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OPM to solicit contracts for dental and vision coverage in September

August 11, 2005 The Office of Personnel Management reaffirmed its obligation this week to offering federal workers supplemental dental and vision benefits. OPM plans to post a synopsis of its solicitation for contracts on its Web site for public comment by Aug. 16. A full solicitation for contract applications is scheduled to be...

Life-Cycle Variety

August 11, 2005 Less than two weeks after rolling out the new "life-cycle" funds, Thrift Savings Plan administrators say 39,398 participants have poured $1.8 billion into the funds. That's a lot of money changing hands in one week, but the 401(k)-style retirement savings plan for federal employees has about $159 billion total invested...

Cost of Defense personnel reforms questioned

August 10, 2005 Bush administration and union officials disagree about the cost of implementing the Defense Department's pending personnel system. The system, dubbed the National Security Personnel System, was first laid out in the Federal Register in February. The regulations proposed a system with performance-based pay and lessened collective bargaining powers for employees....

OPM issues contracts to upgrade recruitment, training

August 9, 2005 The Office of Personnel Management awarded two sets of contracts over the past two weeks aimed at improving the agency's training and recruitment endeavors. Monster Government Solutions, part of the larger Monster online career group, will run the government's job Web site, USAJOBS.gov. The one-year contract includes four one-year renewal...

Lawmakers rap OPM on underpaid retirement annuities

August 8, 2005 Nine members of Congress have lent their weight to the issue of underpaid federal retirement annuities, in a letter sent to the Office of Personnel Management last week. The letter expressed concern over the "serious delays in processing and approving full annuity payments to federal employees upon their retirement." The...

OPM approves direct-hire authority for acquisition jobs

August 5, 2005 The Office of Personnel Management this week granted federal agencies direct-hire authority for certain acquisition positions. The regulations, published in the Federal Register Thursday, give non-Defense Department agencies the ability "to recruit and appoint highly qualified individuals" for these jobs. The Pentagon already has separate flexibilities regarding hiring acquisition workers....

Intern recruitment program finalized

August 4, 2005 The Office of Personnel Management has finalized rules governing the federal career intern program, which gives agencies a tool to recruit new civil servants. President Clinton created the program in July 2000 by executive order. OPM issued interim rules administering the program in December of that year, and adopted the...

Performance Pay: A History

August 4, 2005 "It's time to push the civil service personnel system into the 21st century." That's the mantra being repeated by proponents of personnel reforms in the Defense and Homeland Security departments, which the Bush administration wants to extend across government. Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Clay Johnson recently told...

Agencies seek to iron out student loan repayment details

August 3, 2005 Federal agencies appear to have differing opinions on the best way to administer the government's student loan repayment benefit. At a forum held Wednesday at Office of Personnel Management headquarters in Washington, more than 50 representatives from various agencies met with OPM officials to share ideas and establish an ongoing...

Report outlines lessons of GAO personnel reforms

August 2, 2005 Leaders of the movement to overhaul the government's personnel system would do well to heed the lessons of the Government Accountability Office's human resources efforts, according to a new report. The report, from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, studied GAO's implementation of personnel reforms under authorities granted...

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