OPM tackles retirement systems

"Retirement Systems Modernization Request for Proposals"

Editor's Note: The Office of Personnel Management added a comment Jan. 18 to clarify what outsourcing will mean for current OPM employees. “OPM is not outsourcing personnel,” an OPM spokesman said. “It is transforming its internal processes and installing new technology.”

The Office of Personnel Management intends to outsource needed business transformation and information technology support services as it modernizes the federal government’s retirement systems. Congressional auditors said earlier this year that the $294 million modernization effort was at risk because OPM was unprepared for the tasks of developing its technical requirements and managing the project.

In November, OPM announced that it will award a five-year blanket purchasing agreement for business transformation and IT services. In September and October, the agency issued separate bid requests for installing a modern retirement payroll system and digitizing paper-based personnel records of more than 1 million current and former federal employees who have not yet retired.

The solicitation for business transformation and IT services emphasizes OPM’s interest in awarding the contract to a company with strong project management skills.

The agency expects the winning company to redesign OPM’s business processes, organizational structures and workforce to support the new retirement system. It will be the contractor’s responsibility to determine OPM’s requirements for additional technology to support the new system.

The agency also wants the contractor to develop financial interfaces to the new retirement payroll system, upgrade the agency’s networks and decommission its legacy retirement systems.

Current retirement payroll systems at OPM too often generate faulty monthly checks and inaccurate account totals.

OPM officials agreed with a February congressional audit report that said a modernized retirement payroll system has long been needed to increase the accuracy, consistency and timeliness of services for employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System.

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