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Suggestion Awards

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"Every working day, millions of public sector employees go to offices, operate vehicles, repair machines, maintain highways, assist the disadvantaged, enforce our laws, protect the fragile ecology, and perform myriads of services for the public good. Through experience, they know how operations are performed in the most intimate detail. They are at the point of delivery and understand why efforts are successful, as well as when they fail and why they fail. Day in and day out, government workers see opportunities to better service delivery and reduce costs. They have important and vital concepts about improvement that need to be nurtured and encouraged in some systematic manner."

- (Employee Innovation and Government Productivity. Edward H. Downey and Walter L. Balk, 1976.)


The Employee Suggestion Award Program of the County of Kern is designed to encourage employees to bring good ideas to the attention of management, and to reward employees for their contributions to operating County systems in an innovative, efficient manner.

The program provides benefits in the following ways, to:

  • the County, by promoting innovation, efficiency, cost savings, safety, and improved services to our customers;
  • employees, by giving them recognition and cash awards for their good ideas, making their work safer and more efficient, and giving them an opportunity for creativity; and
  • the taxpayer, by providing better customer service and reducing costs.

How to Submit a Suggestion

  1. Review the program description/purpose to see if your idea generally meets the guidelines of an acceptable suggestion. Questions may also be addressed to Suggestion Award staff at (661) 868-3198.
  2. Fill out the Employee Suggestion Award Application
  3. Send the filled-in form and any supporting documentation (charts, graphs, printouts, etc.) to:

Employee Suggestion Award Coordinator
County Administrative Office
1115 Truxtun Avenue, Fifth Floor
Bakersfield, CA 93301


Suggestion Evaluation Process

After receiving a suggestion, the Suggestion Award staff will review the suggestion and may also ask the affected department(s) to evaluate the suggestion as needed. After receiving the departmental evaluation(s), the Suggestion Award Committee will make a final decision regarding the suggestion and will notify the affected department(s) and the employee(s) who made the suggestion.


Award Winners

Since its inception in October 1990, the Employee Suggestion Award Committee has processed 277 suggestions received from County employees.

Awards for approved suggestions fall into two categories:

  • Tangible Awards: Suggestions that result in tangible savings in costs or increases in revenues to the County. The amount of tangible awards is based upon 20% of the first year's savings/revenue, with a maximum award of $10,000.
  • Intangible Awards: Suggestions that result in benefits to the County that cannot be easily measured in dollars, such as improvements in safety, working conditions, morale, or services. An intangible award may also be made instead of a tangible award when the tangible benefits are difficult to quantify. Intangible award amounts range from $100 to $1,000.

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