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News Release

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Contact: Brittney Manchester
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Issues Final Regulations on Flag Recognition Benefit for Fallen Civilian Employees

Washington, DC - The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today issued the final regulations on the Flag Recognition Benefit for Fallen Federal Civilian Employees. The final regulations, published in the Federal Register, bestow an American flag to the beneficiaries of Federal civilian employees who lose their lives while serving the public.

“Authorizing agencies to present an American flag to the families or friends of the fallen is another way for us to pay tribute to their loved one’s service and to their dedication to this great country,” said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta. “I am inspired by America’s finest men and women who honorably serve our nation and I encourage all agencies to take pride in recognizing those Federal employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We must remember the Federal employees throughout the nation and the world who lose their lives while serving the American public.”

The law authorizes the head of an executive agency to give a United States flag to the beneficiary of an employee who dies of injuries sustained in connection with employment in the Federal Government as a result of a criminal act, an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, or other circumstance as determined by the President. The final regulations describe eligibility requirements and procedures for flag requests.

Although these final regulations are not effective until 30 days after publication, agencies do not need to wait to present flags to beneficiaries. In order to receive a flag, beneficiaries must contact the personnel office of the Federal agency where the employee worked. The benefit applies only to employees who died on or after December 20, 2011, the effective date of the enabling statute, the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011. The law authorizes an agency to furnish only a single flag on behalf of a deceased Federal civilian employee as a way to express the nation’s deepest sympathy and gratitude.

OPM issued the regulations after receiving input from stakeholders and coordinating with the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. They may be viewed on the Federal Register.

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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