What does it mean to be “efficient”? Is it distinguishable from being “effective”, or are the two inseparable? In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to be effective in submitting a paper presentation to the Office of Personnel Management.
Efficiency, while helpful, is not necessarily a precondition in order to be effective. In an inverse manner, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is very effective in its procedural approach — the laws support such effectiveness, in that their decisions, timeframes and arguments are effective in their very finality (leaving aside the issue of appeal rights, of course). But is OPM efficient? Most would argue that because of the recent inefficiencies reflected by their case-load backlog, that one could hardly describe OPM as being very “efficient”.
Thus, “effectiveness” and “efficiency” are two distinct concepts which are clearly separable. If one were to choose which of the two characteristics one should embrace in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it would clearly be the former (effectiveness), as opposed to the latter (efficiency). For, while time will fade, the final decision of whether one gets an approval or a denial in a Federal Disability Retirement case will not.
Being effective in fighting a case is the more important of the two characteristics, and sometimes, when one needs to be effective, one is not terribly efficient in the process.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire