Search the Site

Tighter Government, One Nudge at a Time

The federal government may have a reputation for being a bit slow and bloated, but a new concept, the President’s SAVE award, hopes to change some of that. Begun in 2009 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it’s “a contest for federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently.” (Where was this program when John Szilagyi needed it?) During the first submission window, the OMB received nearly 40,000 ideas within three weeks; the best ideas were passed to the appropriate government agencies. One idea is already bound for implementation: the Department of Homeland Security “announced that it is changing the default setting for its payroll statements from paper to electronic … By making e-statements the default option, while giving employees the option to opt out in favor of the paper statement, we hope to increase the percentage of federal employees who use this approach while saving the taxpayers’ money.” We have truly entered the Land of the Nudge. (HT: Zeke Emanuel)