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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Contact: J. Porter
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Testifies To Congress On CHCO Council’s First Year

Cites CHCO Council’s progress in driving Federal agency emergency planning and safety efforts

Washington, DC - U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James today testified, to the Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Organization, Committee on Government Reform, U. S. House of Representatives, on the progress of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council's (CHCO) first year on the job.

"I told members that this would be a ‘make-stuff-happen' Council. And it has been just that. Since last June, the Council has met six times, adopted a charter, established an Executive Committee to help steer the Council and five initial subcommittees to address important government-wide human capital issues," said James. "The Council has also conducted a two-day retreat at OPM's Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, drafted a tactical plan for the current Fiscal Year, created a CHCO Academy, and appointed an Executive Director to oversee the Council's daily operations."

The Council's five subcommittees are focused on key areas of Federal civil service reform that include emergency preparedness, the Federal hiring process, performance management, leadership development, and employee conduct.

"The emergency preparedness efforts of Federal agencies must be our highest priority, and ensuring agencies are focusing on this issue is of the greatest importance," stated James. "CHCOs have a key role in seeing that their agencies are zeroed in on this issue, as there is no more important human capital issue than the safety of the workforce. Following 9/11, agencies immediately began to further implement emergency planning efforts, and I am pleased to say, overall, they have increased their level of focus on these important issues."

CHCOs are also assisting agency heads in enforcing OPM's policy that there is no place in Federal employment for degrees or credentials from diploma mills. Over the past year, more than 750 agency officials have been trained on the issue of bogus degrees, and CHCOs are working closely with OPM's Division for Human Capital Leadership and Merit System Accountability.

The Council is playing an integral role in observing veterans' preference statutes and regulations as agencies hire new employees. Next week, the Council will hold a meeting that includes a training session held in conjunction with veterans' service organizations on the importance of veterans' preference and hiring. This event will take place at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

"The members of the CHCO Council take seriously these important responsibilities. With continued attention to the President's charge to achieve results, the American civil service will only grow stronger as it continues to provide the Nation with the critical services our citizens expect," stated James.

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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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