RetireEZ proving to be hard

Thursday - 4/23/2009, 8:48pm EDT

Valerie Melvin

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By Andrew Mitchell
Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio


The U.S. Government is simply not keeping up with the times in the way it keeps records of retirement planning for federal employees.

So says the Government Accountability Office, which has conducted a review of the way the Office of Personnel Management is running the Retirement Systems Modernization, or RetireEZ, program.

The GAO, which has been studying this matter since last year, has come to the conclusion that OPM has been ineffective in transitioning from a paper-based system of record-keeping.

In an interview with Chris Dorobek and Francis Rose on Thursday's Daily Debrief, Valerie Melvin, Director of Information Management and Human Capital Issues at the Government Accountability Office, said that OPM has come up with neither an overall plan nor even a schedule for implementing the retirement systems modernization.

Melvin added that OPM needs to set up specific benchmarks for progress:

It's really (about) establishing in a quantifiable and measurable way what it is you want to achieve by a certain time frame, whether it's a specific capability by a certain date, whether it's to be able to process a certain number of the retirement applications in terms of percentages that you receive.

Melvin explained that this could be done incrementally: the agency could choose to implement one benchmark at a time by a date certain, at which point both successes and failures in the process could be more easily identified.

She added that the GAO already has the authority it needs from Congress to continue monitoring OPM's progress in implementing RetireEZ.

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On the Web:

GAO -- Office of Personnel Management: Retirement Modernization Planning and Management Shortcomings Need to Be Addressed

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