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ADDRESSES THE NEED TO RECRUIT INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James discussed the
need for a strong civil service, one that can handle the
many challenges the federal government faces daily, before
an audience of hundreds of people with disabilities and
their mentors at the Ronald Reagan International Trade
has made it clear that the federal government must be a
model employer, and he has challenged us to lead by example
when it comes to tearing down the barriers that prevent full
participation of every American," said James. "We are indeed
in a hiring mode, and OPM is proactive in championing
initiatives that will attract the best and brightest."
The speech came
during the launch of
multi-agency effort to "get the word out" about the many
programs offered by the federal government to help those
with disabilities. The
includes information on civil rights, education, employment,
housing, health care, technology and transportation.
"This event is
just one of many ways OPM is strengthening strategic
partnerships with other federal agencies," stated James.
"OPM's piece of this web site offers a comprehensive source
of federal employment information. You can access the
USAJOBS listings and find all kinds of information that will
help prospective applicants who are disabled, as well as
managers and human resources professionals looking to give
opportunities to members of that community."
about Medicare changes for 2003 can be found at
COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES 1.4 PERCENT SOCIAL SECURITY INCREASE
Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits to more
than 50 million Americans will increase 1.4 percent in 2003,
Jo Anne B. Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security
announced Oct. 18.
tells us that inflation continues to be low, which is
certainly good news for the elderly and disabled," said
Commissioner Barnhart. "Inflation is one of the biggest
challenges for people living on a fixed income. The annual
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) ensures that a person's
monthly benefit doesn't drop in value over time."
The 1.4 percent
increase will begin with benefits that 46 million Social
Security beneficiaries receive in January 2003. Increased
payments to 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on
and SSI benefits increase automatically each year based on
the rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners
and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the
prior year to the corresponding period of the current year.
This year's increase in the CPI-W was 1.4 percent.
changes that take effect in January of each year are based
on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase,
the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social
Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $87,000 from
$84,900 in 2002.
As a result of
the increase in the taxable maximum in 2003, the maximum
yearly Social Security tax paid by employees and employers
will increase by $130.20 each for a total of $5394.00. For
self-employed workers, it will rise by $260.40 to a total of
$10,788.00. Of the approximately 155 million workers who pay
Social Security taxes, about 9.7 million are affected by the
higher wage base in 2003.
ACT WOULD REVEAL FEDERAL PROGRAMS PRONE TO FINANCIAL
Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Fred Thompson
(R-Tenn.) announced Oct. 18 that the Senate has approved
legislation requiring federal agencies to identify and
report to Congress on programs that may be susceptible to
improper payments. Improper payments result from a variety
of causes ranging from bureaucratic, such as paying someone
twice, to outright fraud.
passed H.R. 4878, the Improper Payments Information Act,
which clarifies that agencies' reports should be publicly
disclosed to Congress and requires the reportS to include a
discussion of the causes of the improper payments, the
actions being taken to address the situation, and the
results of those actions. The House of Representatives is
expected to adopt the substitute amendment when it
reconvenes in November. "Public scrutiny is often the most
effective tool in focusing agency managers' attention on
certain issues, and Americans deserve to know if their tax
dollars are being mismanaged," said Thompson.
"It is not just
the Administration's responsibility to resolve improper
payment issues. Congress holds the purse strings and should
also be held accountable should this problem fail to be
resolved." A recently released report by the Government
Accounting Office found six government agencies reporting
more than $19 billion in wasted taxpayer money, according to
Thompson, and concluded that the actual extent of improper
payments government-wide is unknown but is likely to be
billions of dollars more.
NCD RELEASES INAUGURAL PAPER IN ADA POLICY BRIEF SERIES
Council on Disability today released the inaugural paper in
a series of policy documents addressing specific topics
raised by detrimental rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court on
the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Righting the ADA,
explains NCD's rationale for undertaking this comprehensive
examination, the high expectations it had for the ADA, NCD's
role regarding the ADA, the impact of the ADA, and an
overview of this series of policy briefs.
will respond to certain inaccurate comments about the ADA
leveled by Justice O'Connor, and to several key media
misrepresentations of and erroneous attacks on the ADA.
Subsequently, NCD will examine various specific substantive
aspects of the Court's rulings that have weakened or
restricted the impact of the ADA, including the highly
restrictive interpretation of the ADA's definition of
"disability." Another major area to be addressed concerns
constitutional limits on the power of Congress to enact
disability rights laws such as the ADA and other civil
NCD plans to
address some limitations the Court has imposed on the
remedies available in ADA cases and take a cross-issue look
at the consequences of the Supreme Court's decisions by
contrasting the state of the law before the decisions were
rendered with the legal situation after the decisions, to
identify undesirable and unjust results in the decisions of
the lower courts as a result of the Supreme Court's rulings
and to summarize instances of unaddressed discrimination and
injustices stemming from the Court's rulings that do not
result in reported court decisions. NCD will then develop
legislative proposals for addressing those issues that
appear appropriate for legislative correction.
will present its legislative proposals, along with pertinent
supportive material from the previous papers in a final,
comprehensive report Righting the ADA.
OERM DIRECTOR NAMED AT OPM
Kay Coles James,
director of the Office of Personnel Management, recently
announced that Clarence Crawford has been named as director
of the Office of Executive Resources Management for OPM.
"I look forward
to Clarence's contribution to our team at this important
time. OPM staff are about to embark on a comprehensive
restructuring of the agency and I look forward to the
counsel Clarence will provide regarding the SES, OPM
transformation, and other strategic issues. Clarence's
skills, expertise, and career civil service experience will
be a tremendous asset to our team," James said.
is to improve the performance of the federal government by
helping agencies select, develop, and manage a quality
executive corps that is prepared to lead the continuing
transformation of government.
to OPM from the Patent and Trademark Office where he served
as the principle management advisor to James Rogan,
undersecretary for Intellectual Property and director of the
USPTO. Crawford succeeded in reducing his organization's
relative cost by 20 percent while increasing customer
satisfaction by 33 percent. He has held several positions
within the federal government including positions at the
Office of Management and Budget, the General Accounting
Office, and the Internal Revenue Service. Crawford has also
served his community as an officer with the Metropolitan
Police Department in Washington, D.C.
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