from the welcome-to-the-1980s-again dept.
"In a bizarre twist to the usual failed government IT projects, the Washington Post reports:
Deep in an underground mine in Boyers, Pa., amid 28,000 file cabinets, government workers process the retirement files of federal employees. On paper. By hand. In 2014. 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 need for automation was clear in 1981,' said James W. Morrison Jr., who oversaw the retirement-processing system under President Ronald Reagan. In a telephone interview this year, Morrison recalled his horror upon learning that the system was all run on paper: 'After a year, I thought, God, my reputation will be ruined if we don't fix this.'"