In preparation for the coming winter season, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is reissuing the Washington, DC, area emergency dismissal or closure procedures. These procedures are substantially the same as those issued on January 21, 1997 (CPM 97-2).
The business of the Federal Government is vital to serving the public everywhere. Therefore, we will make a determined effort to avoid the widespread curtailment of public services in the Washington, DC, area. We encourage and will follow a policy of allowing more general use of unscheduled leave so that employees who truly find it impossible or unsafe to make it to work or who arrive late can use annual leave or leave without pay, while the essential functions of the Government continue with the employees who are able to make it to work on time. Further, on those days that we do not declare an unscheduled leave policy because conditions generally are not bad, we encourage agencies and supervisors to be sensitive to the fact that localized weather and road conditions may preclude some employees from safely commuting to work and to grant unscheduled annual leave or leave without pay to such workers.
It is essential that Federal agencies comply with the Washington, DC, area emergency dismissal or closure procedures, which were developed in consultation with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). Independent action by agencies should be avoided because any changes in the working hours of Federal employees in this area must be coordinated carefully with municipal and regional officials in order to minimize disruption of the highway and mass transit systems.
A copy of the current procedures may be downloaded from the Office of Personnel Managment's (OPM's) website at http://www.opm/oca/compmemo/1996_1997/c97-10a.htm. In addition the procedures are available via modem on OPM's electronic bulletin board system (BBS) by dialing (202) 606-4800 (Compensation Administration Forum). These procedures are also being shared with Federal Executive Boards and Federal Executive Associations nationwide as a recommended approach to be used in their coverage areas.
Personnel Directors may consult a special phone line to hear a recorded message on the current weather status and/or the status of government operations. The telephone number is unchanged from previous years. If you need the telephone number, or if you are a new member of the Interagency Advisory Group, please call Charles Kawecki on (202) 606-2166 to arrange access to the system. Announcements of the current operating status will be available on OPM's home page (click on the penguin) and on OPM's BBS (selection W on the main page).
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