"Dear Administrator Bolden: At your urging below (and that of many employees who contacted me since your email), I submitted the following 1000-character SAVE award proposal.
Reversing Full-Cost Recovery of Civil Service Salary at NASA: Directly allocate civil-servant salary to NASA Centers in FY10 Op Plan. In 2004, NASA buried salary in program funds allowing improper re-allocation with little transparency or accountability. Tracking labor under this new policy wastes at least $50 million annually. The process requires at least a half-dozen additional outsourced accountants per Center (>$10 million in needless procurement but perhaps twice that).
It diverts 10-20% of management time planning and accounting for 18,000 Full-Time Equivalents down to the 0.1 level ($40-80 million in lost productivity). Because this system leaves Centers underfunded, funds for safety and environmental compliance are often diverted to cover salary shortfall. Morale of technical employees has been adversely impacted with a reduction in productivity of 5% or more (> $100 million). Thus, reversing "full-cost recovery" would instantly save NASA $10-20 million in unnecessary procurement and $40-180 million in lost productivity annually.
Although we all recognize that this policy was the brain child of a less-than-benevolent predecessor, as the current Administrator, you now own this policy.
You are empowered to stop this practice right away and to restore Center management control over their civil-service salary obligations without waiting for White House or Congressional direction. I respectfully ask that you do so as soon as possible, before more vital NASA funds go down the drain.
President, IFPTE local 30 and NCIL IFPTE, AFL-CIO"
[For more information on Full-Cost Recovery, see: http://www.afeu.org/blog/?p=62 ]
From: Centerwide Announcement [mailto:CenterWide@arcwmail.arc.nasa.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:37 PM
To: Recipient List Supressed
Subject: Message from the NASA Administrator - The President's SAVE Award Contest
Message from the NASA Administrator
The President's SAVE Award Contest Do you have a smart idea for how NASA can trim costs and save taxpayer dollars? Submit your cost-saving initiative to http://www.SaveAward.gov for potential inclusion in the President's budget and become the first-ever Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award winner. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Oct. 14. The winner will meet with President Obama at the White House and have his or her savings initiative incorporated into the FY 2011 budget. In addition, the agency with the most participation in the contest will receive an award. In a radio address on April 25, 2009, the President called for "a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better."
The President's SAVE Award will fulfill this commitment by enabling any federal employee to submit ideas for efficiencies and savings as part of the annual budget process. This contest is part of a larger effort to make sure we invest taxpayer dollars in programs and initiatives that have proven records of success and fix or end programs that do not.
All submissions are confidential, and can be made at http://www.SaveAward.gov .
The deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 14, and the winner will be announced in November. I urge you to participate in the SAVE Award contest at http://www.SaveAward.gov not only so NASA can win the award for the best participation, but also because this effort is an important way to give the American people a government that does more for less.
Thank you for your support of this effort and for participating in the President's SAVE Award contest.