By Secretary Janet Napolitano
Yesterday, President Obama and Vice President Biden announced the “Campaign to Cut Waste” to ensure all cabinet agencies are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and doing everything they can to make the government more efficient. Since the beginning of this Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made an unprecedented commitment to efficiency and fiscal discipline in order to best support our frontline operations.
To date, DHS has identified over $1 billion in cost avoidances and cuts as a result of these efforts. Additionally, our fiscal year 2012 budget request included more than $800 million in reductions associated with administrative savings and Efficiency Review initiatives currently underway, from efforts to buy smarter and manage our real estate and space usage more efficiently, to cutting spending on professional services contracts, printing, supplies and materials, travel, and training.
And just last week, we began implementing an initiative from the 2010 President’s SAVE Award, submitted by Paul Behe, a DHS employee from Customs and Border Protection. This initiative changes current DHS practices by posting notices of seized property online instead of in print newspapers – avoiding approximately $1 million annually in advertising costs.
The Campaign to Cut Waste will establish a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board that will bring together the nation’s top waste, fraud and abuse watchdogs to ensure we bring the kind of unprecedented transparency and accountability we saw in the Recovery Act to all federal spending, and will require Cabinet agencies like DHS to report regularly on their progress in cutting waste and improving effectiveness.
In the current economic environment, all agencies must continue to maximize the effectiveness of every taxpayer dollar we receive. DHS will work closely with our partners across the Federal government on the Campaign to Cut Waste, continuing our unprecedented work to increase the accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness of our services and programs.