News Briefs

February 14, 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--"Agencies that must cut their payrolls want to avoid major layoffs that would hit short-service workers and non-veterans hardest. Half a dozen new early-out authorities have just been granted by OPM. . . .The question is, will many (or any) feds take early retirement without a buyout to go with it?" (The Washington Post).

BUDGET--The Professional Managers Association National President has asked President Clinton to reconsider including cuts in federal employee and retiree benefits in his FY 1998 budget proposal (PMA News Release, January 9)...The nonpartisan CBO said that President Clinton's budget plan would leave the federal government with a deficit of at least $49 billion in 2002 instead of the $17 billion surplus the White House projects (The New York Times).

RETIREMENT--"Following a three-year legal battle with OPM, a former counsel to the House Sergeant at Arms finally has the retirement plan he always wanted," and OPM may have to pay for the legal tangle (Roll Call, February 13).

GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE--The National Performance Review has released a new guide to help federal employees make the government work better by focusing on customer needs, forming partnerships with state and local governments and reinventing the way the government operates....Strategic planning can make the difference between an agency setting goals and defending its mission and an agency losing its funding says John Koskinen, deputy director of OMB....Agencies undergoing restructuring, losing key personnel, reengineering their functions or taking on new tasks often require training support to help meet their mission requirements. But often they don't have the staff, experience, or training materials to meet their needs. OPM is helping agencies fill that void (FEND's Government Performance Report, February 10).

OTHER VIEWS--MSPB issues report about minorities in government (Federal Computer Week, Falls Church, VA, Jan. 20)....An Albany, NY-based health plan rates high in FEHBP survey (Managed Care: A Guide for Physicians, Yardley, PA, January)....HMO information needed for seniors -- FEHBP is referenced (Consumers' Research Magazine, Washington, DC, January).

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