2013 SAVE Award Announced

Since 2009, the White House has held an annual contest for federal employees to submit their money saving ideas, called the SAVE Award (which stands for Securing Americans Value and Efficiency).  The contest's finalists have their ideas included in the President's next budget submission (or implemented by executive action if possible), and the public votes on the winning idea. The employee who submitted the winning idea gets the chance to explain it directly to the President in the Oval Office.

Last month, the White House had announced four finalists for the SAVE Award. The winner was announced just before the holidays: Kenneth Siehr from the Department of Veterans Affairs, who suggested that patients should be able to track their mailed prescriptions online.

The White House blog explains the idea:

The Department of Veterans Affairs sends the majority of outpatient prescriptions to patients via mail. Currently, in order for Veterans to track the delivery of mailed prescription medications they must call their local VA Medical Center directly. Kenneth recommends saving pharmacy staff time and enhancing customer service by making the package tracking information available to Veterans online through the Veterans Health Administration’s existing web-based portal, MyHealtheVet.

According to the White House, over 80 cost-saving ideas from past recipients of the SAVE reward have been included in the President's Budgets or directly implemented. While these ideas won't solve our fiscal issues, they represent common sense ways to make the government operate more efficiently.