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President Obama Seeks to Stop ‘Unnecessary Printing,’ Spending on Swag

November 9, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC—Nov. 09, 2011—President Obama announced he would sign an Executive Order that will cut waste and promote more efficient spending across the federal government. With this order, the President is directing agencies to
  • reduce spending on travel;
  • limit the number of information technology devices (e.g. cell phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops) that can be issued to individual employees;
  • stop unnecessarily printing of documents that can be posted online;
  • shrink the executive fleet of the federal government; and
  • stop using taxpayer dollars to buy swag—the plaques, clothing, and other unnecessary promotional items that agencies purchase.

(Details of the cuts in each area are provided on page 2.)

Overall spending in the areas covered by the Executive Order will be reduced by 20 percent, saving billions.

This Executive Order builds on the progress that has already been made through the Campaign to Cut Waste. At President Obama’s direction this Administration has taken up an unprecedented effort to downsize the Federal real estate footprint, and is on track to save $3.5 billion in Federal real estate costs by the end of Fiscal Year 2012. The Administration has cracked down on waste in contracting, cutting contracting spending for the first time in more than a dozen years and slashing spending on “no bid contracts” by $5 billion.

In addition to today’s Executive Order signing, the White House will announce this year’s SAVE (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) Award finalists. The SAVE Award was launched in 2009 to seek ideas from frontline federal employees to make government more effective and efficient and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

This year, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received nearly 20,000 ideas from across the country. With the announcement of the four finalists, voting will now begin to select the SAVE Award winner. Anyone can vote for his or her favorite idea on The winner of this year’s SAVE Award will come to the White House to present their idea to the President.

The four finalists are:
  • Matthew Ritsko, a NASA employee from Maryland, who suggested the creation of a tool “lending library” to avoid duplicative purchases of expensive tools;
  • Eileen Hearty, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employee from Colorado, who suggested that it’s unnecessary to travel to inspect superior-rated properties each and every year;
  • Kevin Korzenieski, a Treasury employee in DC, who suggested that we stop purchasing U.S. Code books for all new attorneys given the availability of the information online; and
  • Faith Stanfield, a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee from Ohio, who suggested SSA stop printing and mailing OASIS magazine—which currently is distributed to nearly 90,000 SSA employees—and simply make it available online.



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