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News Release

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Contact: J. Porter
Tel: 202-606-2402

Chief Human Capital Officers Council Holds Joint Meeting with Veteran's Service Organizations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Discussion Focuses on Diploma Mills, Veterans' Preference, And Federal Employee Safety Issues

Washington, DC - U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James today convened a Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCO) meeting at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The meeting was designed to include Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) and representatives of Federal employee labor organizations.

Representatives from some of the Federal government's largest employee associations and unions were invited to present on their vision for the Council. Representatives included Senior Executive Association, President Carol Bonosaro, Federal Managers Association, National Vice President Darryl Perkinson, American Federation of Government Employees, Public Policy Director Jacque Simon and National Treasury Employees Union, National Negotiator Howard Swinimer.

James said, "today's event was a unique opportunity for representatives and stakeholders from across government to discuss issues of key importance regarding hiring and the Federal workforce, Veterans' Preference and Diploma Mills and I am pleased that we are continuously able to effectively engage in an open dialogue."

Additionally, the Council took part in a special training session on Veterans' Preference and veteran hiring which highlighted Department of Labor, Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Ciccollela from the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Walter Reed, Garrison Commander, Col. Jeffrey Davies. The information in the training session will also be covered with HR specialists government-wide at the OPM-sponsored Veteran Employment Symposium on May 26, 2004 at the Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, D. C.

"It is essential that the people in charge of the Federal hiring process from the highest levels right down to the line managers understand the importance of Veterans' Preference and the richness of the veteran talent pool that is ready-made for the civil service," said James. "We must make sure those responsible for implementing it have the tools and knowledge necessary to make the right decisions."

Additional items on the agenda included appointing authorities for people with disabilities, the Human Capital Performance Fund, proposed regulatory changes to the Student Career Experience Program and the new HR Line of Business, for which OPM is the managing partner.

In regard to bogus degrees, Director James said, "when we, as the Federal government are faced with issues of national security, we can not have someone who has paid $5,000 for a Ph.D. handling sensitive issues."

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