Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Homeland Security Act leaves employee rights intact,

said Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles

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James in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on

Oversight of Government Management and the House Subcommittee

on Civil Service, OPM has announced.

According to OPM, James also said it was irresponsible to

give the impression that employee rights had been taken

away from DHS employees. OPM, unions and DHS continue to

discussions as to whether those rights actually have been

compromised.

The proposed rules include a pay-for-performance system,

a labor-relations board, and processes to handle

disciplinary actions, and remain open for public comment

through March 22.

During her testimony, James argued for the importance of

human resources flexibilities for DHS and responded to

concerns that employee rights would be eroded under the

recently proposed personnel system rules by saying that

merit system principles would remain intact.

She also testified that veteran’s preference would not be

compromised, whistleblowers would be protected as before

and personnel practices previously prohibited would remain

so. James said that employees would still be afforded due

process prior to an adverse action against them and that

they would still be free to join unions and bargain

collectively.