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News Release

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Contact: Debby Pafel
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM and OMB Present Symposium on Improving Agency Performance by Strategically Managing Human Capital

Common Goals Shared by Human Capital and Competitive Sourcing Initiatives

Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently hosted the Human Capital Flexibilities for Competitive Sourcing Symposium for government officials and managers in human capital and acquisition. The session focused on the need to integrate the strategic management of human capital and competitive sourcing initiatives to improve mission performance by closing competency gaps, identifying and addressing redundancies, and restructuring organizations for greater efficiency.

"We've learned that change is hard and personal, competition is healthy, and benefits to the taxpayer are immeasurable when competitive sourcing and human capital are linked," said OPM Acting Director Dan G. Blair.

Competitive sourcing is one initiative of the President's Management Agenda. Agencies regularly examine their commercial activities to determine whether it is more efficient to obtain such services from Federal employees or from the private sector.

OPM specialists discussed existing human resource tools agencies can use to provide "soft landings" for employees affected by competitive sourcing, as well as a 21-day clearance and approval model that is now being tested when agencies request authority to offer voluntary early retirement and voluntary separation incentive payments.

"Neither the competitive sourcing initiative nor the human capital effort can reach its full potential without the active involvement of both the competitive sourcing officials and the chief human capital officers," according to David Safavian, administrator of OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy. "The meeting held at OPM is merely the first step in what we hope will be a true partnership between these two sets of stakeholders as both Presidential initiatives mature." 

OPM and OMB are committed to continuing the dialogue established at the symposium through additional events.

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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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