Defense Acquisition Workforce: DOD's Training Program Demonstrates Many Attributes of Effectiveness, but Improvement Is Needed

Defense Acquisition Workforce: DOD's Training Program Demonstrates Many Attributes of Effectiveness, but Improvement Is Needed

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The President has announced his intention to improve the acquisition process, particularly given the half a trillion dollars the federal government spent in fiscal year 2009 on acquiring goods and services. The Department of Defense (DOD) spent $384 billion in fiscal year 2009 on goods and services--double what it spent in 2001. A high-quality workforce with the right competencies and skill sets will be critical to improving DOD acquisitions. GAO was mandated to determine the efficacy of DOD's certification training for its acquisition workforce. GAO assessed (1) DOD's capability to provide certification training, (2) the extent that such training reaches members of the workforce, and (3) the extent that previous training recommendations have been implemented. To conduct this work, GAO compared DOD's certification training to GAO guidance for effective training programs and analyzed policies, data, and previous reports on acquisition training."
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Civilian Agencies' Development and Implementation of Insourcing Guidelines

Civilian Agencies' Development and Implementation of Insourcing Guidelines

Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies rely on a multisector workforce composed of federal employees and contractor personnel to perform services as they carry out their missions. Determining whether to obtain services through insourcing with current or new federal employees, outsourcing with private sector contractors, or cosourcing with a combination of the two is an important economic and strategic decision critical to the federal government's effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars. The executive branch has encouraged federal agencies since the mid-1950s to obtain commercially available services from the private sector when outsourcing is cost-effective. In the last 5 fiscal years, civilian agencies have on average annually obligated about $100 billion to obtain a range of services from contractors. However, in March 2009, the President issued a memorandum on government contracting that, among other matters, expressed concern about the federal workforce as to whether agencies have become overreliant on contractors and have appropriately outsourced services. In particular, the President noted that the line between inherently governmental functions--those that must be performed by federal employees--and commercial activities that may be contracted for has been blurred. In the memorandum, the President directed the Office ...
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Older Workers: Enhanced Communication among Federal Agencies Could Improve Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Experienced Workers

Older Workers: Enhanced Communication among Federal Agencies Could Improve Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Experienced Workers

Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal workforce, like the nation's workforce as a whole, is aging, and increasingly large percentages are becoming eligible to retire. Eventually baby boomers will leave the workforce and when they do, they will leave behind gaps in leadership, skills, and knowledge due to the slower-growing pool of younger workers. GAO and others have emphasized the need for federal agencies to hire and retain older workers to help address these shortages. Building upon earlier testimony, GAO was asked to examine (1) age and retirement eligibility trends of the current federal workforce and the extent to which agencies hire and retain older workers; (2) workforce challenges selected agencies face and the strategies they use to hire and retain older workers; and (3) actions taken by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to help agencies hire and retain experienced workers. To address these questions, GAO analyzed data from OPM's Central Personal Data File, interviewed officials at three agencies with high proportions of workers eligible to retire, and identified agencies' promising practices to hire and retain older workers. What GAO Recommends"
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NOAA: Next Steps to Strengthen Its Acquisition Function

NOAA: Next Steps to Strengthen Its Acquisition Function

Date: June 7, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) accounts for about half of the Department of Commerce's (Commerce) acquisition spending, over $851 million in fiscal year 2005 alone. In recent years however, NOAA has experienced instances of poor contract management. GAO was asked to determine if NOAA is positioned to effectively carry out its acquisition function. Specifically, GAO assessed the extent to which NOAA has structured an acquisition organization that provides appropriate oversight; established policies and processes that promote, among other things, a knowledge-based acquisition process for development and production of complex systems; and planned and managed its contracting workforce to address future retirement challenges."
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Catalogue of Federal Insurance Activities

