News Briefs

August 27, 1997

News Briefs


News Briefs

Conference Announcements

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.

TWO U.S. OFFICIALS TO ATTEND FIRST DAY' IN N. BENNINGTON--"The local, grassroots movement to get parents and the business community more involved with the school system has gained the attention of Washington, D.C. So much so that U.S. Education Secretary Richard Reilly is sending assistant Margarita H. Colmenares to today's First Day of School' program festivities in North Bennington. She will not be alone. Representing the White House will be Janice R. Lachance, the acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Both national officials are charged with helping to carry out President Bill Clinton's goal of increasing community involvement in local school systems" (Bennington (VT) Banner).

HOUSE LEADER FLUNKS AGENCIES' PLANS--"House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) has handed out failing grades to the top federal agencies for inadequately meeting the requirements of a new law aimed at measuring the performance of government programs. Draft strategic plans' prepared by federal agencies for the Government Performance and Results Act left out required elements and did not address major management problems, Armey said in a letter explaining his report card. The Results Act, signed by President Clinton in 1993 as a building block for his reinventing government' initiative, gave the agencies time to prepare the five-year strategic plans, which are supposed to be published next month" (The Washington Post).

THE FEDERAL DIARY--"In this era of heightened awareness and political correctness, federal workers who want to keep getting a paycheck should be very careful about what they say. Or write. E-mail and fax machines can transmit touchy terms around the world faster than you can say five day suspension'".... "The Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund today will present $36,000 worth of college scholarships to children of federal and postal workers" (The Washington Post).

TRYING TO MAKE LABOR WORK--"Once the teamsters strike at United Parcel Service of America was settled last week, it was hard to find Alexis M. Herman. After the initial round of triumphant news conferences on the night of Aug. 18, Ms. Herman, the new Labor Secretary who played a widely praised role in keeping the talks going when both sides seemed ready to quit, just wanted to go on vacation....But even as Ms. Herman has refused to preen in the afterglow of the strike, her newfound celebrity is providing her an opportunity to advance a more progressive agenda affecting business and workers that as in the case of the Labor Department itself has languished for years in Washington's liberal backwaters" (The New York Times).

CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT: THE TOP TEN "DO'S" FOR INSPECTORS GENERAL--OPM's General Counsel Lorraine Lewis offers the ten Do's' for Inspector Generals who serve as witnesses for oversight hearings. (The Journal of Public Inquiry, Summer 1997).

BUSINESSES COMPETE TO MAKE THE GRADE AS GOOD WORKPLACES--"This year's crop of lists of the best places to work' is bigger and more useful than ever....Why are employers bothering to compete on soft stuff'--work-life programs, workplace quality and career-advancement offerings? Listings and awards give winners an edge in the tightening market for skilled workers, who are increasingly savvy about the huge effect different workplace cultures can have on their lives and careers" (The Wall Street Journal).


Access America Conferences

The National Performance Review (NPR), will launch a series of informational conferences aimed at providing government employees and private industry IT officials with techniques and strategies for implementing the goals of Access America, an NPR report outlining steps to increase access--via the Internet--to government services. The first conference will be held September 25 in Baltimore, Md. and then will travel to other cities across the country. Expert panels will discuss IT topics, including Internet/Intranet successes, the future of Distance Learning and collaboration, IT acquisition and procurement reform, and privacy and security.

DTIC Annual Conference

The Defense Technical Information Center is presenting its Annual Users Meeting and Training Conference on Nov. 3-6, 1997 at the DoubleTree Hotel, National Airport, Arlington, Va. The conference theme is Information in the New Millenium. Contact Ms. Julia Foscue at 703-767-8236 or by e-mail at

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