News Briefs

January 7, 1997

News Briefs

The following items are taken directly from the National Performance Review's Web site "Latest Additions" news area:

PC Computing Magazine (December 1996) named Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review Website as one of 1,001 Best out of two million. See the other 1,000 on Select "Government and Politics". For some reason, NPR's site is listed under "U.S. Military". In the hard copy, it's under "U.S. Federal".

Federal Volunteers Needed to Work on Blue Pages

The General Services Administration needs federal workers as volunteers to work with about 30 companies that publish 6,200 phone directories over the nation. Most federal government listings in the telephone directory blue pages read like an agency's organization chart--names of offices, not services. All that is changing. GSA is leading a Reinventing Government effort to improve government blue pages. More than 200 federal employees in 25 federal agencies received the Vice President's Hammer Award on November 15 for their work in phase 1 of the project. All the major phone companies across the country are participating as partners. Within the next few months, 18 million households in 10 cities will see improved blue pages.

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.

SHARING THE DAY--"For the first time since 1986, when the third Monday of January was set as a federal holiday honoring the civil rights leader (Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.), the date of the inauguration, set in the Constitution, falls on the same day . . . But although the inauguration and King's birthday observance both fall on Jan. 20, government workers here will get only one day off. Those who do have to work during the inauguration will get holiday pay -- for one holiday, not two" (The Washington Post).

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee -- maker or breaker of civil service legislation -- organizes today . . . .The lineup is important to 5 million federal workers, retirees and their survivors". . . and . . ."Most federal workers who are paid special higher rates because they are in hard-to-fill jobs will get a 2.3 percent raise this month" (The Washington Post).

SOCIAL SECURITY--"A long-awaited report that calls for investing some Social Security taxes in the stock market was released Monday but failed to gain significant support from President Clinton and congressional leaders" (USA TODAY).

FEDERAL ISSUES--Work force restructuring law helps limit pay hikes . . ."Vice President Al Gore's recent endorsement of the performance based organization concept has set off a flurry of planning throughout the government" . . . No changes planed in the top leadership of NPR (FEND Government Performance Report, December 30).

COMMUNICATING--"Expression is not just a matter of learning a rich vocabulary; it's being comfortable with saying what you feel or think, and saying it with force . . . That force is partly the choice of words, but it's also a spirited body language. Nobody likes to listen to a voice that doesn't move" (The Washington Post).

JOB-SEARCH CLUBS--"Suddenly losing your job can be like being thrown into a lake without knowing how to swim. The initial shock is followed by the terror that you don't have the sills to escape your predicament." Many managers left to fend for themselves (after losing their jobs) are turning to the camaraderie offered by joining a free or low-cost job club (The Wall Street Journal, "Managing Your Career").

OTHER VIEWS--There's help in selecting affordable health care (Journal Messenger, Manassas, VA, November 30)...AMA officials say FEHBP could be used as model for revamping Medicare (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA, December 50...OPM enhances benefits for children of feds (Chief, NY, NY, December 6).

OF INTEREST--Training organizations say they offer more seminars on how to reverse bad attitudes among employees (The Wall Street Journal, Work Week).

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