As part of its Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiative, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is looking to replace the application it uses for annuity claims and move from legacy software to a new web app, according to two requests for information released November 12.

The RFI, released by the General Service Administration’s (GSA’s) Technology and Transformation Services (TTS) unit, notes that the effort will likely use the ALLIANT 2 contract to replace the Federal Annuity Claims Expert System (FACES), which handles 80,000 Federal retirement benefit actions annually. The effort will involve the creation of both a desktop app on the front end, and a benefits calculator on the backend.

“FACES is a reliable and accurate system, but it was built with tools that are no longer supported by the manufacturer, which makes it difficult to update and maintain,” the RFI states. “FACES wasn’t originally designed as enterprise software and there is limited documentation that describes how FACES works.”

For the front-end application, the RFI notes the desire for a system that allows the CIO’s office to maintain the back end, while allowing OPM’s legal administrative specialists to make interface changes without needing IT’s help. The RFI also requests a user-centered design approach, using minimal viable products to gain feedback in an iterative design process.

For the benefits calculator, OPM is looking to replace an “outdated Excel workbook” with a calculation service that connects to the broader desktop app through an API. The calculator needs to handle 1,000 inter-related formulas in a new business rules management system that can handle 3,000 daily calculations. The calculator is expected to take longer than the new desktop app due to the shift of legacy calculations.

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MeriTalk Staff