Catalogue of Federal Insurance Activities

Date: March 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government assumes insurance risk for a wide range of activities that are funded through numerous federal budget accounts and administered by a variety of federal organizations. For some activities, such as those funded through the National Flood Insurance account, the federal government assumes the entire insurance risk. The federal government also assumes part of the risk for insurance activities that are administered by state and local governments--for example, those funded through the Unemployment Trust Fund or that are partly underwritten by private insurers, such as those funded through the Special Workers' Compensation Expenses account. These insurance risks, whether fully or partially assumed by the federal government, are in lines of insurance that private insurers also recognize: health, life, disability, and property/casualty insurance. The federal government has generally assumed insurance risks for at least two reasons. First, the government may step in when insurance is not widely available because private insurers cannot collectively absorb or affordably price the insurance risk. For example, when private insurers were unable to offer affordable terrorism insurance in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the federal government created a terrorism insurance program. ...
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GAO: The Human Capital Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2004-2006

GAO: The Human Capital Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2004-2006

Date: September 1, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Other written product issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. To accomplish its mission, GAO depends on a diverse and knowledge-based workforce comprising individuals with a broad spectrum of technical and program skills and institutional memory. This workforce represents GAO's human capital--its greatest asset--and is critical to the agency's success in serving the Congress and the nation. This strategic human capital plan is a key step in continuing GAO's progress to build a highly effective, performance-based organization by attracting, retaining, motivating, and rewarding a high-performing, top-quality workforce. GAO believes that strategic human capital management must be the centerpiece of any serious change management initiative and effort to transform the culture and operations of any large organization, including government agencies. This plan extends and builds upon what GAO has already accomplished by using existing administrative authorities and by pursuing incremental additional tools and flexibilities legislatively. From the demonstrated results that GAO has achieved, it is clear that we have been a leader in human capital ...
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Federal Telework: Program Measurement Continues to Confront Data Reliability Issues

Federal Telework: Program Measurement Continues to Confront Data Reliability Issues

Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "To prepare for its reporting obligations under the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) assembled the Interagency Telework Measurement Group, consisting of officials from several federal agencies, to assist in revising the telework data call—the survey OPM has used since 2002 to collect telework data from executive agencies. This group standardized key terms such as telework, employee, and eligibility to promote a common reporting methodology among the agencies. The revised telework data call also included changes to the time period for which OPM requested agencies report telework data, and included more extensive training for respondents."
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Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs

Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs

Date: May 25, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed certain aspects of the Judicial Survivors' Annuities Systems (JSAS), which provides annuities to the surviving spouses and dependent children of deceased federal judges and other judicial officials who participate in JSAS."
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2010 Census: Diversity in Human Capital, Outreach Efforts Can Benefit the 2010 Census

2010 Census: Diversity in Human Capital, Outreach Efforts Can Benefit the 2010 Census

Date: July 26, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) faces the daunting challenge of cost-effectively counting a population that is growing steadily larger, more diverse, increasingly difficult to find, and more reluctant to participate in the decennial census. Managing its human capital, maintaining community partnerships, and developing advertising strategies to increase response rates for the decennial census are several ways that the Bureau can complete the 2010 Census accurately and within budget. This testimony, based primarily on past GAO work, provides information on (1) diversity in the Bureau's workforce, (2) plans for partnering with others in an effort to build public awareness of the census; and (3) certain requirements for ensuring contracting opportunities for small businesses."
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Results-Oriented Cultures: Using Balanced Expectations to Manage Senior Executive Performance

Results-Oriented Cultures: Using Balanced Expectations to Manage Senior Executive Performance

Date: September 27, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Effective performance management systems link individual performance to organizational goals. In October 2000, the Office of Personnel Management amended regulations to require agencies to link senior executive performance with organizational goals; to appraise executive performance by balancing organizational results with customer satisfaction, employee perspective, and other areas; and to use performance results as a basis for pay, awards, and other personnel decisions. Agencies were to establish these performance management systems by their 2001 senior executive performance appraisal cycles. Because they implemented a set of balanced expectations prior to the Office of Personnel Management requirement, GAO studied the Bureau of Land Management's, Federal Highway Administration's, Internal Revenue Service's, and Veterans Benefits Administration's use of balanced expectations to manage senior executive performance in order to identify initial approaches that may be helpful to other agencies in holding senior executives accountable for results."
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International Air Passengers: Staffing Model for Airport Inspections Personnel Can Be Improved

