Ortego will step down at National Finance Center

John Ortego, director of the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, last week announced he would retire after more than 32 years of federal service, effective Jan. 31.

'I effected all the changes I wanted to' in five years as NFC's chief, he said.

'We are a key competitor in the E-Payroll competition, we moved to the forefront in security using public-key infrastructure and we deployed numerous systems to the Web.'

NFC was one of eight payroll service providers to submit a proposal to the Office of Personnel Management as part of OPM's E-Payroll project that will consolidate 22 payroll service providers to two, three or four.

He also pushed the NFC to resume offering cross-agency services after a lapse of a few years. NFC handles payroll for about 500,000 employees across 122 federal organizations and operates the Thrift Savings Plan, which is worth more than $100 billion.

Ortego, who is the president of the Federal Government Information Processing Councils, said he will work in the private sector, but is unsure where.

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