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News Release

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Addresses Recent Department of Defense Personnel E-Business/Standard Procurement System Conference

James highlights need for "getting America's war fighters what they need, when they need it, faster than ever."

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James recently addressed the Department of Defense (DoD) Personnel E-Business/Standard Procurement System (SPS) Joint Users Conference. James recognized the need for broad personnel reform to replace old models of structure to meet new threats and incorporate technology to defend America more intelligently.

James addressed over 500 procurement professionals on the collaborative role OPM has played with DoD in producing a more efficient government while meeting the challenges of the Federal workforce in a post 9/11 America. The event was held in Houston, Texas.

Commenting on the partnership to meet DoD's need for human capital flexibility, James stated, "I am proud to say that Secretary Rumsfeld and I were jointly tasked by Congress to revamp the personnel systems at the Department of Defense through the National Security Personnel System. In establishing the framework necessary for senior DoD leadership to use business intelligence tools in direct support of logistics, acquisition and financial management, you play a key role in getting America's war fighters what they need, when they need it, faster than ever. You are doing your job and doing it well."

James also built the case for and lauded the accomplishments of major civil service reform, particularly DoD's call for more flexibility in hiring. She also discussed OPM's continuous work with the Department of Homeland Security to develop modern and flexible human resource systems that honor civil service principles and avoid prohibited personnel practices.

"OPM is charged by President Bush with determining which agencies have been successful enough at implementing civil service policies to earn the right to be green on the President's Management Agenda. Scoring is not the ultimate goal - human capital transformation and results are the real goal," James said. "The bottom line is this - we will make budget and management decisions based on performance. Ineffective programs either improve or will be closed out. And we are going to challenge those programs that are performing well - to do even better."

The DoD SPS conference is the department's premiere event to address the department's acquisition domain, and share lessons learned and valuable tips with other SPS users worldwide from across the military services and defense agencies. As part of the President Management Agenda, OPM determines the progress scores for the Federal Government's Strategic Management of Human Capital initiative.

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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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