Management briefs

Shopping for health plans

The Office of Personnel Management's Web site will offer two online tools to help government retirees choose among the federal health plans offered during the annual open season next month.

The Guide to Health Plans provided by the Center for the Study of Services, an independent, nonprofit consumer organization, will enable retirees to submit personal and medical information to see which national plans and local health maintenance organizations best fit their needs.

PlanSmartChoice, provided by JB Cubed Inc., helps retirees choose a plan by asking a series of questions to determine their personal and medical preferences about annual deductibles, referral options and other factors that vary from plan to plan.

The tools will be available beginning Nov. 11 through OPM's Web site (www.opm.gov/retire/febh).

Management council supported

At a roundtable discussion held by the General Accounting Office last month, many government officials endorsed the idea of making the President's Management Council a permanent group that would help support management and transformational changes in government.

Some participants also recommended that the president be required to include a management agenda, with appropriate performance measures, when submitting the annual budget request to Congress.

Roundtable members — who included Mark Everson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget; Robert O'Neill, president of the National Academy of Public Administration; and Sean O'Keefe, NASA administrator — gathered to discuss the possible role of a federal chief operating officer, but did not attempt to reach consensus on the idea.

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