When I was in college, printer ink was my biggest expense. I changed the default on my printer to the printer quality "draft mode." It used far less ink and substantially lowered my expenses. The print quality, despite being draft, was also good enough for every project I did. I've tried to print on draft mode at work, but I'm only given the options of "best quality" or standard quality. If draft mode was the default ...more »
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Create an incentive system that allows Agencies to proactively return unused money to Treasury while providing protection from Congress onto their future appropriations. Many agencies find creative ways to 'park funds' or spend money on frivolous items just because they are afraid that Congress will cut their budgets if they can’t point to the previous year.
Lengthen Dept. of State Embassy personnel overseas postings from two years to three to four years, thus saving millions of dollars every year in transfer travel costs of employees and their families, shipment of their personal effects, and shipment of their private vehicles from post to post. USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) Foreign Service Officers have for decades routinely served four-year tours at ...more »
All emails, and attachments (word, excel, powerpoint and access documents) can be scanned in pdf file format for efficient electronic redistribution. For example, the Xerox colorcube copier, scanner, fax machine multifunction unit can be used in lieu of the standard copier printer. All government employees can then send signed electronic email directly from the copier machine thus eliminating the need to send signed ...more »
When employees have a failed log-in on the third attempt, they are automatically locked out of the network system until a phone call is made to the CIO help desk. The amount of time calling and awaiting a response for verification is inefficient and time-consuming. Proposal: Similar to banks and other companies that ensure personal information is handled in a secure manner, allow the employee to answer electronically ...more »
Most foreign service officers move into government furnished residences which - because of global contracts - are all furnished with almost identical pieces worldwide. Prior to arrival at Post the officers don't know what furniture they will have, nor what it looks like, nor does the Post ask what furniture the officer wants. This results in the government paying for furniture and moving costs, only to have the officer ...more »
Require agencies to hold annual public auctions for excess agency inventory items (ie desks, chairs, etc) that sit in GSA warehouses for years. The government pays for shipping, storage, and overhead costs that could be reduced annually by selling the excess inventory to state governments, local resellers, or the general public.
Contractors are required to submit Monthly Progress and Financial Reports for the contracts that they typically send electronically then followed by a hard copy via FedEx or Certified Mail. The Government uses the electronic version to ensure that the contractor is in in compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract while the paper version, more often than not takes up space, cost the government in shipping ...more »
If IT services at all federal agencies automatically connects all PCs to at least one printer with capability to print automatically on both sides, and sets double-sided printing as a default setting, paper and toner use could be reduced dramatically. In addition, if all staff in all bureaus/offices could have independent access to networked scanners (rather than depending on support staff for scanning), paperless organization ...more »
I find that the use of cell phones is not adequately managed. I find $500 cell phone bills for many individuals with AFDA, OTI, FFP, DCHA being the more common ones. An analysis reflects that much of this is “ROAMING CHARGES” related to phone calls. It seems to me that one can buy a prepaid SIM card at almost every airport and use these which are significantly cheaper. I understand that there’s the inconvenience ...more »
In many countries cell phones are also issued for security reasons and I do not have a problem with the issuance of these. Please note that landlines are very unreliable here. We have two classes of cell phones – the Blackberry (which gives access to data – e-mails and the like) and another (I do not know the name, which is strictly a cell phone). The policy has been to allow incidental use and we only review costs ...more »
Regarding the nighttime computer shutoff idea: I don’t think it will be feasible to power-off computers under the current software management scheme, but if the USG were to create a Government cloud (using software from Google, Salesforce, etc.), that would greatly reduce operational costs and allow us to more easily access resources using personal computers, laptops, etc. The hardware requirements would be lower than ...more »
Make it easier to book non-contract airline tickets. The federal travel regulations permit booking off-contract when a carrier offers the fare to the general public for cheaper. Sites like Expedia and Kayak almost always have less expensive airfares than contract rates, yet we rarely take that option.
Saving money through “Capacity Building” I work for USAID Mali and I would like to make a proposal to President Obama’s initiative to save money through SAVE ((Securing Americans Value and Efficiency). My proposal relates to “Capacity Building” which is one of USAID principles of Development and Reconstruction Assistance. The idea is to build the capacity of small local businesses to be able to make high quality furniture ...more »
Objectives of Program Management and Reporting System (PMRS) • Reduce the cost of submitting, analyzing, and disseminating information on foreign assistance programs • Improve the quality of information. Main Features • Web-based MIS • Standard reporting formats • On-line submission of work plans, performance management plans, and progress reports by USAID contractors and recipients • Accessible to authorized users ...more »