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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James issued a memorandum (attached) to the heads of executive departments and agencies on flexibilities available to federal agencies and personnel with respect to Hurricane Ivan and its aftermath, and to reiterate various human resource authorities already available.
"The Southeastern portion of the United States is bracing for Hurricane Ivan, the latest in a series of storms that has devastated Florida and the East coast," wrote James in the memorandum. "As you know, many people in the Southeast continue to suffer from the aftermath of Hurricanes Charley and Frances, and now are faced with additional potential loss and destruction from Hurricane Ivan and its aftermath. Many parts of the federal government already are being mobilized to respond to this disaster and to assist you in those relief and recovery efforts."
Director James strongly encouraged managers to:
"President Bush and the federal work force team are deeply concerned about the families and communities that may suffer from this hurricane," stated James. "Federal workers are highly talented and compassionate individuals, and stand ready to assist agencies and communities as requested. The anticipated severity of Hurricane Ivan, coming so closely as it will on the destruction caused by Hurricanes Charley and Frances, makes it absolutely essential that our federal managers have available the full range of human resources flexibilities to produce the most effective response."
Available personnel flexibilities include:
James suggested agency Chief Human Capital Officers contact their OPM Human Capital Officer for needed assistance, and agency employees should contact their agency human resources office if they have questions or concerns regarding personnel matters.
It is predicted that Hurricane Ivan will strike the Gulf Coast of the United States, affecting Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Northwestern parts of Florida. There are approximately 1,600 federal employees in Mobile, Alabama, and 17,000 federal employees in the greater New Orleans area, and based on the city's recommendation to voluntarily evacuate Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard Parishes, the Federal Executive Board Emergency Committee recommended dismissal of non-emergency federal employees at noon yesterday.
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.