President Obama challenged his cabinet at its first meeting on April 20th to collectively cut $100 million from their current administrative budgets. Today, the Office of Management and Budget announced that that goal has been exceeded: $102 million in savings. . . . with additional savings promised for next year of $140 million!
The announcement, in OMB Director Peter Orzag’s blog (institutionally an amazing step for OMB), notes that “These savings reflect the President’s belief that even small savings can add up.” Some examples:
- The Department of Agriculture’s US Forest Service expects to save $1.8 million in FY 2009 by ceasing to re-paint newly purchased vehicles;
- The Department of Justice will save an estimated $4 million in FY 2010 by requiring personnel to make their travel arrangements online, rather than relying on travel agents;
- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will digitize its daily news clips – saving $1,000 per year
And here is his memo to the President summarizing the results in more detail.
The real challenge, however, will be the agencies’ commitments to specific goals as part of the fiscal year 2011 budget process. Those commitments are due to OMB by Friday. I’m sure we’ll learn more soon!