• Storm Alert
 • Stress Lab
Storm  Alert
 As we move into the winter season,
 employees should remember that
 leave decisions will be made pursuant
 to OMB policy through the EPA
 Headquarters Personnel Office.  In the
 event that hazardous weather
 develops overnight, you should
 monitor local radio and TV broadcasts
 for information before  leaving home
 in the morning. The options:
 •  Federal Offices Open on Time. All
 employees report for work on

 •  Delayed Arrival. All offices and
 activities will be open, and employees
 are expected to try to report on  time.
 However, because of the severe
 weather, all employees except those
 who are designated as  essential
 personnel may be granted a
 reasonable excused absence  (usually
 up to two hours) for delays in
 commuting. Employees may also take
 a reasonable amount of annual leave
 (or leave without pay)  without prior
 authorization. Supervisors will
 determine whether excused absence
 or annual leave is appropriate.
 •  Liberal Leave. Employees  may take
 annual leave or leave without pay
 without first having to obtain the
 permission of a supervisor.

 • Early Dismissal. Employees, except
 those designated as essential
 personnel, will be excused without
 being charged leave time.

 • Federal Offices Closed for the Day.
 Employees, except for essential
 personnel, will be excused from work
 without being charged  leave time.

  Early dismissals will be  staggered
 according to OPM instructions in all
 locations in the DC area (Waterside
 Mall, Crystal Mall, Fairchild and the
 Beltsville lab). EPA will designate
           those essential personnel who are
           required to remain at work;
           Headquarters offices have been asked
           to notify these personnel in writing.
           Any questions regarding your role
           should be directed to Headquarters
           Personnel Officer Earl Price
           (382-3266) or to your servicing Team
           • Anne Magor (382-2973): Team
           Leader servicing the Office of General
           Counsel, Office of the Inspector
           General, Office of External Affairs,
           Office of Policy, Planning and
           Evaluation, Office of Enforcement and
           Compliance Monitoring and Office of
           Air and Radiation.

           • Sharon Ellis (382-2952): Team
           Leader servicing the Office  of
           Administration and Resources
           • Roz Simms (382-2986): Team
           Leader servicing the Office  of
           Pesticides and Toxic Substances.

           • John Allen (382-2958): Team Leader
           servicing the Office of Solid Waste
           and Emergency Response.

           •  Sharon Ellis (382-2952):  acting
           Team Leader servicing the Office of
           the Administrator, Office of Water and
           Office of Research and
           Development, a

           No More Stress

           in the  Lab

           The struggling history of the
           Headquarters Stress Lab took a
           positive turn November 19 with the
           opening of upgraded and expanded
           facilities in the Mall. As a result, there
           will be much less crowding at peak
           times, far fewer delays at the showers
           and more generous access to
           equipment. Morgan Kinghorn and
                     John Chamberlin pointed out in
                     remarks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony
                     that EPA's commitment to fitness is
                     not a mere passing fancy, but a basic
                     part of personnel policy at
                     headquarters and in the regions as
                       Studies prove that physically fit
                     staff do a better job than the unfit.
                     Aerobic fitness deepens sleep, cuts
                     tension and boosts productivity in all
                     measures of job performance. Those
                     who work out also find that they
                     moderate their eating habits and
                     smoke and drink less.
                       Chamberlin reminded celebrants
                     that EPA was one of the first agencies
                     to have a gymnasium. He said we
                     have come a long way from dark days
                     of 1981 when the stress lab was
                     considered a frill, minimally
                     supported by funds buried far down
                     in the budget so that not even OMB
                     Sherlocks could find them. D
                     Stop, Thief!
                     GSA has published a theft prevention
                     pamphlet showing federal workers
                     what they can do to reduce thefts of
                     both personal items and government
                     equipment. Richard Hankinson,
                     director of GSA's law enforcement
                     division, says "criminal incidents in
                     GSA-controlled space have continued
                     to decline, but more needs to be
                      In FY 86, for example, thefts from
                     federal offices cost the government
                     $1.2 million and federal workers
                     $700,000. There  is also the cost of
                     time lost in replacing stolen items and
                     in disruption of work, plus the price
                     of personal stress.
                      The 16-page booklet, What You
                     Should Know About Preventing Thefts
                     in the Federal Workplace, begins with
                     a 10-question quiz on security. The
                     next section explains what people can

