Department of Commerce

Get rid of Daylight Savings Time

Eliminate Daylight Savings Time (DST) once and for all. It is a waste of time (no pun) and resources and there are no recent studies that prove it actually saves anything. Over the years, limited studies have yielded contradictory data showing negligible savings or benefits to retailers. DST is more likely costing money than saving it.

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Department of Commerce

Put NTIS reports online: save $ and unleash economic development

The massive trove of technical reports at the National Technical Information Service, a branch of the Dept of Commerce, should be posted online for free public use to spur economic development and save agency operating expense. NTIS holds over 3 million government technical reports, written by government contractors and agency laboratories. All of these reports are unclassified and designated as public. A large fraction... more »

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Department of Commerce

Union

If you must have a union then you need to have employees that work specifically for the union. Make that their 9-5 job. We currently have employees that are NEVER at their job station because they are always working for the union or called away from their desk. Which causes alot of animosity with the remaining employees in the area who work everyday. Also, these employees that work for the union are away from their regular... more »

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Department of Commerce

Retired but rehired (double, tripple dipping)

I think that when a person chooses to retire that they should not be allowed to be rehired. This costs the government money for retirement which is fair, but then the government needs to pay the employee a salary on top of the retirement at the higher salary. This also prevents younger people being hired (at a lower salary) because the slot is still be taken by the person retired. We need to save and embrace youth.... more »

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Department of Commerce

Revolutionize the National Weather Service

By centralizing the National Weather Service (NWS), a very substantial savings could be realized with absolutely no degradation of services to weather, hydrologic and climate forecasts and warnings provided to the American public. As it stands, 122 Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) provide weather forecasts and warnings for remote areas through the use of remote data collection and nationally produced forecast models.... more »

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Department of Commerce

Government Wide Procurement System

As a Contracting Officer, I've worked in several different procurement offices, under several different agencies. The procurement system (software) used at each of these offices has also been different. The system I am currently using is very old, inefficient, cumbersome, and limited in its abilities. The biggest obsticle is the time and effort it takes to learn a new system when transferring to a different agency.... more »

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Department of Commerce

Eliminate the Need for Multiple Original Signatures

I work in the procurement field. As a Contracting Officer, I am required to sign three original copies of every contract and modification; one for the file, one for the vendor, and one for finance.

Why does finance need an original signature? It seems an electronic copy would suffice. While working for a different agency, we always used email and fax to send signed copies of contracts and mods out to vendors. We... more »

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Department of Commerce

Deobligation of Insignificant Remaining Contract Funds

As a Contracting Officer, I deobligate (remove) excess funds on expired contracts on a regular basis. Oftentimes, these deobligations are an insignificant amount of money. I’ve seen deobligations for as little as a $.01. Any deobligation we complete requires a contract modification. The entire process can take hours and cost the Government hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Any deobligation modification is supposed... more »

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Department of Commerce

Government Run Training Center

Instead of going to vendors for training, why not setup government run training centers for all government employee training needs. Utilize government employees as the trainers when possible. Utilize empty space/buildings that are already owned by the government. This could save millions in the long run.

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Department of Commerce

Utilize Other Organization Damage Assessments

After severe weather strikes an area, the NWS sends scores of people - often in overtime status - to survey damage. Likewise, local emergency managers, American Red Cross, and other organizations conduct similar assessments in the same area. Utilizing and sharing ALL of the assessments would reduce the amount of time / money the NWS spends on conducting assessments.

The cost of these 'surveys' can be substantial,... more »

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Department of Commerce

Travel allowance for phone calls home

Travel regulations allow employees to claim phone calls home, not to exceed $6 per lodging night. There was a day when this allowance made sense, but that time has passed. The majority of higher ranking federal government employees carry a government issued cell phone (blackberry, etc.). And almost all employees carry personal cell phones. They are not paying any additional expense to call home whle traveling. It's... more »

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Department of Commerce

Calculate U.S. import duties on the CIF value of goods.

Currently the U.S. is the only country in the world that calculates its import duties based on the FAS value of goods imported. Every other country in the world calculates import duties on the CIF value of goods. The difference between the two is the FAS value is determined at the port of export exclusive of shipping costs while the CIF value calculates duties on the value of the goods plus the cost of shipping. Such... more »

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Department of Commerce

Common sense travel

This may have changed by now but years ago my wife had to travel to an area of the country where she grew up. Her parents still lived there so she stayed with them instead of getting a hotel room. Her travel from their house to the conference, via train was refused. Next time, she stayed at the hotel at a far greater cost to the taxpayers. Their needs to be a person(s) in each agency that you can review your travel plans... more »

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Department of Commerce

Several cost saving ideas

1) On all Automatic Surface Observation Systems across the country are still using incandescent obstruction lights. Solution, replace incandescent bulbs with LED lights; the Federal Aviation Administration has done this with their airfield communication & navigation equipment.

2) Phase out wind profiler radar systems. The National Weather Service is currently using several noncommissioned wind profiler radar systems... more »

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