International Air Passengers: Staffing Model for Airport Inspections Personnel Can Be Improved

Date: July 15, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Protection Act repealed a 45 minute standard for inspecting international passengers, minimizing wait times at airports remains an area of concern for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Shortly after its creation in March 2003, CBP assumed inspection functions from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Agriculture. The new agency's priority missions are to prevent terrorism and to facilitate travel and trade. To assess CBP's efforts to minimize wait times for international air passengers while ensuring security, this report answers the following questions: (1) What are the wait times at the 20 U.S. international airports that receive most of the international traffic and what factors affect wait times? (2) What steps have airports and airlines taken to minimize passenger wait times? (3) How has CBP managed staffing to minimize wait times across airports?"
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Agent Orange: Actions Needed to Improve Communications of Air Force Ranch Hand Study Data and Results

Agent Orange: Actions Needed to Improve Communications of Air Force Ranch Hand Study Data and Results

Date: December 17, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the conduct and findings of the Air Force's Ranch Hand study on the long-term health effects of exposure to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, in Vietnam, and assessed the study's impact on determinations of veterans' compensation, focusing on: (1) whether the study's findings and data have been properly and promptly reported and disseminated; (2) the statistical limitations of the study and whether they have been adequately reported and communicated; (3) the measures established to monitor the study's conduct and to prevent improper influence, particularly those involving the Ranch Hand Study's Advisory Committee; and (4) the impact of the study on determinations of diseases for which Vietnam veterans are eligible to receive compensation benefits."
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Chief Acquisition Officers: Appointments Generally Conform to Legislative Requirements, but Agencies Need to Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Acquisition Officers: Appointments Generally Conform to Legislative Requirements, but Agencies Need to Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities

Date: July 26, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Most agencies have appointed Chief Acquisition Officers (CAO) in accordancewith two of the three key requirements in the Services Acquisition Reform Act of2003 (SARA): that the CAOs be political appointees and have agency SeniorProcurement Executives report directly to them. However, few CAOs haveacquisition management as their primary duty; other areas of responsibilityincluded financial, information, and human capital management."
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Veterans Benefits Administration: Better Collection and Analysis of Attrition Data Needed to Enhance Workforce Planning

Veterans Benefits Administration: Better Collection and Analysis of Attrition Data Needed to Enhance Workforce Planning

Date: April 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "By the year 2006, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) projects it will lose a significant portion of its mission-critical workforce to retirement. VBA has hired over 2,000 new employees to begin to fill this expected gap. GAO was asked to review: (1) the attrition rate at VBA, particularly for new employees who examine veterans' claims, and the agency's methods for calculating attrition; and (2) the adequacy of VBA's analysis of attrition data, including the reasons for attrition. To answer these questions, GAO analyzed attrition data from VBA's Office of Human Resources, calculated attrition rates for VBA and other federal agencies using a governmentwide database on federal employment, and interviewed VBA officials about their efforts to measure attrition and determine why new employees leave."
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Human Capital: Observations on Final DHS Human Capital Regulations

Human Capital: Observations on Final DHS Human Capital Regulations

Date: March 2, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "People are critical to any agency transformation, such as the one envisioned for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They define an agency's culture, develop its knowledge base, and are its most important asset. Thus, strategic human capital management at DHS can help it marshal, manage, and maintain the people and skills needed to meet its critical mission. Congress provided DHS with significant flexibility to design a modern human capital management system. DHS and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have now jointly released the final regulations on DHS's new human capital system. Last year, with the release of the proposed regulations, GAO observed that many of the basic principles underlying the regulations were consistent with proven approaches to strategic human capital management and deserved serious consideration. However, some parts of the human capital system raised questions for DHS, OPM, and Congress to consider in the areas of pay and performance management, adverse actions and appeals, and labor management relations. GAO also identified multiple implementation challenges for DHS once the final regulations for the new system were issued. This testimony provides overall observations on DHS's intended human capital ...
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DOD Systems Modernization: Management of Integrated Military Human Capital Program Needs Additional Improvements