                                  Continued on next page

StOp, Thief! Continued
do to thwart office thieves. Finally, to
test their new awareness, federal
workers are asked to spot all the
"wrong" things in an office picture
  The booklet, part of GSA's ongoing
crime prevention program, provides a
fill-in-the-blanks "emergency calling
card" so that federal employees may
jot down the telephone number, name
and location of the nearest Federal
Protective Officer. It also provides a
coupon good for one free Crime
Prevention Assessment Survey by the
Federal Protective Service. Copies of
the free pamphlet  are available from
Mary Walsh, Federal Protective
Service: (202) 535-8169. D
Secretarial  Advisory


EPA's national Secretarial Advisory
Committee (SAC) met for its
semi-annual meeting at EPA
Headquarters on December 1-3, 1987,
to discuss SAC 1988 initiatives.
Nathaniel Scurry, Director, Office of
Civil Rights, gave the welcoming
address and opening remarks. The
meeting was attended by over 25
representatives from EPA
Headquarters, regional offices and
  SAC is comprised of a cross-section
of secretarial and clerical employees
from different parts of the Agency, at
different grade levels, to ensure that
the employment concerns of the entire
secretarial and clerical workforce are
voiced and addressed.
  The EPA Headquarters SAC will be
hosting an Open House for
Membership Recruitment on January
28, 1988, in the EPA auditorium
beginning at 9 AM. Please join us in
making this a successful campaign. D
In our feature on Andrew Lowe
(October), we stated that management
cannot hire sign-interpreters for all
hearing impaired staffers. Not so. The
Rehabilitation Act specifically
provides for such assistance where
Sexual  Harassment
In a statement of October 14, Lee
Thomas declared that EPA employees
bear a grave responsibility under the
federal code of conduct for
maintaining the highest standards of
integrity and impartiality in the
performance of government business.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable
conduct in the workplace and will not
be tolerated at EPA.
  Sexual harassment is an insidious
form of misconduct that undermines
the integrity of working relationships.
It is defined to include verbal
comments, gestures or physical
contacts of a sexual nature that are
  All employees must be able to work
in an environment free from
unsolicited and unwelcome sexual
overtures. Sexual harassment weakens
morale and cuts the  productivity of
victims and co-workers, and is
expressly prohibited when it results
in discrimination for or against an
employee on the basis of conduct not
related to work performance, such as
taking or refusing to take a personnel
action, including promotion of
employees  who resist or protest
sexual  overtures.
  A supervisor who uses implicit or
explicit coercive sexual behavior to
control, influence or attect the career,
salary or job of an employee is
engaging in sexual harassment.
Likewise, an employee who so
behaves in the process of conducting
agency business is engaging in sexual
harassment. Finally, an employee who
participates in deliberate or repeated
unsolicited verbal comments, gestures
or physical contacts of a sexual nature
that are unwelcome and interfere with
work productivity is culpable of
sexual  harassment.
  "Personnel management," Thomas
said, "must be free from such
prohibited practices and operate
consistently  with merit systems
principles, as outlined in the Civil
Service Reform Act of 1978. All EPA
employees should avoid conduct
which  undermines these merit
principles. Needless to say, it is not
the intent of the Agency to regulate
social interactions or relationships
freely entered into." Any employee
who feels victimized by sexual
harassment should contact the Office
of Civil Rights to learn of the
confidential  counseling and legal
recourse available within the Agency. D
John Martin/Jack Barden, Hong Kong Reps
John Martin, EPA's Inspector General,
and Jack Barden, Assistant Inspector
General for Investigations, represented
the United States recently at the third
international anti-corruption
conference sponsored by the
Independent Commission Against
Corruption (ICAC) in Hong Kong. The
November conference, attended by
over 200 representatives from 32
countries, included presentations and
panel discussions with simultaneous
interpretation into several languages
for a world overview of corruption.
Martin and Barden described the
Inspector General (IG) Act and the IG
concept, stressing IG independence,
the resources and training for an IG
operation and the need for an
auditor-investigator partnership. Their
presentation evoked a great deal of
interest: the audience kept the two at
the podium for an extra 30 minutes
answering a flurry of questions.
  Martin and Barden observed that,
due to different cultural
environments, what is considered
corruption  in one society may be
standard business practice in another.
One of the  approaches explored to
deter  corruption (and currently being
considered by EPA's Office of
Inspector General) is community
action. The ICAC pushes fraud
prevention in Hong Kong itself
through an aggressive program of
community awareness, re-education
and participation. Representatives
from several of the developing
countries were interested in the IG
Act as a model for their  own use. n

