The U.S. Office of Personnel Management developed a new Strategic Information Technology Plan, which will improve and consolidate IT systems related to human resources.

The new plan’s goal is to create an “HR lifecycle IT framework” that will enable sharing of information among the various existing IT solutions and future capabilities at OPM, other agencies, and across the industry. OPM also wants to ensure data availability and accuracy across the lifecycle for faster retirement processing, increased accuracy of annuity calculations, and reduced backlog of cases.

“We will provide a set of standards that will span the HR lifecycle and support information exchange,” the report noted. “This framework will drive government and industry in creating solutions and supporting processes that provide high-quality, modern IT services and capabilities to citizens, federal employees, and agencies, in a way that also ensures information sharing.”


OPM wants to simplify USAJOBS – the federal government’s source for job listings and employment opportunity information – to help applicants and build “the most diverse, highly talented workforce,” the report said. During fiscal 2014, OPM will implement profile and resume builder enhancements for USAJOBS, a pilot a resume mining feature, application wizard, and implement reporting and analytics features.

The move will transform the agency’s paper-based system it has relied on for years, which was criticized as outdated and inefficient in a recent article in the Washington Post

“While parts of the retirement process remains paper-based, OPM has begun a gradual transition to a fully digital process,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta wrote in a blog post. “Once the transition is complete, most retirement data will be electronic, and the vast majority of records will be sent automatically through the system to the points where a human decision-maker is still needed.”

The average time to process retirement claims is now 61 days, according to Archuleta, compared to 91 days in July 2013 and 156 days in December 2011. Within seven days of the actual retirement date, retirees receive interim pay equaling about 80 percent of their final pay, while OPM is processing their claim.

The reports notes the OPM “strategy to separation” HR lifecycle plan can help OPM’s business integrate and share accountability with their processes, data, and technology through six areas of IT: IT leadership, IT governance, enterprise architecture, agile IT, data analytics, and information security.

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Chandler Harris is a freelance business and technology writer located in Silicon Valley. He has written for numerous publications including Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO,, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Magazine,, and the San Jose Business Journal. Chandler is also engaged in helping companies further their content marketing needs through content strategy, optimization and creation, as well as blogging and social media platforms. When he's not writing, Chandler enjoys his beach haunt of Santa Cruz where he rides roller coasters with his son, surfs and bikes across mountain ranges.