OPM wants new technology for employee management

The Office of Personnel Management is looking for a way to track current, potential and retired employees in one employee digital records system that spans agencies and employee positions.

OPM issued a request for information June 1, 2018, to determine if multiple companies are capable of providing a modernized system for recording personnel data that enables “movement of Federal employees between agencies in an agile manner without re-entering data, and retaining and managing records so that as employees move in and out of Government, their information can be easily retrieved for re-entry or for retirement processing.”

The ability to move easily in and out of federal work was established as a recent priority for OPM Director Jeff Pon, who has also sought changes to federal employee retirement programs as a means of making that transition between government and the private sector easier to navigate.

The new EDR system would be capable of tracking personnel from the moment they apply for a federal position through their retirement, containing personnel data for all government employees, annuitants, and current and former family members.

An example prototype of the EDR posted with the RFI included the use of blockchain as a means of validating changes to information across agencies. Blockchain enables only approved users to make changes to the information contained within it, while keeping an accurate record of those changes and the history of the data.

Though integral to the cryptocurrency market, blockchain has only seen the beginnings of use cases in the federal government, such as for storing data on federal contractors at the General Services Administration.

The EDR would also have to be compatible with GSA’s NewPay system, currently in the presolicitation phase, which aims to modernize payroll systems across the federal government while providing greater ease of access for employees.

Security of the system’s data is likely to be a crucial concern in the evaluation of potential solutions. The 2015 breach of OPM personnel data proved that the wealth of personal information stored by OPM can be a prime target for hackers.

Interested businesses have until June 13, 2018 to submit responses to the RFI that demonstrate their ability to provide or create a technology solution that would meet OPM’s requirements.

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