DOD Systems Modernization: Management of Integrated Military Human Capital Program Needs Additional Improvements

Date: February 11, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) has long-standing problems with its information technology (IT) systems supporting military personnel and pay. To address these problems, DOD initiated the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS) program, which is to provide a joint, integrated, standardized military personnel and pay system across all military components. In November 2004, DOD accepted the design for the first of three phases, DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay). GAO reviewed DOD's management of the requirements definition for the system as well as the program's management structure."
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Information Technology: FBI Has Largely Staffed Key Modernization Program, but Strategic Approach to Managing Program's Human Capital Is Needed

Information Technology: FBI Has Largely Staffed Key Modernization Program, but Strategic Approach to Managing Program's Human Capital Is Needed

Date: October 16, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently began a 6-year, $425 million program called Sentinel to replace and expand on both its failed Virtual Case File (VCF) project and its antiquated, paper-based, legacy system for supporting mission-critical intelligence analysis and investigative case management activities. Because of the FBI's experience with VCF and the importance of Sentinel, GAO was requested to address a number of program management issues associated with acquiring Sentinel via a prime development contractor. This report focuses on one of these issues: whether the FBI is adequately providing for the program's human capital needs. The findings are based on GAO's review of relevant program documentation, interviews with program officials, and human capital management guidance."
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Oil and Gas: Interior Has Begun to Address Hiring and Retention Challenges but Needs to Do More

Oil and Gas: Interior Has Begun to Address Hiring and Retention Challenges but Needs to Do More

Date: January 31, 2014
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of the Interior (Interior) continues to face challenges hiring and retaining staff with key skills needed to manage and oversee oil and gas operations on federal leases. Interior officials noted two major factors that contribute to challenges in hiring and retaining staff: lower salaries and a slow hiring process compared with similar positions in industry. In response to GAO's survey, officials from a majority of the offices in the three Interior bureaus that manage oil and gas activities--the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)--reported ongoing difficulties filling vacancies, particularly for petroleum engineers and geologists. Many of these officials also reported that retention is an ongoing concern as staff leave for positions in industry. Bureau of Labor Statistics data confirm a wide gap between industry and federal salaries for petroleum engineers and geologists. According to Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data, the fiscal year 2012 attrition rate for petroleum engineers at BLM was over 20 percent, or more than double the average federal attrition rate of 9.1 percent. However, the ...
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Executive Guide: Maximizing the Success of Chief Information Officers: Learning From Leading Organizations (Supersedes AIMD-00-83)

Executive Guide: Maximizing the Success of Chief Information Officers: Learning From Leading Organizations (Supersedes AIMD-00-83)

Date: February 1, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: Guidance issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This publication supersedes AIMD-00-83, Executive Guide: Maximizing the Success of Chief Information Officers (Exposure Draft), March 2000. This guide is intended to assist federal agencies in maximizing the success of chief information officers (CIO). Principles and practices gleaned from the case studies presented in this guide offer concrete suggestions on what agency executives can do to ensure the effectiveness of their CIO organizations. The specific key conditions and strategies described in this guide can be used as suggestions for federal CIOs to apply or adapt to their environments, where appropriate."
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Private Disability Insurance: Employer-Sponsored Plans

Private Disability Insurance: Employer-Sponsored Plans

Date: November 5, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on private sector employer-sponsored disability insurance plans, focusing on the: (1) number of people in the private sector covered by short-term or long-term employer-sponsored disability insurance; (2) number of short- and long-term disability claims filed each year and the number of initial awards; and (3) average processing time for initial short- and long-term disability claims."
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Human Capital: Workforce Diversity Governmentwide and at the Small Business Administration

Human Capital: Workforce Diversity Governmentwide and at the Small Business Administration

