News Briefs

February 25, 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--"Military veterans would get additional fireproofing during federal layoffs under a fast-track bill expected to clear the House Government Reform and Oversight civil service subcommittee this week. The bill would make it illegal for agencies to tailor reductions in force to make it easier to get rid of employees with veterans preference" (The Washington Post).

DOUBLE ZERO--"The GAO warned for the first time yesterday that some of the government's computers will stop working in 2000 because agencies will not be able to finish reprogramming their equipment to understand years that do not begin with 19'" (The Washington Post).

TEAM FAILURE--"The best-attended session every year at the International Conference on Work Teams is Why Teams Fail.' It's been standing-room-only eight years running. But the dais never changes: It is stocked with consultants. No company officials will stand up to talk about team failure. Nobody wants to talk about the difficulties of moving millions of well-conditioned hierarchical workers and managers into the uncharted waters of teamwork" (USA TODAY).

NO MORE PRIVATE OFFICES--Du Pont is moving 300 employees from private offices into cubicles. When employees learned they would lose their private offices there was nearly a revolt. The layout is believed to be conducive to collaboration -- cubicles promote teamwork and savings (New York Times).

TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS--Two new transportation programs -- Guaranteed Ride Home and Employer Service -- are expected "to contribute to a reduction in area traffic congestion" (TRB News, February).

DEBUGGERS--"Hiring of urban entomologists rises as ecological sensitivity calls for higher skills with pesticides" (The Wall Street Journal, Work Week).

OTHER VIEWS--Mrs. Green joins Amtrak (Washington Afro-American, Washington, DC, Feb. 1)...The year 2000 is a computer time bomb (Gazette Telegraph, Jan. 26).

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