Guest blog post by Commerce Chief Information Officer Simon Szykman 
Last summer, President Obama launched the Campaign to Cut Waste, saying, “No amount of waste is acceptable, not when it’s your money. Just as families are living within their means, government should too, so we can invest in the things that we know will create good jobs and grow the economy.”
We’re doing just that at the Commerce Department.
This campaign is an administration-wide effort to make government more transparent and accountable to the American people. As part of this ongoing initiative, the Commerce Department is looking for new ways to boost efficiencies and to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. The Department’s fiscal year 2013 budget request identified a total of $176 million in savings through lower-cost acquisitions, reduced overhead expenses, and better management of facilities and vehicles.
Today, we’re launching a blog series to highlight some of these Department-wide efforts to eliminate wasteful spending and support an economy built to last.
Earlier this month, the Commerce Department announced a plan to reduce the amount of money we spend on software and services provided by Adobe Systems, Inc. Adobe products and services are used extensively throughout our department to support the work we do to help U.S. businesses and the general public.
We’re partnering with Alvarez and Associates—a small business owned by a service-disabled veteran—to save more than $1 million over the next five years on Adobe products that the Department of Commerce is already using. We anticipate that this agreement will reduce the Department’s spending on Adobe products and services by up to 40 percent.
Because the Department of Commerce purchases a large volume of Adobe products each year, we were able to leverage our existing purchasing power to achieve these significant cost savings. It is wise spending decisions like these that will enable Commerce to focus resources on our primary mission: serving the American public and supporting businesses as they innovate, grow, and create jobs here at home. I am pleased that in reaching this agreement, we were able to work with a company like Alvarez and Associates, because one of our main priorities is to support small businesses that create jobs and strengthen our economy.
Moving forward, we will continue to find more win-wins that allow us to spend our resources more wisely—making smart spending decisions that allow us to reinvest into our core mission areas, maximizing the impact of taxpayer dollars.