News Briefs

February 6, 1997

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.

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"Many insiders predict that the budget the president will send Congress today will recommend delaying COLAs from January until April for the next five years. If the insiders are right, the delay would apply only to civilian federal retirees, not to military retirees or the much larger group getting Social Security--where big savings could be made" (The Washington Post, Page B2).

DOWNSIZING--"It's been four years since the Clinton administration promised to reduce the size of the federal workforce. It should come as no surprise that the federal workforce has downsized to its lowest level in more than 30 years. If federal downsizing was only about numbers, the data would show that it's been successful" (Government Executive).

SHRINKAGE?--"There have been a lot of exaggerated claims by this administration about how government has been made smaller and more efficient that are laughable if not downright dishonest. There has not been a single federal agency of any significant size that has been closed down. Government has not gotten smaller since President Clinton came into office" (The Washington Times, Page A16).

AROUND GOVERNMENT--Despite budget cuts, the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service will continue to monitor, translate and publish accounts from 3,500 foreign broadcast and press outlets (The Washington Post, Federal Page)...The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hired a special counsel to head an investigation into the illnesses suffered by thousands of U.S. troops who fought in the 1991 Persian Gulf War (The Washington Post, Federal Page).

INTERNET INFO--An international Internet group released its plan yesterday to dramatically increase the number of available addresses in cyberspace while quelling disputes over the use of trademarks in those address names (The Washington Times)...The Internet can help you find a lost friend or a good egg roll (The Wall Street Journal, Personal Technology).

OTHER VIEWS--A reader writes that FEHB is a model program and should be left alone (Prince George's Journal, Lanham, MD, Dec. 30)...FEHB is model for Medicare (Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL, Jan. 16)...A reader responds to a previously published column about FEHBP being a model for Medicare (Greenwich Time, Greenwich, CT, Jan. 14)...Be wary of non-FEGLI insurance solicitors (Flagship, Norfolk, VA, Jan. 16).

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