votes
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Department of Labor

Community service for Unemployment benefits

Unemployment benefits are costing taxpayers millions, and in cities, there is much work that needs to be done. The suggestion is for participants who recieve unemployment benefits; after a reasonble 6 weeks of benefits, in order to continue thier unemployment benefits, the recipient will provide 20-30 hours per week in community service to non-profits, city and state programs. This idea, will allow for the unemployed ...more »

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63 votes
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Department of Homeland Security

STOP RENTING BUILDINGS AND BUY THEM!!!

The Transportation Security Administration has been occupying the same rental space (office buildings) since 2002. If the government would decide to BUY a building to house federal agencies, for their office space; that would be smarter financially for the future. Airports have been located in the same geographical areas for years; purchasing a building for office use, is just smarter business, in regards to saving ...more »

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53 votes
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Postal Service

Use USPS NOT FedEx for Government Savings and Security

At USDA/NASS we use FedEx all the time for packages and envelopes, especially for 'priority' deliveries. It’s no secret that the USPS is suffering. Instead of 'outsourcing' shipping AND bailing out the USPS why not keep all mail originating from federal offices in the federal system and use the USPS? The USPS offers the exact same services as FedEX and since it is in the federal system, in theory, our federally protected ...more »

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53 votes
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Department of State

Make It Pay To Save...

We need to change our government budget culture where saving money is seen as a failure and is punished with lower funding. Each year, every government agency does its best to spend all the money allotted to it, even if it doesn't really need to, for fear that if money is left over funding will be cut to insufficient levels in the next fiscal year. In a sense, it becomes our job to make the government bigger. This culture ...more »

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45 votes
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Legislative Branch

Simplify the Federal Income Tax Process

Simplify the Federal Income Tax Process. This is not a new idea. I recall some years ago of an initiative to propose a flat tax [with no loopholes]. The rate be set at a level that would generate the same level of funding as the current tiered system. The expected positive results are: (1) reduced IRS staffing costs, (2) reduced litigation costs, (3) higher percentage on-time tax submittals. Potential negative effects: ...more »

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32 votes
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Department of Agriculture

Telework LIbrary/ Telecommuting Station

Government offices considering a new telework program should factor in that those employees will at some time need to report in person. A telework library could be set aside to allow a rotation of those employees who will not have a regular desk. This will help to save space when figuring the budget. In addition retirees could be utilized in telework positions as sources for advice according to their expertise and monitored ...more »

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25 votes
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Department of State

Incentivize saving money while traveling at the government's expense

Currently government employees who travel on governmental funds have little incentive to save the government money; hotel rooms are rented at places that charge as close to the maximum per diem rate as possible and airline tickets are purchased through government contractors who often identify tickets that are much more expensive than what is available to consumers in the marketplace. Many of us will have to opt for ...more »

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24 votes
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Department of the Interior

Original Idea and simple! Battery RE-use Program (Dry Cell - AAA, AA, C, D, 9V)

Many offices have a battery recycling program, where people can dispose of spent batteries. There are many devices that stop working once the battery reaches a certain amount of use, such as digital cameras, two way radios, etc. These batteries still hold enough charge to operate non-high tech devices, such as flashlights, remote controls, am/fm radios. I bought a battery tester and many of the batteries that people deposit ...more »

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21 votes
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Department of Homeland Security

Post Forfeiture Notices Online, Not in Newspapers

I suggest you...create a website for the Department of Homeland Security to publish notices of intended forfeiture. We currently publish our notices the old fashioned way, by buying advertising space in local newspapers. Meanwhile the Department of Justice publishes its notices of intended forfeiture online at it www.forfeiture.gov, saving it thousands if not millions of dollars per year. We should join them. There ...more »

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20 votes
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Department of Homeland Security

Acronyms Cost $90 Million per Year

Idea: All Government Agencies should adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS) method of addressing communications. “Common Terminology” The first time an acronym is introduced into a document the author should always write a long name in full, regardless of how well known it is. Example: National Incident Management System (NIMS) Benefit: Speeds up work flow. Increases productivity, Decreases mistakes. ...more »

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18 votes
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Small Business Administration

Accountability

Accountability for how US dollars are spent should be at the level of the person making the decision. It is not right for a director to use federal dollars to fund fuel in his personal airplane so that he can maintain his hours for pilot licensure. His job does not require that he fly a plane, especially solo and the waste is unnecessary. Flying commercially would be less expensive, if necessary.

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17 votes
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Department of Homeland Security

PRUNING THE WORKFORCE-Eliminate MRA...allow 30 and out like Military

Like any robust thriving plant, the government workforce needs a pruning. Recommend providing 3-5 years additional time to employees tenure who have reached 30 years service but are still short of Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). If an employee accepts the added time which puts them at MRA and 30 years service, they must execute retirement option within 6 months. This would allow a new generation, in particular the war veterans, ...more »

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17 votes
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Department of Health and Human Services

License Google's Search Technology

License Google's search technology to allow for intra-agency and extra-agency document searching. Many times we have to "reinvent the wheel" by redoing a briefing paper or report or analysis which was already done by another employee at an earlier time, but lost some where on the network drive in our various computer systems. The saving would come from the time saved updating reports rather than starting from scratch. ...more »

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14 votes
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Legislative Branch

Common Sense Federal Budget Process.

I have been in or working for the Federal Government for over 29 years. I keep hearing how the Federal Government is going to balance the budget. I still have never seen it. My share is: We will never balance the budget much less pay off the debit as long as the government budget process runs on a "USE or LOSE" mentality. If I receive money from congress and I don't spend it all, then I am penalized the next year ...more »

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12 votes
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Executive Office of the President

Waterless Urinals

I suggest that federal buildings with urinals replace traditional urinals with waterless urinals. A waterless urinal saves anywhere between 15,000 and 45,000 gallons (approx. 55,000 and 170,000 liters) of water per urinal per year. The waterless urinals utilize a trap insert filled with a sealant liquid instead of water. The lighter-than-water sealant floats on top of the urine collected in the U-bend, preventing odors ...more »

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12 votes
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Legislative Branch

Provide non-motorized vehicle reimbursements.

Save travel costs, energy costs, go green, and increase health of federal employees by providing low cost non-motorized vehicle reimbursements rather than only providing the current high cost motorized vehicle use rates. If as an example, just 2% of the federal employees would use bicycles that could be reimbursed at 10 cents per mile instead of 50 cents/mile for automobile use -- many millions of dollars would be saved ...more »

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11 votes
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Displaying 1 - 25 of 110 Ideas