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News Release

Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Recognizes Volunteer Spirit Among Federal Workers

Supports Agency Flexibility to Expand Volunteer Service

Washington, D.C. -- Citing the "proud tradition" of volunteerism in America and among federal employees, OPM Director Kay Coles James has encouraged agency leaders to use workplace flexibilities that would give employees more time to make a difference in their local communities.

James also urged department heads to add the President's Volunteer Service Award to their public service recognition programs.

"Federal employees have a history of generously giving their time and talents to make positive contributions to their local communities," said James, in an April 6 memorandum to agency and department heads.

In the memo, which also commemorates April 18-24 as National Volunteer Week, James endorses the practice of using flexible work schedules and various leave flexibilities to "enable (employees) to participate in volunteer activities."

"As we approach National Volunteer Week, I ask that you support the President's call to service by encouraging employees to participate in volunteer activities and making employees aware of the President's Volunteer Service Award," added James in the memo.

James' memo contains guidance for agencies to use in facilitating employee volunteer activities, including information on the use of leave and compensatory time to perform community work. In addition, agencies may grant administrative leave to employees who perform volunteer work that directly relates to the department's mission, enhances the employee's professional development, or when the absence will be brief and advances the interests of the agency.

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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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