News Briefs

October 22, 1996

News Briefs

The following news summaries are from OPM AM, the daily newsletter of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM AM is available on OPM Mainstreet, the agency's electronic bulletin board, at 202-606-4800.

WORK ON THE WEB--"Labor Secretary Robert Reich and OPM Director James King announce Internet site to help federal workers with job search and career transition assistance. The site's Internet address is: (The Washington Post, In Brief)...The site provides up-to-date information on the rights and benefits of federal employees affected by downsizing. It includes a broad range of tools that displaced employees can use to realize new career opportunities in both the private and public sectors. It also connects with the government's comprehensive job-listing service, USA Jobs, located at (Office of Communications News Release, October 21).

GOVERNMENT REFORM--"Four years ago, the Democratic staff of the House committee that oversees federal operations calculated the government faced losses of about $300 billion because of waste, fraud and mismanagement. Now the committee, led by Republicans, puts the number at $350 billion. The review by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, issued as Congress adjourned, serves as a reminder that change comes slowly in the government, despite occasional efforts on the Hill and in the executive branch that stress the need for improved efficiency and effectiveness in federal programs" The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, released a report criticizing the administration's reinvention efforts. The report predicted that government-owned assets like highways and dams will eat up budget dollars since they are in such disrepair. The report concluded that most government entitlement programs will soon run out of cash. (The Washington Post).

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"The Labor Department and OPM launched a new Internet Web site yesterday to help feds nationwide track jobs and get career transition assistance"...It is not likely Congress will approve a bill next year that would allow federal workers to contribute as much as $9,500 annually to their thrift savings plans...OPM has published is FEHB Guide for 1997. Copies of the guide are available at agency health benefit offices (The Washington Post).

PARTNERSHIP--The partnership between San Antonio Air Force Logistics Center and AFGE Local 1617 has produced a number of tangible accomplishments that are not out of the reach of other organizations. Among them: reduced injuries, lower costs and improved customer service (Federal Human Resources Week, October 21).

THE FEDERAL TIMES--1997 retiree COLA set at 2.9 percent...More Hispanic employees are turning to the courts, claiming their agencies are holding them back...The upcoming elections could change the leadership of congressional committees that control pay, retirement benefits, health insurance and jobs (The Federal Times, October 28).

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