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News Release

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Authorizes Special Workplace Solicitation of Federal Employees to Get Much-Needed Financial Aid to Victims of South Asian Earthquake and Tsunami

James says the special solicitation will "facilitate relief assistance"

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James has authorized special workplace solicitations of federal employees who wish to make monetary donations to bring much-needed supplies and humanitarian aid to South Asian countries devastated by this week's earthquake and tsunami. With James' authorization, agency heads can promote charitable giving and communicate to employees the contact information of organizations providing disaster relief.

"As a Nation, we are all troubled by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in South Asia," said James in a memorandum (see attachment) to agency heads authorizing the special solicitation. "Based on the recommendation by the U.S. Agency for International Development, cash contributions are the most effective way to provide relief assistance. As such, I am authorizing department and agency heads to allow a special solicitation of federal employees at the workplace to facilitate relief assistance within the federal government.

With the authorization, federal employees can make a one-time cash or check donation outside the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the only regularly scheduled charity drive authorized in the federal workplace. A similar authorization was made following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

James also notes that federal employees who work in areas where the annual CFC has not yet concluded may contribute to relief efforts through either payroll deductions, or by a direct cash or check contribution to a CFC participating relief organization. The memo directs employees to a web address ( containing a list of CFC national and international charities that may be providing relief to stricken areas. Employees can also refer to their local CFC catalogues for the national/international list.

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