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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 12, 2005
Contact: Carla Coolman
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Official Testifies Before Congress on Compensation for Federal Employees who Perform Emergency Functions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nancy H. Kichak, Acting Associate Director for Strategic Human Resources Policy of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) testified before a House Committee on the issue of compensation for Federal employees who perform emergency functions. She also provided the Administration's views on compensation for Federal wildland firefighters generally and, more specifically, on H.R. 408, the Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act of 2005.

In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform and Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization, Kichak recognized the importance of the work performed by Federal wildland firefighters and by their state, local, and tribal government colleagues.

"We respect the difficulties inherent in the complex and intense situations they address, and I want to express our appreciation for their efforts," Kichak said.

She discussed the basis for pay and classification of wildland firefighters and those of structural firefighters as related to the differences between their duties and responsibilities.

In providing a statement in opposition to H.R. 408, Federal Wildland Firefighter Emergency Response Compensation Act of 2005, Kichak testified before this hearing chaired by Rep. John C. Porter (R-NV), "In determining our position on H.R. 408, we are governed by three basic principles. First, we need to address the merits of the proposal based on the objectives that must be met to achieve a particular mission. Second, we must try to maintain some level of equity among various groups of Federal employees who face similar challenges. Finally, we are obligated to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently and effectively to achieve results for the American people."

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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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