MOUNT VERNON — For U.S. Postal workers, getting paid after retiring has been an ongoing battle.
At issue: How to modernize the system used by the federal Office of Personnel Management to make it more efficient for all parties.
Last November, the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy conducted a hearing under the title “Back to the Basics, is OPM Meeting Its Mission?”
The subcommittee “examined OPM’s ability to utilize the information technology necessary to support individuals at the beginning and end of the job cycle. It further examined “OPM’s management ... its ability to prioritize resources, address management weaknesses and achieve planned capabilities.”
The federal General Accounting Office reported that OPM spent an estimated $79 million on modernization in 2011. It’s unclear what there is to show for those expenditures.
OPM has consistently acknowledged shortcomings in its retirement program and has not refuted assertions of the GAO. “We are very much aware of the increasing processing times retirees have been experiencing,” reads one OPM statement. “We are confident that through additional staff, overtime, improvements in interim payments and collaboration with agencies we will reduce our backlog to more normal levels.”