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News Release

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Urges Commuting Alternatives For Federal Employees During World Bank Meetings

Anticipated protests may disrupt normal commuting patterns

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James in a memorandum this week to heads of federal agencies and departments urged the use of alternative commuting methods for federal employees during the period of April 23 - 25, because of protests scheduled in response to the meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that weekend.

"Because of possible traffic congestion in the downtown Washington, D.C. area, I urge you to advise employees to use public transportation and allow extra time for travel on the days preceding the meetings, particularly Friday, April 23," James wrote in the memorandum. "While not announcing unscheduled leave policy, we do encourage supervisors to approve requests for leave on these days."

Employees on alternative work schedules (AWS) may wish to schedule their AWS day off or use available credit hours during this time. With supervisory approval under a written or oral telework agreement, employees may work at home or at a telecenter on these days.

Federal and local law enforcement officials may determine that designated areas of downtown Washington, D.C. will have restricted access. This decision will be made at a later date based on the recommendations of law enforcement officials. Any changes affecting federal employees and agencies will be announced by local media and on OPM's website at Employees are encouraged to monitor local news media for announcements on street closures, closures or disruptions to public transportation, building closures, or other possible changes in operating status.

"As managers of the largest work force in the area, it is imperative we place as little burden as possible on law enforcement officials during this time," stated James.

"Fewer federal employees driving to work during this time period will allow law enforcement officials to focus on the safety and security of meeting participants, protesters and passersby."

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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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