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News Release

Wednesday, April 07, 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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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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