Social Security Administration

Disability Transitional Age Reform for Social Security benefits

As federal officials and lawmakers explore raising the retirement age in order to cut the federal deficit, consideration should also be given to raising the “transitional age” for disability purposes. Lawmakers and federal officials have emphasized adjusting the retirement age and delaying eligibility for SSA retirement benefits to cut the federal deficit. To my knowledge, no consideration has been given to adjusting ...more »

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Department of Energy

System for Document Routing, Collaboration System

DOE lacks a document management system that would facilitate collaboration and approval routings across the entire Department. Such a system would save much time expended individually routing documents and soliciting feedback. The right system could replace RevCom, the antiquated directives review system. This would hasten reviews and responses to comments.

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Department of the Treasury

Publications on initial contact

Currently, policy requires that Publication 1 and Notice 609 are sent with the initial contact letter and the appointment confirmation letter during an examination. If these letters were rewritten to include the highlights from the Publication 1 and Notice 609, and then add a reference to the IRS website and the publications online. This would eliminate about four pages of material in every exam, and would only require ...more »

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Department of Defense

Documentation of Office Practices

In the Corps of Engineers, we are required to operate based on our business processes as published in the Project Management Business Plan. However, there is a missing step between the "process" and the work. This step is called a "practice." If we can standardize how these practices are documented, we can train new employees faster. USACE is a relatively high-turnover organization. Our productivity dips with every rotation ...more »

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Department of Energy

End ethanol mandate, not just subsidy

It's time for this department to stand up and teach Congress about why ethanol is not working and will never work with corn. Actually, it should take a stance on many things currently misunderstood. You already spend money on the research, now bring it forward to decision makers. I say ethanol first because the subsidy is now under review. Great first step in removing that, but the mandate on fuel mix by volume still ...more »

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Department of Defense

Change Policy That Incentivises Spending

Currently Federal organizations are all given annual budgets. These budgets are determined through the amount of money spent in the previous year. Thus, if the organization does not spend all of the current fiscal year's funds, the subsequent year's funds are decreased. As a result, a conspicuous incentive to spend all funds allotted for that fiscal year to retain the amount of funds for the proceeding year exists. In ...more »

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Social Security Administration

Policy Specialists via Instant Message

Working day to day in the FO I have come to realize that there is typically a lot of confusion when it comes to POMS interpretation. Many of my colleuges have trouble researching policy in POMS, especially in the heat of the moment when they are meeting with claimant's (often times angry). I recommend instituting specialists who you can instantly ask policy questions to via instant message and they are able to immediatly ...more »

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General Services Administration

Each Agency to Create an Environmental Policy Board (EPB)

Each agency will create an Environmental Policy Board (EPB), consisting of one representative per office/division within the agency. The purpose of the EPB is to create and implement one new environmental policy each month for the entire agency to follow. The EPB will meet monthly to discuss important steps the agency can take to save the environment, which will in turn save the federal government money. Since ...more »

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Department of Veterans Affairs

Office Energy Policy

Mandate that each office has a responsible energy policy. Even bathrooms at federal buildings use a lot of water when toliets are flushed. The amount of water used per flushed could be decreased. Lights do not need to be left on all the time. The office could install motion detectors that switch power off of lights (or electrical outlets) 2 hours after movement has stopped. Items still plugged into an outlet ...more »

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Department of the Interior

Create an Innovation Office to drive change, policy and research

Ideas, new or old that equal better, faster, and cheaper for the organization need a place to be given life and funding. Every organization should have an office tasked with driving innovation throughout the organization. Policy and research should be housed within this office, and the office should be also be tasked with gathering employee ideas and then turning them into new programs, projects, policies and research ...more »

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Department of Transportation

Cross-Validate Telework and IT Policies

In my agency, and I presume others, the telework policy and the IT security policy directly contradict each other. DOT and other organizations need to support telework and IT security uniformly by validating all relevant policies against each other to make sure that the necessary and relevant guidance is uniform. This will reduce confusion during planning and implementation allowing for maximum participation in telework, ...more »

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