After suffering a slow-healing black eye for a lavish Las Vegas conference, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has turned to its staff for ideas to save money.
Since unleashing “The Great Ideas Hunt,” GSA employees have offered the beleaguered agency more than 600 ideas to cut costs, eliminate waste and work more efficiently. Then employees voted for their favorites.
Over the summer, GSA put these five to work, claiming they would save the agency more than $5 million:
- Canceling newspaper and magazine subscriptions or choosing online versions of the publications instead of print versions is expected to save up to $630,000 agencywide.
- Doing away with an internal employee survey that largely duplicated the questions on the Office of Personnel ’s all-agency poll—which is free to GSA—will save $1 million a year.
- Asking tenants of GSA-managed buildings to fill out their customer satisfaction surveys online instead of on paper will save $1.2 million a year.
- Programming printers to print on both sides of each sheet of paper could save $2.7 million and reduce the agency’s impact on the environment.
Reaching outside the agency for more ideas could reap more savings. At the suggestion of three employees, GSA created a website to allow federal partners and vendors to share their money-saving ideas.
Contact: Mafara Hobson of GSA, (202) 779-3223.