Ideas from the Front Line

Public employees often get a bad rap, but that's not always the case in Washington State, where its employees are honored each year for the...
by | June 17, 2007

Public employees often get a bad rap, but that's not always the case in Washington State, where its employees are honored each year for the most creative, innovative, efficient ideas that save taxpayers money. The Washington State Productivity Board administers the Employee Suggestion Program and the Teamwork Incentive Program, which both offer cash incentives to state employees who suggest money-saving improvements. The board, which includes representatives from state agencies, higher education, private businesses and organized labor, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Since 1982, it has saved taxpayers more than $53 million -- a figure that only reflects savings collected during the first year ideas were implemented. This year's winners of the board's 2007 Innovation in State Government Awards saved the state more $3 million in 2006. One such innovative solution was from State Patrol Lt. Kenneth Noland, who suggested posting radar and laser guns' calibration tests on the Internet to keep tickets from being dismissed in court because of lost documentation. To learn more, visit www.secstate.wa.gov/productivityboard.