OPM posts first batch of HR data on the Internet

OPM posts first batch of HR data on the Internet

BY DIPKA BHAMBHANI | GCN STAFF

The Office of Personnel Management is moving statistics about 1.8 million federal civilian workers from a secure intranet to the Internet.

OPM posted its first batch of information at www.fedscope.opm.gov at the end of April. By late summer, the site will draw more details from OPM's Central Personnel Data File, a governmentwide human resources information system.


FedScope uses Cognos' analytical software to find answers from the Central Personnel Data File to callers' most frequently asked questions.
'We hope to get information that shows what kinds of people the government is hiring and what kinds of people are leaving the government,' said Ralph Nenni, OPM's data systems manager.

PowerPlay from Cognos Corp. of Toronto, a multidimensional analysis application, retrieves 13 of the most frequently requested categories of personnel information such as age distribution, occupations, pay plans and salary levels.

The site also uses Cognos' PowerPlay Enterprise Server and Transformation Server. The information they manipulate formerly was available only via printed reports.

'If people couldn't go to our hard-copy report, an analyst would have to program a report,' Nenni said. 'This will make it a lot easier to handle 80 percent of recurring requests.'

Web buys time

Nenni said using the Web saves analysts time organizing data and preparing reports, and the public users 'don't have to wait in a queue or submit a request.' Visitors can export so-called canned reports or filter and graph their own unique reports.

The agency excludes sensitive information such as race, name or national origin. Sensitive data remains on OPM's intranet.

'It saves us time to offload the simpler requests,' Nenni said.

Greg Dicks, director of Cognos Federal of Vienna, Va., which maintains security for OPM's intranet, said there is 'information in that database that we don't want everybody in the world to sign in and look at.'

The initial cost for the Web application, including the servers and user licenses, was about $100,000 plus $20,000 in annual maintenance.

OPM wanted minimum customer interaction, Dicks said.

'It's very efficient. Like everyone else in government, they want to do more with less,' he said.

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