« Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 4 NFP) | Main | Courts - Still more on "Federal judge strikes down Michigan ban on same-sex marriage" »

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - " Sinkhole of bureaucracy: Deep underground, federal employees process paperwork by hand in a long-outdated, inefficient system"

As far as I know our Indiana government does not have an office to process tax returns in a cavern in a southern Indiana cave county! But see our federal government, via this long feature story in the Sunday Washington Post, that begins:

In BOYERS, Pa. — The trucks full of paperwork come every day, turning off a country road north of Pittsburgh and descending through a gateway into the earth. Underground, they stop at a metal door decorated with an American flag.

Behind the door, a room opens up as big as a supermarket, full of five-drawer file cabinets and people in business casual. About 230 feet below the surface, there is easy-listening music playing at somebody’s desk.

This is one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government — both for where it is and for what it does.

Here, inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government’s own workers.

But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper.

The employees here pass thousands of case files from cavern to cavern and then key in retirees’ personal data, one line at a time. They work underground not for secrecy but for space. The old mine’s tunnels have room for more than 28,000 file cabinets of paper records.

There is much, much more, including a number of videos. This, according to the WAPO, is the "First in a series examining the failures at the heart of troubled federal systems," titled "Breaking Points: Where Governoment Falls Apart."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 25, 2014 11:23 AM
Posted to Indiana Government