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News Release

Friday, August 20, 2004
Contact: Edmund Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Representative Discusses the Future of the Civil Service

Underscores the need for change while maintaining core government "values"

Washington, DC - During the 19th Annual Federal Dispute Resolution Conference for federal agency representatives, Mark Doboga, a U.S. Office of Personnel Management Deputy Associate Director, discussed the "look" of the civil service of tomorrow.

First, however, he discussed the importance of the Merit Systems Principles, ideas that have endured throughout the years.

"When we speak of the future of the civil service, with over 1.8 million employees, I think it is instructive to remember that there have been numerous reforms to the system," said Doboga. "However, something that has not changed is the federal government's adherence to the Merit System Principles. These principles are enduring. As OPM Director Kay Coles James has said - ‘Merit is an important word in our system, it means that our employees are judged on their own demonstration and achievement, not who they know or for whom they voted.'"

In addition to discussing the value of the merit system, Doboga also mentioned that the government is changing to meet the needs of the American people.

"In the federal government, we are embarked on what I would call a wave of change," said Doboga. "Congress has passed legislation to give some agencies the ability to "modernize" their personnel systems...and it has given OPM a key role in implementing these changes."

According to Doboga, James has established four principles for civil service modernization: preserving core civil service values and principles; maximizing agency flexibility; leveragingeconomies of scale and the buying power of the federal government, and ensuring the collaboration and coordination of all the stakeholders involved in the government's reform process.

In closing, Doboga, Deputy Associate Director for OPM's Center for Talent and Capacity Training said: "OPM's job is to help agencies build a quality and diverse federal work force, based on merit system principles, that guarantees our freedom, promotes prosperity and ensures the security of this great country. We are committed to this task and will continue to lead in this effort."

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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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