News Briefs

October 23, 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.

INVESTIGATIONS WORKING--"So far so good". That was how those involved with the former Office of Personnel Management in Boyers characterized the transition from public to private agency at a U.S. House Civil Service Subcommittee hearing Thursday at the Butler Days Inn. Nearly all of the employees of the federal service, which conducted background checks on potential and current federal workers to determine security clearances, have made the transition to USIS, including about 240 working at the Boyers location" (Butler Eagle, Butler, PA, October 18)..."Last week's U.S. House Civil Service Subcommittee hearing held in Butler revealed that the privatization of the former Office of Personnel Management in Boyers appears to be developing into another success story" (Associated Press, October 21).

THE FEDERAL DIARY--Today's column discusses the 1997 federal retirement COLA and pay raises (The Washington Post).

NO CULPRIT--"There's never a culprit; that's what so frustrating about some of the most recent revelations of racial disparity in American life. One study finds that black federal employees are nearly 2 times more likely to be fired than are white federal workers" But there are no easy answers why (The Washington Post, Courtland Milloy).

HEALTH--A new study of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health says that 31 percent of Americans were without health insurance or had difficulty getting or paying for medical care at some time in the last year (The New York Times)...Almost all federal employees are satisfied with their health insurance, according to an annual survey (The Federal Times).

FEDERAL ISSUES--Civil Service reform may be revived next year...OPM issues new FEHBP open season guide...Women and minorities increase in the SES (Federal Human Resources Week).

OTHER VIEWS--Picatinny Arsenal receives National Partnership Award (Bergen News, Palisades Park, MN, September 11)...Buyout notice is bogus (The Wheel, Norfolk, VA, September 5)...FEHB premiums to rise only 2.4 percent, HMOs to raise rates 1.1 percent for 1997 (Managed Care Week, Washington, DC, September 30)...Report confirms problems with OPM mail order program (Pharmacy Times, Port Washington, NY, September)...Prescription mailings by federal employees has decreased (Drug Topics, Montvale, MN, September 16).

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