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    News Release

    Friday, September 23, 2011
    Contact: Office of Communications
    Tel: 202-606-2402

    Statement by U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry on Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased Annuitants

    "OPM is fully committed to eliminating improper payments to deceased annuitants, and I have been working closely with the Inspector General to achieve this. As the IG's report notes, we have already implemented 10 of their 14 recommendations. In addition, I have named four senior members of my staff who will work directly with me to resolve the final four. Leading the effort will be Chuck Grimes, our COO, Mark Lambert, our head of Oversight and Compliance, Ken Zawodny, our new head of Retirement Services, and Steve Agostini, our Chief Financial Officer. I plan to stay on top of this weekly to make sure we are making progress on this problem.

    "Our team at OPM has worked hard with our IG on this issue over the past few years, as recognized by the IG in his report. Action has been taken on all $600 million in improper payments, including $113 million currently in collection.

    "Though we have implemented many positive reforms, I remain deeply committed to keeping this a top priority and to working with our IG to ensure the proper internal controls are in place to protect the taxpayers and our employees and retirees.

    "Improper payments in this program are less than two-tenths of one percent. We encourage anyone who is receiving improper payments to contact us immediately. Taking payment for or providing false information regarding a deceased annuitant is a felony, and will be prosecuted where appropriate."

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    OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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