Affirmative Action Goals, FY 1988-1992

The Administrator has reiterated that it is the policy of
EPA to provide equal  opportunity for employment and
advancement to all employees and applicants regardless of
race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or physical or
mental handicap. This policy covers all Agency
employment practices, including recruitment, hiring,
promotion, transfer, reassignment, training, benefits and
separation. Further, EPA will take affirmative action to
remedy the effects of past discrimination, developing its
affirmative action program to identify and address
inadequate representation of women, minorities and
handicapped individuals in the Agency workforce in
accordance with directives of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC), particularly in
professional and administrative positions.
  The Administrator has also noted that FY 1988 marks
the beginning of EPA's second multi-year affirmative
action plan. Looking back on FY 1987, he acknowledged
continued progress in the representation of women and
minorities at EPA, including personnel in the managerial
and supervisory ranks. The Agency has also increased the
number of handicapped individuals  among its employees.
In general,  Lee Thomas said he was  "very proud of the
progress EPA has made over the past few years in
increasing representation of women and  minorities."
  Looking forward to  FY 1988 and beyond, Thomas urged
managers to seek additional, innovative ways to boost the
Agency's record in locating, attracting, and retaining
representatives  of those groups who  are still severely
underrepresented in our workforce. "We have an  excellent
opportunity to expand our success during the next
five-year cycle by taking advantage of our hiring
opportunities and building upon the human resources
development initiatives we have undertaken," he said. "I
am convinced that our basic approach has been sound.
Thus we will continue to set annual goals for affirmative
action during the new planning cycle."
  Specifically, EPA will carry out an aggressive affirmative
action program  to:

•  Assure that women and minorities comprise at least 52
percent of professional and administrative hires and "net
gains," and that the most severely underrepresented are
included among those hired.

•  Boost representation of women and minorities in upper
level positions (Grades 13-15] and in managerial and
supervisory roles.

•  Assure that severely handicapped individuals comprise
at least 1 percent of all permanent positions.

•  Maintain a level of participation in the Upward
Mobility Program at 1  percent of all  permanent positions.

•  Identify and involve women, minorities and
handicapped employees in Agency task forces and
committees, human resources initiatives  and review and
certification panels for employment, grants and contracts.

•  Assure accountability and recognition for affirmative
action accomplishments.
  Thomas has made it clear that he expects each manager
to assess progress being made in affirmative action in his
or her office, region or laboratory. The hiring goals
established by our Office of Civil Rights can be met only if
managers place a high priority on success. "Minorities,
especially Blacks and Hispanics, require your special
consideration, and it is up to you to address the barriers
preventing their employment and advancement."
  Agency officials  are urged to work closely with the
Office of Civil Rights, the Office of Human Resources
Management and the Personnel Management Division to
develop effective affirmative action strategies. "These
offices have the  responsibility to assist  you," the
Administrator noted, "but ultimate accountability for
assuring equal employment opportunity and carrying out
affirmative action in hiring, training, promoting and
rewarding employees rests  with you."n
Operating Guidance for FY 1989

Deputy Administrator Jim Barnes has notified Assistant
Administrators and Office Directors that it's time to begin
development of the FY 1989 Operating Guidance. The
Agency will publish the guidance document by March 1,
and all supplemental guidance by April 1, 1988. Last year
substantial improvements were made in the process,
including timely promulgation of the operating guidance
and program supplemental guidances, and an improved
guidance review process embracing responsiveness
summaries prepared by national program managers.
  For FY 1989, Barnes and the Administrator want to:
• Improve the focus on regional and state variability and

• Involve the regions and states  more  substantively in
both developmental and review stages.
• Reintroduce the Administrator's overview section of the
guidance  and also augment Barnes's participation.
• Delineate clearer, more coordinated guidance on
cross-media issues and programs.

  These improvements will require leadership and
involvement by senior managers  in the states, as well as in
EPA regional and Headquarters offices, and will be
coordinated both by the senior management of the Office
of Policy, Planning and Evaluation (OPPE) and by Barnes
through executive staff meetings.
  The  FY 1989 Agency guidance should build upon the
results of the planning session at Shepherdstown and
reflect decisions made during the priority list and budget
development processes. Priorities should already  reflect
consideration of the comparative risk project; however, the
comparative risk results should also be kept in mind as
managers develop priorities in the guidance process. The
operating guidance should describe the general design or
strategy EPA is pursuing in each environmental program
area and identify the priority activities  that need to be
accomplished by Headquarters, regions and states. As in
past years, each office should also address guidelines from
the Offices of Enforcement and Compliance Monitoring,
                                                                                          Continued on next page

