If You Have a PIN,
Then You Can Get In
By Ron Hall
I know I've got my latest health insurance files here somewhere
and hmmmm, where DID I put my folder on my U.S. Savings Bonds and--RATS!
I just spilled coffee on my latest earnings and leave statement!
Cheeez, mumble, grumble..."
If you sometimes
find that your attempts at keeping your personal records in order
are as hopeless as a salmon trying to swim up Niagara Falls, then
the National Finance Center may have a solution for you.
the "Employee Personal Page."
Personal Page is a new feature on NFC's home page--which, of course,
is part of the Department's home page," explained Beth Rockwell,
chief of the Personnel Systems Branch with NFC in New Orleans and
project manager of this new initiative. "It allows employees serviced
by NFC to view data concerning their own payroll, leave, travel
voucher information, life insurance, health insurance, U.S. Savings
Bonds, Thrift Savings Plan, and related information."
added George Morris, a personnel management specialist with the
Office of Human Resources Management, "it eliminates much of the
need for an employee to request information from his/her servicing
employee can access it immediately, with no delay, and can do this
with Internet access from home or work, 24 hours a day, seven days
specialist Greg Kidd noted that, to access the information, an employee
first needs to access NFC's home page, http://www.nfc.usda.gov.
will then provide instructions on how the employee can obtain a
"Personal Identification Number," or PIN.
PIN, nobody can access the personal information--including that
employee," Kidd affirmed. "This, along with an employee's use of
his/her Social Security number, helps to ensure that all data is
But how safe
is this system?
system we've employed with the Employee Personal Page," emphasized
NFC computer specialist Steve Cunningham, "ensures that an employee's
information is encrypted and locked with a 'mathematical key' when
the data is transferred between the employee's computer browser
and NFC's computer system."
specialist David Turner added that USDA employees were mailed a
leaflet on this system in the Statement of Earnings and Leave for
Pay Period No. 10. It officially went active on June 7.
"As of December
8," said NFC secretary Theone Greenlee, "8,008 USDA employees--and
14,800 federal employees governmentwide--have obtained PINs for
use with the Employee Personal Page."
Ron Hall is
Editor of USDA News, an employee publication at the US Department
of Agriculture in Washington, DC. You may reach him at (202) 720-5747