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News Release

Friday, December 17, 2004
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

Former Virginia Supreme Court Justice Speaks on U.S. Constitution to OPM Senior Management Meeting

OPM Leaders Reaffirm Oath of Office

Washington, DC - Kay Coles James, Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, recently, conducted training for OPM management at the GS 13, 14, and 15 levels on the Constitutional basis of the United States Civil Service, relevance to present OPM operations and the work of employees at the agency and across the Government. The Honorable John Charles Thomas, a former Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court, spoke about the framework of the Constitution and how it impacts Federal employees today.

In his speech, Thomas stated, "Even though we sit here under attack, where folks think they can exploit the strengths and freedoms of the United States, here we are together saying we will resist it. And here you are having sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution every day that you do your job you hold something precious in your hands. To many Americans, when they are in touch with you, they are in touch with the United States of America."

Commenting on the session, James stated, "Judge Thomas is a wonderful example for all who are in the arena of public service. He has an excellent mind. He has worked arduously. He is passionate about his commitment to the Nation and the Constitution. OPM managers are committed to upholding their duties to the Constitution and the American people, and Judge Thomas provided our team with a timely reminder of the importance of our work for the President and the American people."

Following his speech, Judge Thomas administered the oath of office every employee takes when becoming a Federal employee.

The training event was held at Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. In addition to

the session by Judge Thomas, OPM employees were briefed on the important issues that are pending at the agency. Breakout sessions were conducted by the Assistant Director of each OPM division to review the accomplishments of the past year and coordinate the policy implementation and operations to the Strategic Plan and the Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) throughout 2005.

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