News Briefs

May 22, 1997

News Briefs


Conference Announcements

News Briefs


10th Annual Federal Quality Conference

Get more information on this special conference and download a brochure and registration forms from our special conference section.

U.S. Navy International Logistics Symposium

Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton will be a guest speaker at a three-day International Logistics Symposium sponsored by the Navy International Programs Office in conjunction with the American Society of Naval Engineers, July 14-16, 1997, at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crystal City, VA. Representatives from government, industry and foreign nations will meet to exchange ideas and review exhibits on a variety of logistics topics related to the Navy's Foreign Military Sales program. For program information contact NAVSEA (703) 602-9000.

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.

**TSP OPEN SEASON**The Thrift Savings Plan Open Season began last week and ends July 31. During this time, you may begin contributing to the TSP, change the amount of your TSP contributions, or allocate TSP contributions to your account among the three investment funds. To get more information and download the forms you will need, click here.

VOLUNTARY EARLY RETIREMENT--OPM is extending Fiscal Year (FY) 1997 voluntary early authority retirement to help agencies planning for possible use of voluntary separation incentive payments during the first quarter of FY 1998 (Office of Communications News Release, 5/21/97).

THE FEDERAL DIARY -- Although the "voluntary contributions" program has been available for decades -- and currently pays a government-guaranteed annual interest rate of 6.88 percent -- many federal workers get nothing but blank looks when they request information on it (The Washington Post, 5/22/97).

CHILD CARE--The government's child-care system needs to raise $10 million more per year to make day care more affordable for low-income federal employees, the General Services Administration said (The Washington Post).

GOVERNMENT HIRING GOVERNMENT--When the FAA announced that it was looking for someone new to operate its computer systems for payroll, personnel and flight safety, several of industry's biggest players came knocking. When they announced that the winner was the U.S. Department of Agriculture, private contractors objected (The Washington Post).

ENERGY BILLS--The federal government, the nation's largest landlord, will undertake a $5 billion renovation of its buildings to cut energy bills by about one quarter, and all the money will come from private companies, according to Energy Secretary Frederico F. Pena (The Washington Post).

HMO--When health-maintenance organizations began as competitors to traditional health insurance, their benefits for prescriptions were often richer. With drug costs rising, some HMOs are giving groups of physicians a monthly drug budget, penalizing them if they go over it and letting them share in the savings if they stay below it (New York Times).

OF INTEREST--Handwriting analysts can read a whole lot into your signature. Graphology is taken quite seriously in some countries, especially in Europe (The Washington Post)

WORKFARE PAY--A controversial minimum-wage exemption for some welfare recipients who work, will be introduced by the Republicans into the budget (The Wall Street Journal, 5/22/97).

FLEXITIME ISSUES--The AFL-CIO used its political muscle to block Senate consideration of a bill that would allow employees to create flexible work schedules so they could take time off to be with their families (The Washington Times, 5/22/97)...Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, speaks in favor of the GOP's flexitime bill. (The Washington Times, CULTURE et cetera 5/22/97).

FEDERAL LIFE INSURANCE--Federal life insurance benefits tend to cost federal employees more and sometimes provide them with less than the private sector (Federal Human Resources Week (5/12/97).

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