Case Studies Highlight Efficient and Smarter Spending

Last year, President Obama released Executive Order 13589: Promoting Efficient Spending. This Executive Order promotes agency reductions in the following areas: travel, information technology devices, printing, vehicle fleets, and extraneous promotional items. Certainly, with the perilous state of the federal government’s budget, certainly any savings that can be found and continue to provide the highest quality of services to citizens, should be encouraged.

Jeffrey Zients, wrote in a recent blog post, Spending Less, Spending Smarter:

Federal agencies are hard at work executing on plans to achieve administrative cost savings in these areas. Agencies achieved over $2 billion in reduced costs in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of time in 2010, and we’re announcing today that agencies achieved another $2 billion in savings in the second quarter. That puts us at $4 billion dollars in savings – well on track to meet and exceed our goal of $8 billion by the end of FY 2013.

In the post, Zients mentions four different examples of agencies using technology to help reduce costs and facilitate more efficient spending. The case studies that Zients looks at are really interesting, he provides examples from the USDA, Air Force, Department of the Interior and Social Security Administration.

Zients mentioned the USDA as an agency leading the charge for more efficient government spending. Zients states, “United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is consolidating its cell phone contracts. An analysis of USDA’s cellular inventory showed that USDA had over 700 plans and about 36,000 lines of service. The number of plans has been reduced considerably, and about 1,700 unused and obsolete lines have been discontinued, resulting in savings of approximately $4.7 million this year alone.”

The USDA is a great example, and shows how BYOD and related initiatives can potentially bring cost savings into government. Not surprisingly, the Obama Administration is a supporter of BYOD, and recently announced the BYOD Toolkit for Government Agencies. If you are working on bringing BYOD to your agency, be sure to check this resource out, as the White House has provided you with a template that includes sample policies and great insights on how to manage a BYOD initiative.

Beyond BYOD, I thought the example from the Air Force was an interesting example of cost savings by the Air Force. Zients states, “the Department of the Air Force is putting processes in place to move from an analog world to a digital world – using digital document sharing and collaboration, and E-form and E-publishing. These changes, from paper to electronic, are eliminating printing costs with an estimated savings of over $80 million over the next 5 years.”

The last two examples are from DOI and SSA. The DOI US Fish and WIldlife Service has implemented teleworking initiatives, and SSA has reduced the number of vehicles in their fleet. Be sure to check out Jeff’s post in its entirety.

I’d be curious to learn what initiatives you have taken to comply with EO 13589, and any other cost savings initiatives.

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