Research and Development and External Affairs.
  The Guidance should specify only the major activities in
order to allow regions and states the flexibility needed to
adapt basic program strategies and major initiatives to
their own specific needs. This year the Agency must
improve efforts to develop and identify environmental
indicators, so it can begin to assess risk reductions and
environmental improvements by program area. OPPE will
work closely with program managers to identify
appropriate indicators and determine where the Agency
needs to invest in developing indicators.
  Each national program should schedule regional
meetings and/or conference calls early in the development
process, both to identify regional and state guidance needs
and projects and program initiatives of specific regional
interest that can be  highlighted in the guidance. Barnes
said he was  "pleased with the direction the Air Program is
taking to include regional priorities in its internal
management system. My goal for the FY 1989 Guidance is
for each national  program to highlight regional initiatives
that directly support national priorities and those that
address problems of specific regional or state concern."
Regions need to support this effort by communicating
candidate initiatives to the national program offices for
consideration. Efforts such as the regional action plans and
regional management projects in Regions 1 and 3 are  good
examples, he said. Barnes intends to review progress  in
addressing these regional priorities during his regional
reviews and encourage other Headquarters managers also
to incorporate regional priorities into program
  An important focus for FY 1989 will be for national
program managers to involve states more substantively in
the guidance development and review process. Each
Assistant Administrator should not only work closely with
his lead region(s) but should also enlist direct state
involvement in guidance development. In addition, each
region should build on last year's effort to establish a
dialogue with its  states early in the guidance process  to
identify and represent state needs and concerns. The
guidance schedule will give the regions a single six-week
period to review and comment on the draft—in contrast to
last year's two shorter cycles. This extended comment
period is designed to allow both regions and states time
for considered participation.
  Barnes asked OPPE to work with the Office of the
Administrator on the overview of the guidance, this year
emphasizing implementation of several of the
Administrator's major management themes. He wants to
provide additional emphasis on crosscutting issues. OPPE
will identify six to ten such issues, convene appropriate
elements of the Agency, and assure that guidance for
managing these issues recognizes needs and
responsibilities across programs  and necessary activities
by Headquarters,  regions and states.
  As  in past years, managers will be developing Strategic
Planning and Management System (SPMS) measures as
part of the guidance process; each program must place
emphasis  on developing a good set of measures to track
program activities. Regions need to invest in the guidance
development process as the means for determining
measures for FY 1989. Barnes wants to see both
headquarters and regions utilize this process and schedule
so that the final list of measures is promulgated with the
  Before issuing the  guidance on March 1, Barnes will
request briefings on each guidance section by the program
office and lead region and, if appropriate, state
representatives. This briefing will include a description of
the major activities for each program and an explanation
of the FY 1989 SPMS measures. Barnes strenuously
encourages Headquarters, regions and states to resolve
outstanding issues prior to that briefing. If necessary,
however, he will consider outstanding issues at that time, n

Special Appointing Authorities

As part of the larger  Personnel Management Division
campaign to make staffing more comprehensible and "user
friendly" to hiring officials, the Policies and Programs
Branch has developed a "Manager's Guide to  Hiring Under
Special Appointing Authorities." It is  designed to make
the recruiting and hiring decisions of managers and
supervisors easier, faster and more trouble-free than the
four to six weeks the merit promotion process normally
takes. Call your servicing personnel officer and/or team
leader for more information about special appointing
authorities, n


The new fiscal year began with new staffing flexibilities
for managers,  supervisors and employees, representing a
major shift away from lock-step processes.
• Details. We may now detail both permanent and
temporary employees up to one year to higher graded
positions and  unclassified duties, as well as to positions at
the same or lower grade. In the past, details to higher
grade positions and unclassified duties were restricted to
less than a year.
• Qualification Standards.  We may now modify
qualifications  to provide employees who do not meet
Office of Personnel Management requirements, but who
have closely related experience, the opportunity to be
assigned to another occupation. Such arrangements are
possible only for reassignments, voluntary moves to lower
grades, transfers and  reinstatements.
• Direct Hire Authority for Accountant/Auditor. We may
hire, without going through OPM, accountants/auditors at
GS-5 and 7 with a 3.5 or higher grade point average or
who are CPAs.

  Personnel is working on several other staffing
innovations and will keep you up-to-date. Meanwhile,
contact your servicing personnel officer or team leader for
more information about our new hiring flexibilities, n