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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the Kansas City Federal Executive Board recently hosted a symposium for security specialists and government managers in a discussion of workplace security and continuity of emergency services delivered by federal employees.
The symposium, attended by 88 federal executives and employees with responsibilities in emergency planning, law enforcement, human resources and facilities, also focused on the use of HR flexibilities by managers to attract people with expertise in information technology, national security and other critical 21st century skills. The meeting was held in Kansas City at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"By preparing for and ensuring the safety of federal employees in the greater Kansas City area, we are also providing for the continuity of vital government services to residents of this Midwestern community," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "Field-level meetings such as these help train recruiters and prepare HR officials who play key roles in responding to challenges that threaten our homeland and which require adjustments to employee safety measures or work environment."
Under James' direction, the symposium also reinforced the use and value of personnel flexibilities that can be used to expedite the hiring of qualified veterans and students; other HR flexibilities, such as the use of telework and alternate workplace sites, can help officials plan for the continuity of operations during an emergency. OPM and Federal Executive Boards across the country have hosted similar symposiums in recent months.
James has been firm in highlighting the need to use existing HR flexibilities in recruitment efforts, and OPM has hosted a number of symposiums in Washington for agency staff. As Chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, Director James also has made the case for flexibilities to top HR officials, as well as taken it directly to agency heads.
The symposium's focus also included a discussion of the manpower and logistical needs agencies must consider during emergency preparedness planning and implementation. James has a primary role in communicating with agency leaders on contingency planning should the nation and government services be threatened by terrorist attack.
"Not only must the federal government be prepared to keep our employees safe, but we must be positioned to respond with continuity of service," said James. "As America looked to its federal government for leadership after the September 11 attacks, we must be ever vigilant so that we can respond to the needs of our citizens and to our nation in times of challenge."
Agencies represented at the symposium included:
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)Corps of Engineers (COE)Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS)Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Department of Commerce (DOC)Department of Energy (DOE)Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)Federal Executive Board (FEB)General Services Administration (GSA)Health & Human Services (HHS)Office of Personnel Management (OPM)Social Security Administration (SSA)US Department of Agriculture (USDA)Veterans Affairs (VA)Corps of Engineers (COE)Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)Federal Executive Board (FEB)General Services Administration (GSA)Health & Human Services (HHS)Housing & Urban Development (HUD)National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)Office of Personnel Management (OPM)Social Security Administration (SSA)US Department of Agriculture (USDA)Veterans Affairs (VA)
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.