OPM Dir. Berry: End attacks on feds!

By Max Cacas FederalNewsRadio

John Berry, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, has been on the job for about six months. Yesterday, he used a speech before a conference of federal managers and workers to discuss how he really feels about the millions of people who make up the federal workforce.

Much of what Director Berry had to say about his plans to improve the federal workforce has been heard...



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Berry also reminded his audience that federal workers lost their lives at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, American embassies in 1998, and of course, in the 9/11 attacks.

Later, during a question and answer session, Berry declined to talk about the Defense Business Board’s recent decision to try to fix the Pentagon’s NSPS “pay for performance system”, telling FederalNewsRadio that he wants to wait for the board’s final report before commenting.

He spoke of his recent meeting with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and a novel plan to help agencies share what he calls “work-life” resources.

He said that he and Secretary Salazar are exploring how federal agencies within close proximity to each other might share facilities like gyms or health care centers.

As an example, he says the Interior Department has an excellent exercise facility; why not, he says, have neighboring OPM, the Federal Reserve, and the General Services Administration, pool their resources to help Interior keep its gym a state-of-the-art facility shared by workers from all four agencies?

Berry also says that in September or October, he expects to convene a special conference, hosted by Harvard University, and “chaired by the Dean of the Kennedy School, David Elwood; former Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes; and Laszlo Bock, the head of people programs for Google. ”

Berry says the meeting will explore what the federal government needs to do to reach his goal of becoming, “America’s model employer of the 21st century.”

On the Web:

FederalNewsRadio – Full text of Dir. Berry’s speech (doc)

FederalNewsRadio – Agencies consider transforming the federal workplace

FederalNewsRadio – OPM Director John Berry chats with Mike Causey (May 13, 2009)

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