Retirement board targets record-keeping system launch for June

The saga involving the building of a new Thrift Savings Plan system finally appears to be nearing its end. Project manager Larry Stiffler told the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board today that he expects the new record-keeping system to be running by mid-June.

'June looks pretty good to go into production,' Stiffler said. 'I'm confident that April and May will provide enough parallel testing to fix any bugs that come up. If it isn't, we will continue to work on the system until it is ready. The system is functioning well and most of the problems we have encountered have been fairly minor.'

If Stiffler's team succeeds in launching the system, it would end a six-year journey that included the board's firing of its first contractor, American Management Systems Inc. The agency now is suing the Fairfax, Va., company for $350 million. The suit is tied up in appeals court.

Stiffler identified two remaining hurdles: ironing out system bugs and training the staff at the National Finance Center in New Orleans.

The board asked Stiffler to provide an implementation schedule at the board's next meeting April 28.

(Updated April 4, 2003 2:26 p.m.)

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