Federal agencies “are well on track” to exceed the administration’s savings goal of $8 billion by the end of FY2013, according to Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Zients reported on the OMB website that agencies have already achieved $4 billion in reduced costs during the first half of FY2012–$2 billion in the first quarter and $2 billion in the second quarter. Zients cited the “innovative management practices” agencies have implemented this year as spurring this success. “We are spending less money, and we’re spending it smarter in order to get the most bang from our buck,” he wrote.
These savings are being achieved through efforts under the “Campaign to Cut Waste” initiated last year by Executive Order 13589, “Promoting Efficient Spending.” This order directed agencies to develop plans to save money in federal printing, vehicle fleet operations, and travel.
Zients cited numerous examples of agency savings successes. The Air Force is implementing processes to move from an analog to a digital environment by implementing digital document sharing and collaboration and moving to E-form and E- publishing. Zients estimates that these efforts will result in more than $80 million in savings over five years.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is moving to consolidate over 700 cell phone plans and 36,000 lines of service. Through this effort USDA has discontinued 1,700 unused or obsolete lines for savings of almost $5 million this year, according to Zients.
To achieve savings in its vehicle fleet operations, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is cutting the number of vehicles it has in service and reducing petroleum use and leasing expenses. At the same time, Zients reported, SSA is modernizing its fleet with alternative-fuel vehicles.