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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 05, 2007
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Springer Briefs Media on Fiscal '08 Budget Request

Washington, D.C. - The Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management today reiterated her commitment to modernizing the administration of the federal retirement system, and to build on the progress made to date.

OPM Director Linda M. Springer gave her pledge to the Retirement Systems Modernization Project during a media briefing on the agency's request to Congress on budget and program priorities in fiscal year 2008. She used the occasion, which followed the White House's release of the 2008 federal budget, to highlight other goals and priorities included in the agency's budget request.

Today's briefing at OPM headquarters also followed the agency's transmittal to Capital Hill of its fy08 Congressional Budget Justification and Performance Budget.

In the transmittal letter and at today's briefing, Springer said OPM has no higher funding priority than speeding payments to retirees and transforming the paper-based retirement system into an electronic format.

"I want the talented men and women who might consider a federal career to know that we will take care of them by making timely retirement payments," said Springer. "After serving their country, often for decades, public servants should expect nothing less than a fast and problem-free transition into retirement."

For fy08, Springer is requesting $15 million toward the RSM Project, which involves, in part, transferring millions of paper personnel and retirement records into electronic files that can be adjusted and transported throughout an employee's federal career. The Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System cover more than three million active employees in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

Of the $42.9 billion requested for fy08, $42.7 billion (or 99.5 percent) is allocated to mandatory payments for federal employee benefit programs. The request also includes $231.7 million for salaries and expenses.

Other fy08 OPM budget priorities include:

  • Continue improving the hiring process: 25 of 26 PMA agencies used OPM's 45-day hiring model during the July to September 2006 quarter to fill vacancies within that timeframe. Hires made by all agencies using the model during the September quarter totaled 38,300, with 27,200 (71 percent) falling within the 45-day limit.
  • Implement strategies to attract new employees to the federal work force: As part of a comprehensive recruitment strategy in 2006, OPM produced and aired ads on more than a dozen commercial television stations across the country to promote federal job opportunities; OPM's 2008 budget foresees similar creative uses of media for this purpose.
  • Expand e-government capabilities: OPM will continue to establish and promote federal- and private-sector Shared Service Centers that will deliver modern HR solutions; OPM will continue to transfer millions of paper HR records to an electronic personnel data repository that will improve agency services to employees throughout their federal careers.
  • Continue to develop proposals to enhance the current set of benefit programs by starting the dialogue on how best to address the gap in leave benefits for those that need to take short-term disability for events, such as the birth of a child (maternity leave).
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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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