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The Office of Personnel Management's efforts to process retirement claims and reduce a longstanding backlog slipped last month, after the agency was forced to cancel employee overtime because of automatic budget cuts. OPM processed 10,954 claims in May, according to new data, 546 fewer than it had projected. That's only the third time in the past 16 months - since the agency rolled out a new plan for clearing the backlog — that OPM failed to hit its processing goal.
The Internal Revenue Service held 225 employee conferences between 2010 and 2012, at a total cost of $49 million, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The report also revealed the embattled agency used funding originally slated to hire front-line employees to foot most of the bill for a $4.1 million conference held in Anaheim, Calif., in 2010.
The Obama administration's proposed fiscal 2014 budget called for consolidating or eliminating 116 of the government's 226 STEM initiatives and centralizing the coordination of STEM programs under just three agencies: the Education Department, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. The administration's STEM proposal is one of the government's first visible steps in reversing some of the duplication that riddles the federal landscape and which some lawmakers have seized on as examples of government waste.
After solid showings in March and April, Thrift Savings Plan funds lost a little steam last month, according to new data from the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board. Overall, two of the five regular funds posted ended May in negative territory, including the F Fund (the bond market) and the I Fund (international stocks). The F Fund is down 0.76 percent for the year.
Not that long ago, the Office of Personnel Management faced a crisis in processing retirement claims. In part two of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how OPM set out to beat its backlog, and how it can stay ahead of an unexpected surge in claims amid automatic budget cuts that threaten to derail progress.
A federal retirement tsunami has been predicted for years but never quite materialized. In our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio reexamines the trends and developments that led to the botched predictions and what it means today with a recent uptick in retirements reviving old worries.
Even though a massive federal retirement tsunami has been a no-show, even a moderate uptick in retirements could pose challenges for agencies -- especially as they face decreasing budgets and declining staffs. In part three of our special report, "Retirement Conundrum," Federal News Radio examines how agencies plan to retain institutional knowledge and fill critical skills gaps as longtime employees head for the exits.
Tags: Retirement Conundrum , retirement , GAO , Robert Goldenkoff , John Palguta , Partnership for Public Service , Jeff Neal , HUD , Sheila Wright , training , Cathy Biggs-Silver , VA , virtual learning , Peter Leeds , MSPB
Roughly 680,000 DoD civilians will be forced to take one day off per week without pay between July 8 and the end of the fiscal year as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration. Jessica Wright, acting undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, told In Depth with Francis Rose the decision wasn't an easy one.
The Office of Personnel Management has made steady progress chipping away at a longstanding backlog of retirement claims. But Oversight Committee lawmakers and other government watchdogs remain concerned that the absence of a long-term plan to overhaul the mostly paper-based process combined with across-the-board budget cuts and a lack of strong leadership within OPM could stall or derail the progress the agency has made.
The top lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee have called on the Defense Department to detail how it will cut billions more from its budget if sequestration continues into next year. In a letter dated May 2, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee, asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to provide a "package of reductions" to the department's proposed 2014 budget.