Federal Retirement:

Use of Contractors to Implement the Federal Employees Retirement System

GGD-89-29: Published: Feb 1, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM), the Social Security Administration's (SSA), and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's (FRTIB) use of contractors and costs incurred to implement the Federal Employees Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERS).

GAO found that: (1) OPM paid a total of $3.8 million to contractors and other federal agencies to develop and print information to help employees understand and compare FERS and the Civil Service Retirement System; (2) OPM also planned to design and implement an automated FERS recordkeeping system; (3) SSA paid, through the Government Printing Office, an estimated $621,506 for the design, printing, and processing of forms for an automated system to respond to employee requests regarding social security earnings and coverage; and (4) FRTIB paid a total of $14.6 million to contractors and other federal agencies primarily to develop and operate an automated recordkeeping system, and to prepare, print, and distribute materials and forms. GAO believes that the agencies' approaches were appropriate, since the agencies: (1) lacked adequate or capable staffs to provide the required products and services; (2) needed some of the services and products on a one-time-only basis; and (3) were restricted from doing large-volume printing in-house.

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