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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 11, 2005
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair Stresses Veterans Employment and Hiring Flexibilities to Federal Chief Human Capital Officers

Blair uses first meeting as Chair of the CHCO Council to reinforce veterans hiring and agency follow-through with interested job seekers

Washington, D.C. -- Dan G. Blair, Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, convened a meeting of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, leading a discussion of issues ranging from hiring flexibilities to the Council's new website.

As OPM's Acting Director, Blair assumes the role as Chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council.

This week's full agenda was highlighted by a discussion of hiring tools and flexibilities currently available to help federal managers attract, recruit and hire recent college graduates, experienced professionals, people with disabilities, and veterans, particularly those with service-connected disabilities.

Blair cited the Bush Administration's continued support for America's veterans, adding that OPM will sponsor 10 events over the next few months to support servicemen and servicewomen who want to serve the nation in the federal civil service upon their discharge from the military. OPM, he said, is providing agencies with information and technical support on a "whole host of appointing authorities" to speed the transition.

OPM recently announced the establishment of a satellite veteran outreach office to be located at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The office will help discharged servicemen and servicewomen with transition services. In addition, agency recruiters recently were sent to Camp Pendleton in California and the San Diego Naval Base, and Florida's Eglin Air Force Base and MacDill Air Force Base as part of OPM's Veteran Invitational Program (VIP).

Blair acknowledged the critical importance of the Council's work in fulfilling the human resources goals in the President's Management Agenda, and said its members have "earned respect throughout the layers of government for addressing difficult issues within the HR community."

Blair also praised the work of two Council subcommittees for studies submitted for review late last year. He said OPM has established an aggressive timetable for implementing recommendations from the subcommittees on Leadership Development and Succession Planning, and Employee Conduct and Poor Performers.

"President Bush has charged us with instilling a culture of performance and results in the federal workplace," said Blair. "The recommendations of the Council's subcommittees represent a down payment on our efforts to leverage this body in reforming how agencies manage their most important asset -- people."

Other agenda items included the ongoing work of OPM with other federal departments to weed out the use of bogus college degrees in hiring and promotion decisions. A CHCO Council website (www.chcoc.gov) was unveiled and reviewed. It contains memorandum and recent documents for use by HR professionals, as well as summaries of best-practices in the HR community.

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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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