Senate appropriators restore funding for RSM project

Office of Personnel Management officials breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday when Senate appropriators restored funding for the agency's massive Retirement Systems Modernization project.

The Senate Appropriations Committee added the money when it passed the fiscal 2007 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies appropriations bill, which now moves to the Senate floor.

The Senate action comes after the House did not grant OPM its requested $26.7 million for the project when it passed its own version of the bill earlier this year. The lack of funding stunned OPM officials, who said RSM could be in danger of failing if it doesn't get the necessary funds.

OPM has already awarded two contracts for the project, which the agency hopes will revolutionize how the government tracks, maintains and processes retirement information for its employees.

OPM director Linda Springer lauded the Senate action and pushed House lawmakers, when the bill moves to a conference committee, to leave the RSM funding in place.

'We urge the House to follow the leadership of senators Thad Cochran, Robert Byrd, Christopher Bond and Patty Murray so that current and future federal employees will enjoy a smooth transition from their jobs to their golden years,' Springer said.

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