Browsing: Office of Personnel Management

OPM continues to whittle away at pension backlog

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The Office of Personnel Management has cut its backlog of unprocessed pension claims by 21 percent in the five months since it unveiled a new strategy to fix the longstanding problem. According to statistics posted online today, OPM cut the backlog by 1,150 cases in June, bringing the backlog down to 48,323 unprocessed claims. In January, when OPM announced its plan to fix its problematic pension process, the inventory was 61,108. But even though OPM has made progress so far in 2012, the size of the backlog is still far greater than it was in October 2010, when OPM Director…

OPM declares unscheduled leave, telework for DC area; offices open tomorrow

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Although wide swaths of the Washington DC area remain powerless and sweltering after Friday night’s derecho storm, the federal government will be open tomorrow, the Office of Personnel Management just said. However, non-emergency essential employees in the DC area will have the option of taking unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework if they choose, OPM said. (But speaking for myself, I can’t imagine why anybody without power would want to stay home this week. Even the worst job sounds pretty good when outdoor temperatures are hovering near 100 and the office has AC.) You can check Dominion Power’s work schedule here.…

Pension processing picks back up in May

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The Office of Personnel Management saw a hiccup in its pension processing efforts in April, when the number of claims processed dropped to 8,028. That was slightly below the 8,300 claims it expected to process that month, and noticeably below the 12,386 claims it processed in March. But May brought slightly better news for OPM. According to monthly stats released today, the number of claims processed in May jumped back up to 9,066 — about 500 more than OPM anticipated it would process last month. This helped bring the size of the backlog down to 49,473 — about 5,100 fewer…

Retirement claims slow in April

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For several months, we’ve been tracking a disturbing increase in federal retirements — one which both complicated the Office of Personnel Management’s efforts to fix the pension process and suggests many feds have had it with the proposed pay and benefit cuts. But OPM’s latest stats show a surprising drop in the number of feds retiring. OPM said it received 6,616 retirement claims in April. That’s 17 percent less than the 8,000 it expected to receive last month, and 15 percent less than the 7,773 feds who retired in April 2011. Up until this point, retirement claims for the first…

More than 1,200 takers for IRS buyout/early retirement offers

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Take it for what it’s worth, but here’s a data point to start the week: Since fiscal 2011, about 1,268 IRS employees have taken advantage of early retirement and buyout offers. That number amounts to a bit more than 1 percent of the agency’s workforce, which totaled almost 91,000 as of December, according to official figures posted online. Federal Times received the information under a Freedom of Information Act request filed earlier this year after attempts to obtain the data from the IRS’ public affairs office in Washington were unsuccessful. The mini-exodus is part of a looming human capital challenge…

Is telework increasing? Who knows?

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The federal government wants to increase the amount federal employees telework, and even passed a law to make it easier in December 2010. But finding out whether that’s actually happening is tricky. Because the metrics used to measure telework are continually shifting, it’s probably going to be a few more years before we know whether things are actually improving, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. GAO said that for years, agencies have used different methods to collect telework data, leaving those statistics inconsistent and unreliable. After the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act was passed, the Office of…

CFC spending controversy: What do you think?

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Federal Times would like to hear from you regarding the $1.1 million in controversial expenses made by the Washington-area Combined Federal Campaign. As we first reported last night, the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general criticized a string of expenses made by Global Impact between 2007 and 2009, including: $11,315 for a night out for 600 at a Washington Nationals game; $1,500 to hire Howard University’s jazz band for a conference; $1,159 for a nighttime tour of Washington; $680 for chair massages; and $102,503 for meals over three years. How does this make you feel? Does it shake your confidence…

Looking for a few honest cyber professionals

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If you plan on landing a cybersecurity job with the federal government, above all, you’d better be honest, a good learner and resilient. Oh yeah, make sure you can read and write.  That’s according to most government cybersecurity workers and managers who participated in the Office of Personnel Management’s cybersecurity survey last fall. OPM reached out to 50,000 feds for their thoughts about the most critical tasks and competencies required to be an effective cyber worker. Their responses were used to create a so-called cybersecurity competency model for information technology management, electronics engineering, computer engineering and telecommunications job series. Participants ranked technical and general competencies in order of…

Federal Times on the air: Incomplete pensions and telework

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In case you missed it last night, here’s my interview with Capital Insider. I discussed the Office of Personnel Management’s problems getting federal retirees their complete annuities, and how they’re trying to make things right. [HTML1] And while we’re at it, Cindy Auten from the Telework Exchange was also a guest on the show. Hear her talk about the new telework bill and what it’s going to mean for feds. [HTML2] Capital Insider airs each at weeknight at 8 p.m. in the Washington area on cable channel 8, TBD TV. I appear on the show once a month to discuss…

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