Date: April 23, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the civilian labor force, which is defined as those 16 and older (including federal workers) who are employed or looking for work and are not in the military or institutionalized. In August 2006, GAO reported on factors affecting Hispanic representation in the federal workforce and efforts being taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and other agencies, including the Small Business Administration (SBA)--an independent agency that aids, counsels, assists, and protects the interests of small business concerns (GAO-06-832). In May 2007, GAO issued a report that contained data on Hispanic representation in the federal government through fiscal year 2006 (GAO-07-493R). In April 2008, GAO testified on diversity in the Senior Executive Service (SES) and the senior ranks of the U.S. Postal Service (GAO-08-609T). In response to a request to provide updated information on minorities and Hispanics in the federal workforce, GAO is providing demographic data--with an emphasis on Hispanic representation--related to the federal government as a whole and SBA's workforce. GAO obtained these data from OPM's Central Personnel Data File (CPDF)."
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Human Capital: Selected Agencies Have Implemented Key Features of Their Senior Executive Performance-Based Pay Systems, but Refinements Are Needed

Human Capital: Selected Agencies Have Implemented Key Features of Their Senior Executive Performance-Based Pay Systems, but Refinements Are Needed

Date: July 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2003, Congress and the administration established a performance-based pay system for Senior Executive Service (SES) members that requires a link between individual and organizational performance and pay. Specifically, agencies are allowed to raise SES pay caps if their systems are certified by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with concurrence by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as meeting specified criteria. GAO was asked to testify on preliminary results of ongoing work analyzing selected executive branch agencies' policies and procedures for their SES performance-based pay systems in the following areas: (1) factoring organizational performance into senior executive performance appraisal decisions, (2) making meaningful distinctions in senior executive performance, and (3) building safeguards into senior executive performance appraisal and pay systems. GAO selected the U.S. Departments of Defense (DOD), Energy (DOE), State, and the Treasury; the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) based on variations in agency mission, organizational structure, and size of their career SES workforces. To date, GAO has analyzed agencies' SES performance management policies and guidance and analyzed aggregate SES performance appraisal data as provided by ...
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VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Better Incentives, Workforce Planning, and Performance Reporting Could Improve Program

VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment: Better Incentives, Workforce Planning, and Performance Reporting Could Improve Program

Date: January 26, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2004, the Veterans Affairs' Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program was reviewed by a VR&E Task Force. It recommended numerous changes, in particular focusing on employment through a new Five-Track service delivery model and increasing program capacity. Since then, VR&E has worked to implement these recommendations. To help Congress understand whether VR&E is now better prepared to meet the needs of veterans with disabilities, GAO was asked to determine (1) how the implementation of the Five-Track Employment Process has affected VR&E's focus on employment, (2) the extent to which VR&E has taken steps to improve its capacity, and (3) how program outcomes are reported. GAO interviewed officials from VR&E, the 2004 Task Force, and veteran organizations; visited four VR&E offices; surveyed all VR&E officers; and analyzed agency data and reports."
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Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs

Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs

Date: September 16, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Judicial Survivors' Annuities System (JSAS) was created in 1956 to provide financial security for the families of deceased federal judges. It provides benefits to eligible spouses and dependent children of judges who elect coverage within 6 months of taking office, 6 months after getting married, or 6 months after being elevated to a higher court, or during an open season authorized by statute. Active and senior judges currently contribute 2.2 percent of their salaries to JSAS, and retired judges contribute 3.5 percent of their retirement salaries to JSAS. Pursuant to the Federal Courts Administration Act of 1992 (Pub. L. No. 102-572), GAO is required to review JSAS costs every 3 years and determine whether the judges' contributions fund 50 percent of the plan's costs. If the contributions fund less than 50 percent of these costs, GAO is to determine what adjustments to the contribution rates would be needed to achieve the 50 percent ratio. GAO is not making any recommendations in this report. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) believes that GAO should be recommending a reduction in the judges' contribution rate. ...
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