Briefs

DOD fixes payroll foul-ups Defense Department officials late last month deducted funds from the pay of about 15,000 service members to make up for incorrect tax deductions. Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials deducted too little Social Security tax from the salaries of Air Force, Army and Navy service members beginning in January 2001, said Catherine Ferguson, a DFAS spokeswoman.

The incorrect deductions, which employers make through the Federal Insurance Contribution Act, resulted from software errors in the July 2000 version of the Defense Joint Military Pay System Active Component, Ferguson said.

About 8,100 service members owed less than $120 as a result of the mistake, which the agency deducted in the pay period ending in late May, according to DFAS. Service members who owe more will have amounts deducted in June, July and August. Meanwhile, DFAS owes money to about 150 service members.

DOD simplifies PC donations Pentagon officials announced June 7 that they will reverse a recent policy that forces Defense Department agencies to destroy the hard drives on nonclassified computers before donating them to schools or other organizations.

The new policy calls for simply overwriting or demagnetizing the drives of computers that have held nonclassified information so the data is unreadable, said Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of Defense. The policy still mandates that hard drives that have contained classified information be destroyed and offers the option of destroying hard drives on computers with information considered particularly sensitive.

The original policy was intended to ensure that no sensitive information would be given away along with the computers. But destroying hard drives that had contained nonclassified information was seen by some as excessive.

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