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

November 9, 2011
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Within 45 days, agencies will develop plans to reduce combined costs in the following areas to 20 percent below Fiscal Year 2010 levels by Fiscal Year 2013.

1) Reduce Spending on Travel and Conferences: The Executive Order directs agencies to decrease travel and conference-related spending. Increasingly, travel will be limited to circumstances where the activity can only be performed away from the employee’s primary office (e.g., a diplomatic mission or enforcement inspection).

2) Cut Duplicative and Unnecessary Employee Information Technology Devices: Some federal employees are issued more devices (e.g. cell phones, smartphones, laptops, tablet personal computers) than they need to fulfill their duties. In other cases, IT devices are purchased, but go unused. The Executive Order directs each agency to limit the number of devices issued to employees and establish new policies to ensure they are not paying for IT equipment that isn’t being used.

3) End Unnecessary Printing and Put It Online: In the digital age, it is frequently unnecessary to spend money on printed documents in addition to making information available online for the public. The Executive Order directs agencies to provide written information electronically and limit the production of hard copy documents. Examples of steps currently being taken are:

• The Department of the Treasury plans to reduce spending on printing by increasing the number of paperless transactions it conducts with the public. In total, Treasury expects this initiative will reduce printing costs by up to 24 percent in Fiscal Year 2012. Treasury’s initiative to increase the number of paperless transactions it conducts with the public is expected to save more than $500 million and 12 million pounds of paper over its first five years alone.

• Last year, Trudy Givens won the President’s SAVE Award for her suggestion that we stop printing and shipping excess Federal Registers to Federal Government Offices, which costs millions of dollars per year, when the content is available online. As a result, the Obama Administration cut the number of copies that Federal agencies receive by 85 percent within the past year, and continues to cut back even more.

4) Limit Motor Vehicles: The Federal Government spends $9 million per year on vehicles just to shepherd itself around Washington DC. The Executive Order limits executive transportation across the federal government and directs agencies to improve the performance of the Federal fleet.

5) Stop Swag—or Government Promotional Handouts: The Executive Order directs agencies to stop wasting taxpayer money on non-essential items used for promotional purposes, such as clothing, mugs, and non-work related gadgets.

• For instance, several months ago the Department of the Treasury issued a directive to all of its bureaus to avoid purchasing any goods that could be considered frivolous or unnecessary, and to ensure that all purchases have a clear nexus with the Department’s mission and operations.

Source: The Whitehouse.
 
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