Department of State

Department of State

Electronic Signatures

So much time and money is wasted printing paper for hard copy authorizations. It would be simpler and faster to initiate an electronic signature program. For instance, a PDF form needs to be approved; normally the form will be printed along with other supporting documents, and sent to the approver. Then the form is taken back after being signed and scanned in as a PDF. Skip the printing and send the PDF to be electronically ...more »

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Department of State

Stop all Foreign Aid

We are broke, stop giving all foreign aid. I don’t mean to leave these countries with nothing. We should ask China to give them 43 cents of every dollar we would have given them. It is their money we are using anyway.

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Department of State

NEGOTIATE VEHICLE OIL CHANGE FEE'S

We should stop paying approximately $30.00 - $50.00 for each government vehicle oil change for an estimated fleet of 600,000 vehicles government wide. Currently, we use hundreds of oil change facilities including national brands, car dealerships, etc. I recommend that we negotiate flat rate fee's for individual oil changes at 3-5 national brands and implement guidance for using these brands. If a designated brand ...more »

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Department of State

Bodyguards for low level officials.

A lot of low level officials/politicians waste money on bodyguards. People who make themselves look important with our tax dollars. From TMQ: Kurt Austin of Baltimore reports, "My mother works for a small suburban newspaper outside Baltimore. One of the reporters was doing a piece on State Comptroller Peter Franchot, so Franchot came for an interview. Before he stepped foot in the building, not one but two bodyguards ...more »

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Department of State

reduce the number of US embassies

The federal government should consider temporarily closing or limiting staff at embassies in countries we have minimal relations with. If we have a treaty with them and conduct international trade, or they play strategic role in our national security then we should have an embassy staff there. Otherwise there is no reason to fund an embassy in that country.

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Department of State

Three Year Tours

Foreign service tours should last a minimum of three years. Two years is too short a time to develop expertise in a country and a position. The first six months an officer is learning and adjusting, and the last few months he or she is distracted by preparations for the next post. After two years in a position, the experience, knowledge, and contacts gained really start to pay off, but then an officer has to move to another ...more »

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Department of State

Two strategies to reduce costs and improve the speed of Governme

1. Implement and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including all applicable regulations, to: a) Simplify processes to reduce costs; b) Improve them or adopt new procedures that can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the operations; c) Identify critical processes; and d) Improve the speed of government operations to achieve better efficiency. NAS Colombia prepared approximately 80 processes with the ...more »

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Department of State

Save $2.5 Billion in Foreign Aid for Climate Change

The 2011 budget allotted $2.5 billion to "Help Developing Nations to Adapt to Climate Change." Stop this. Here is the exact wording from the Bill under Department of State at the government website. www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/pdf/budget/state.pdf Help Developing Nations to Adapt to Climate Change and Pursue Low-Carbon Development. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, the United States will spur ...more »

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Department of State

Have FSOs pay their utility bills

Foreign Service Officers currently do not pay rent or their utilities while overseas while receiving their full salaries plus a multitude of benefits (children’s education, government vehicles, some tax free income, etc). By not paying their utility bills they take no accountability for wasting energy and resources. In many foreign countries the energy source is highly polluting or in severe cases diesel generators. ...more »

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Department of State

FEAR OF RETALIATION

MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS WHO RETALIATE AGAINST EMPLOYEES WHO PARTICIPATE SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS. USING THE PRETEXT OF IMPROPER PERSONAL CONDUCT, I WAS SUSPENDED FOR FIVE DAYS WITHOUT PAY FOR SUBMITTING IDEAS AND TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT SOME MANAGEMENT WEAKNESSES. MORE EMPLOYEES OF PASSPORT SERVIVES WOULD PARTICIPATE WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING RETALIATED AGAINST.

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Department of State

Designate one lead agency for international development

President Obama should designate one lead agency for international development to avoid costly, contentious and time-consuming interagency coordination and potential duplication of activities. For the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, for example, the staffing and level of coordination needed for 5 or 6 different government agencies working on HIV in a single country is incredibly time consuming and wasteful. ...more »

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Department of State

Institute a mandatory "private sector year" for federal workers

Force all non-contract, non-acquisitions, non-essential personnel to take one year away from their federal positions every six years. One of the biggest issues in the federal workforce is a persistent complacency on the part of a significant minority of workers. This complacency slows government operations, erodes Agency morale, and stirs resentment among the general public, particularly among the majority of Americans ...more »

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Department of State

Green IT - Automatic Shutdown of Computer Workstations

Embassy Dar es Salaam instituted a daily scheduled shutdown of its 300 computer workstations during typical non-use hours. This has reduced power usage to approximately 33% of what it previously was. Instead of computer workstations powered up 168 hours per week (24 hours x 7 days), now they are only powered up 56 hours per week, with estimated electricity cost savings at over $3000 per month, or $36,000 per year. The ...more »

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Department of State

With one tiny letter, we can save at least $50,000.

At DoS, our office acronyms are a foundation of many of our information systems; they are standardized to reflect the name of the office, not the name of the individual who occupies that office. This eliminates the need for widespread change during times of personnel turnover. The addition of a second Deputy Secretary, however, brought about a change to our acronym conventions that has actually resulted in significant ...more »

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Department of State

Energy conservation at the office

The lights and air conditioning are always left on at the end of the day, ostensibly for "security reasons," so that security guards can turn it all of at the end of the day. If lighting were motion activated and air conditioning were also tied to lighting, then we would stop wasting light and cool air on areas without people.

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