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News Release

Friday, January 30, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Awards IRS Highest Honor for Personnel Security

OPM Director Kay Coles James Emphasizes Importance of Personnel Security to the Nation

Washington, D.C. - During the 7th annual OPM Security Professionals Seminar (SPS) for OPM's Investigative Services Federal Customers, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management lauded the many efforts of the federal security community for all of the work they do to insure that the federal government's personnel system is "safe and secure."

OPM Director Kay Coles James sent congratulations to this year’s recipient of the OPM Guardian Award, the Internal Revenue Service’s Personnel Security and Investigations Program. “Commissioner Mark Everson and the IRS team have demonstrated a solid commitment to continuous improvement in this important management area by working to identify problems and to correct them quickly. With its careful review and planning, the IRS security program has done its job with determination, excellence and integrity.”

The OPM Guardian Award recognizes agency operations that have merited recognition for the excellence of their security and suitability programs.

Regarding personnel security governmentwide, James commented on the importance of the federal security community. “Personnel security is an increasingly complex and expensive investment that is fundamental to the security of the nation. The federal government must maintain the very best personnel security systems for the safety of both the citizens we serve and those who have the honor of serving within our government.”

As in past years, OPM shared updates on investigative programs and workshops on personnel security initiatives at the personnel agency and throughout the federal security community, highlighting federal efforts to identify bogus academic degrees purchased through diploma mills which threaten the sanctity of agency personnel adjudications. OPM also shared information on broad security and intelligence initiatives throughout the federal government, as well as preliminary sessions on security topics of general interest.

For more information on the OPM’s Investigative Services, please go to

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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