Briefs

TSP still struggling

Federal employees and retirees still could not access parts of the Thrift Savings Plan's online system this week, more than two weeks after the new Web interface was launched.

Thomas Trabucco, spokesman for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which runs the system, acknowledged that problems were persisting and said board officials could not predict when they would be fixed.

He said in a statement that "these problems were, and still are, caused by [Customer Information Control System] loops that tie up the system resources rapidly and exponentially to the point that little traffic gets through."

CICS is the communications interface for the IBM Corp. mainframe that houses the retirement system records. Trabucco said the contractor team that developed the system is trying to fix the bugs in the Web interface.

The ThriftLine telephone access system is working well, he said. Its number is (504) 255-8777.

AFGE sues over A-76

The American Federation of Government Employees July 3 filed a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of competitive sourcing rules.

The suit, similar to the one filed by the National Treasury Employees Union in mid-June, states that the new Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 violates the Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act and is therefore illegal.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs has imposed a moratorium on A-76 studies that could affect 52,000 employees. Federal law forbids it to fund such studies within the Veterans Health Administration unless Congress earmarks money for that purpose.

The VA planned to review 52,000 VHA jobs for potential outsourcing, with a projected savings of $1.3 billion over the next five years.

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