GAO Warns That OPM Retirement Systems Modernization Needs More Oversight

February 28, 2005 ( - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Retirement Systems Modernization (RSM) program have stepped-up oversight.

The OPM is in the midst of an effort – known as RSM – to improve its retirement services systems including reducing calculation errors and cutting paperwork according to the GAO. The government agency advised the OPM that many of the processes in areas such as sound systems acquisition, change management, and investment management are not sufficiently developed for the RSM.

RSM, from 1997 to 2008, will have a total cost of $294 million, according to the news release. It will, when completed, have four main components: licensed technology for pension benefits administration, conversion of data of paper files and electronic capture and storage data programs, coverage determination, and foundation and infrastructure elements, according to the news release.

align=”left”>Other recommendations include that the OPM make sure that the RSM program:

  • develops an acquisition strategy that includes deliverables and milestones throughout the entire project life cycle, addresses issues related to the transition of the licensed technology to a fully operational state and addresses all major elements of RSM
  • develops an acquisition strategy for the data conversion portion of RSM that addresses interdependencies with the licensed technology portion of RSM
  • develops a list of critical interdependencies among the tasks in different portions of RSM
  • implements a comprehensive risk management program including identification, tracking, and updating of programwide risks and conducts routine discussions of risk mitigation activities with senior management.

“Without these processes in place, RSM is at increased risk of not being developed and delivered on time and within budget and falling short of promised capabilities,” according to the GAO report.

The full report is available here .