News Briefs

February 13, 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--"Government workers whose optional retirement nest egg is in the C-fund (stocks) of their tax-deferred thrift savings plan earned an impressive 6.22 percent last month. By comparison, the G-fund (Treasury securities) return was 0.56 percent in January and the F-fund (bond index) return for January was 0.3 percent" (The Washington Post).

HISPANICS--"The 1995 OPM report 'Hispanic Americans in the Federal Government, A Statistical Profile' states that 60 percent of Hispanics in the federal civilian work force occupy professional, administrative, or technical positions in the General Schedule and related pay plans" (Hispanic Business, February).

TECHNOLOGY--"After nearly a decade of development and design work, OPM is scrapping its plans for fully automating the Federal Employee Retirement System. OPM officials will hire a consultant to help them draw up a new blueprint for an alternative to the FERS Automated Processing System (FAPS)" (Government Computer News, February 10)...A consortium of 25 agencies has put more than 500,000 federal workers in touch with their payroll and personnel information through Employee Express (Government Computer News, February 10).

CONSULT WITH CONGRESS--"Before finalizing strategic plans for implementing the Government Performance and Results Act, agencies should sit down with members of Congress and with stakeholders to make sure their efforts are in line with what Congress expects, according to Carl D. DeMaio, director of planning and training at the Congressional Institute, Washington" (FEND's Government Performance Report, February 10).

AROUND GOVERNMENT--"The government faces problems in managing defense programs, collecting taxes, designing computer projects, controlling fraud and waste in benefit programs, minimizing loan program losses and managing contracts at civilian agencies the GAO reported" (The Washington Post)...GAO slams Pentagon management labeling them, "among the worst in the government" (The Washington Post)...The Hatch Act may once again complicate the candidacy of a would-be D.C. Council member (The Washington Post).

OTHER VIEWS--FEHB mentioned in articles on Medicare reform (Physicians Financial News, NY, NY, Jan. 15; Columbian, Vancouver, WA, Jan. 7)...Maryland and D.C. Blue Cross Blue Shield plans to merge (Modern Healthcare, Chicago, IL, Jan. 20)...First Priority Health Plan ranked high (Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA, Jan. 21).

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