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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Promises Transition Services to Employees Whose Jobs Are Moved to the Private Sector Following the Agency's Latest Public-Private A-76 Competition

OPM's contract with Transtecs Corp. gives qualified employees the "right-of-first-refusal" for jobs at the company; OPM imposes limited hiring freeze to facilitate placement of qualified employees into other positions

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Dan G. Blair said today that transition services and other assistance will be provided to 116 employees whose jobs are moved to the private sector following a public-private competition that used standard A-76 contracting procedures.

The majority of OPM employees affected by this action work in Washington, D.C., and Boyers, Pennsylvania; three other employees work in Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Those affected primarily perform secretarial, office automation and administrative support functions.

In addition to transition services federal and non-federal employers routinely supply to displaced employees, OPM's contract with Transtecs Corp. requires the Wichita, Kansas-based firm to make job offers to qualified employees whose jobs are moved to the company. OPM will maintain quality control and ensure performance standards written into the contract are met by the company.

"I want to assure employees affected by this action that the OPM transition team is committed to working with them to ensure a soft landing in whatever career path they choose," said Blair. "The agreement we have with Transtecs eases the transition for many people who likely will accept the company's offer of employment."

The outsourcing competition was initiated prior to Blair becoming OPM's Acting Director. Upon learning of the competition's outcome, he immediately arranged to offer a combination of buyouts and early outs to employees affected by the action. These workplace tools can help ease the transition of individuals into the next phase of their professional and personal lives.

"I am committed to ensuring that as few employees as possible will actually be separated involuntarily," said Blair in an e-mail message sent to all OPM employees. "We can do so in ways that cause the least possible disruption while ensuring employee rights are respected."

As part of this commitment, Blair has imposed an OPM-specific hiring freeze in clerical and technical positions at the GS-7 level and below in an effort to match qualified displaced employees with other, unfilled jobs.

OPM also will offer a variety of transition services, including job placement assistance, professionally facilitated training and re-training programs, and benefits and financial counseling. Blair also committed OPM to working with other agencies to find jobs for displaced employees and using an outplacement firm that specializes in placing administrative staff.

If all option years are exercised, the 52-month contract awarded to Transtecs is valued at $16.8 million and produces savings of approximately $15 million.

OPM has conducted a number of public-private competitions. The outcome of each competition warranted the agency keeping the jobs in-house and performed by OPM employees, who worked diligently to develop and implement plans that introduced new cost-efficiency and performance standards that bested proposals submitted by contractors. Earlier competitions were won by computer network specialists and computer assistants; employee benefits specialists; mailroom workers; occupational health nurses; accountants; laborers; billing and collecting officials; and building management specialists.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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