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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 03, 2006
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Hosts Interagency Forum on Pandemic Influenza

Officials Gather to Discuss Pandemic Planning and Strategy

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hosted a Federal interagency forum Thursday to discuss Federal workforce planning and strategy efforts in the event of an influenza pandemic affecting the United States. OPM Director Linda M. Springer was joined by experts and officials from throughout the Federal government, including Dr. Kenneth Staley of the White House Homeland Security Council.

"Just a few short months ago, President Bush directed us to work together to ensure the 1.8 million strong Federal workforce would have all the information they need to be prepared for any possible pandemic flu virus affecting the nation," Director Springer said. "Working together, we have formulated guidance to ensure our workforce is ready for any possibility."

The forum, held in OPM's Campbell Auditorium, featured a series of panels staffed by experts from a variety of agencies with divergent backgrounds, including officials from the U.S. Department's of Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture (USDA), Homeland Security (DHS), Labor (DOL), and State (DOS). Various OPM officials staffed several panels to discuss issues such as Federal employee health and safety, and a spate of workforce issues including emergency hiring, telework, leave and pay, and continuation of benefits.

Dr. Staley, Director for Bio-defense Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council, provided an overview of United States Government planning and preparedness efforts.

Panelists also discussed a new Federal employee informational brochure which will soon be distributed offering helpful information and guidance on Pandemic Influenza.

For comprehensive information on guidance to the Federal workforce in the event of an influenza pandemic, visit www.opm.gov/pandemic/index.asp. For general information on Pandemic Influenza, visit the official Federal government website at www.pandemicflu.gov.

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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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