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There are 600 employees of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management processing retirement papers of the government’s own workers deep down in a limestone mine in Boyer, PA. No, this is not a joke or prank. The operative word here is “paper.” The old mine’s tunnels have room for more than 28,000 file cabinets of paper records.

1. When did this IRON Mountain storage begin? According to the article, the processing task takes so long because of Congress and its complex retirement rules. What type of information is required?
2. Since 1977, has the government processing become more efficient and less costly? Explain how a combination of accounting information systems and managerial accounting best practices might help in a redesign.
3. According to Farenthold, the nightmare cases are the “reemployed annuitants.” What are these?

Farenthold, D.A. (2014). Sinkhole of Bureaucracy. The Washington Post, March 22 (Retrievable online at