EconSys Blog

Drew Lessard

Recent Posts

Three Ways to Reduce Barriers for Position Management Specialists

By Drew Lessard on Oct 16, 2019 7:08:41 AM

With its unique position outside of Human Resources (HR), Position Management faces a number of challenges in completing its mission. Fortunately, with the use of technology and a more streamlined approach to both position management and communication with other HR departments, Position Management can greatly improve processes. Below are three specific ways that barriers can be reduced or removed for specialists.

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OPM’s Retirement Claims Backlog Remains Steady in September

By Drew Lessard on Oct 10, 2019 7:19:43 AM

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released an updated report detailing the number of retirement claims processed and new ones received during the month of September. In the report, OPM indicated a decrease in the number of claims received to 7,456 (comparable to the amount received in September, 2018), and a decrease in the number of claims processed to 7,656.

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Transitioning from Legacy Position Management Systems to Enterprise Solutions

By Drew Lessard on Oct 2, 2019 7:14:45 AM

Federal position management systems frequently lack the tools specialists need, which is why the majority of federal employees in a recent survey cited organizational resource constraints and leadership as holding them back from performing their best work – in particular in relation to technology. Legacy systems are inefficient, lack key features, and are entirely too opaque to make a dent in modern processes. The results are long time-to-hire averages and overworked position management specialists.

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Project Summary: African American Women in the Labor Force

By Drew Lessard on Sep 17, 2019 7:46:01 AM

EconSys worked with the US Department of Labor (DOL) Women’s Bureau (WB) to conduct a statistical study of the progress of African American Women in the U.S. labor force. Using data from the Decennial Census dating back to 1920, the study modeled policies and practices for future employer use.

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OPM’s Outstanding Retirement Claims Decrease in August

By Drew Lessard on Sep 10, 2019 7:32:56 AM

The monthly report from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) detailing the number of new retirement claims received and processed, along with the monthly average processing time was released for August. In it, OPM reported the highest number of claims processed since March of this year and a 4.5% decrease in the number of outstanding claims for the month.

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Project Synopsis: Longitudinal Study of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program

By Drew Lessard on Sep 4, 2019 6:59:02 AM

EconSys worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to collect and evaluate data from a statistically valid sample of veterans participating in the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Chapter 31 Program. Section 334 of the 2008 Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act tasked VA with conducting a 20-year longitudinal study of the outcomes of those who apply for VR&E services. The goal of this study was to determine the long-term outcomes of those who participated in areas of income, employment, home ownership, and other public programs.

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Addressing Gaps in Federal Retirement Processing with IT Modernization

By Drew Lessard on Aug 20, 2019 8:20:02 AM

Despite ongoing efforts to modernize, federal agencies still perform a large volume of manual data entry and paperwork. The result is a systemic slowdown in processes that can lead to longer wait time for retirement applications.

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Outstanding Retirement Claims with OPM Mostly Unchanged in July

By Drew Lessard on Aug 12, 2019 12:27:03 PM

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its monthly report outlining progress against the backlog of new retirement applications and their processing time for July. After two consecutive months of increases, the number of applications in the backlog remained largely unchanged with a 0.48% decrease from June.

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Project Synopsis: Multi-Step Workforce Planning for the Veteran’s Health Administration

By Drew Lessard on Jul 30, 2019 6:37:26 AM

EconSys worked with The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) on its Orthotic and Prosthetic Services (OPS) program. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had recently released reports identifying several issues that OPS needed to address to better meet the needs of the Veteran population it serves. EconSys’ study analyzed the current demand for OPS in the VA workforce and evaluated where gaps might exist, both today and in the future. We also reviewed the program outcomes and the overall cost structure, ultimately providing several recommendations. 

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GAO Recommendations to Close Federal Retirement Processing Gaps

By Drew Lessard on Jul 16, 2019 7:58:31 AM

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is responsible for more than 100,000 retirement applications every year. Their goal is to process each application within 60 days of receiving it, but according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, they struggled between 2014 and 2017 in doing so. While persistent, these issues can be addressed based on a series of recommendations made by GAO in their report.

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