So the federal government has been soliciting ideas from rank-and-file federal employees for ways to save money. It received over 38,000 submissions. The Office of Management and Budget selected four finalists on Monday, and now the public can vote for the best idea at (today's the deadline). The winner gets to meet the President, and see his or her idea included in the 2011 budget (the other ideas will likely be implemented as well).

The finalists' ideas include fixing the way national forests deposit revenue, eliminating redundancies in federal housing inspections, sending leftover medication home with veterans leaving VA hospitals (rather than throwing them away) and allowing people to set up Social Security Administration appointments online.

Those sound like good ideas! And frankly, the whole thing begs an obvious question: Could something like this be done here in Philly? Certainly the people providing city services have some good insights about how those services could be improved/provided more efficiently. OK, meeting the mayor may not have the same thrill as meeting the President (no offense, Mayor Nutter), but it could still be pretty cool. And anyway, people in bureacracies talk about ideas like this all the time!

Who do we talk to about making this happen?

UPDATE: "afrishkoff" informs us in comments of the "Employee Incentive Plan," which actually is kind of like this:

Starting July 1, 2004 — Receive a City of Philadelphia key chain just for entering (limit one per person per quarter).

The City Controller Innovative Employee Incentive Plan is a program to make quarterly rewards to City of Philadelphia and School District employees who make innovative suggestions to improve the performance of local government. Employees will receive cash prizes worth up to $500 - matched by gift certificates for some of Philadelphia's best entertainment, cultural, and shopping experiences - for their ideas.

Anyone know if any good ideas have come of this?

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