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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 21, 2004
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Conducts Session for Agencies on Emergency Preparedness in Response to Needs Identified in Governmentwide Survey

316 Individuals 81 Federal Agencies are Trained on Emergency Preparedness

Washington, DC - The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducted a third forum for Federal specialists, today, on steps agencies can take now to prepare for potential natural or man-made emergencies. The session focused on the preparedness needs identified during an OPM survey about security and emergency response measures put into place at individual agencies Governmentwide.

Director Kay Coles James stated, "We know right now that we are living in a time of heightened sensitivity to attack by groups who hate freedom and wish to destroy ours. We will not let them succeed and the Federal workforce is a significant part of the effort to safeguard our Nation. In turn, agency leaders and managers have a fundamental and ongoing responsibility to provide for the protection for Federal employees."

Including today's event, 316 people have attended the three seminars from a combined total of 81 agencies. An additional seminar is planned for Washington, DC on June 11, as well as field sessions to be conducted in Boston on May 26, and New York on June 2. A list of participating agencies who have attended sessions so far follows this release.

The Federal Government may, in extreme conditions, close all or some of its agencies as a result of certain events (i.e. weather, protests, terrorism) that prevent employees from physically reaching their official duty stations. Critical training is provided so the safety of the Federal workforce is not compromised and the functionality of the Government remains intact. The key to securing the Government's ability to carry out basic agency functions during these events is advance planning and preparation, including the designation of emergency personnel.

The ability to telework is very important in times of emergency situations. Participating agencies at today's forum were made aware of the need to make telework a part of their continuity of operations planning. Federal agencies were urged to consider a full range of possibilities about how and where their work is accomplished through the use of alternative worksites such as telecenters and employees' homes.

List of Participating Agencies

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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