OPM: Government most likely to be open Friday

Thursday - 1/27/2011, 6:12pm EST

John Berry, Director, OPM

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The government will be open on Friday "unless the region receives more inclement weather," said a spokesman from the Office of Personnel Management in an e-mail.

The National Weather Service says snow showers are likely Friday morning, with the chance of snow and rain showers int he afternoon. There will be "little or no snow accumulation."

Wednesday evening's forecast of heavy snow fall prompted OPM to allow federal employees to leave two hours before their normal departure, and to arrive to work two hours later than their normal arrival on Thursday.

In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, OPM Director John Berry explained the factors the agency considers to determine a delay, early dismissal or closing. Berry said safety is a top consideration for OPM.

"Second, and equally important, is maintaining the continuity of our government operations to the greatest extent possible. That's what the taxpayers expect and what they demand," Berry said.

Federal News Radio received calls and emails federal workers stating they had not received notice of the early dismissal on Wednesday.

Berry responded, "Usually how this is done is we make the decision, it goes quickly on our webpage, we notify all the chief human capital officers all across the government, we post it all ot he internet tools we have available to us, and we alert all of our media through a very timely click alert message system."

He added that usually the time between the decision to delay or close government and the time that feds are notified of the decision is about 10 minutes.

"If in this case there was a breakdown, we will get to the breakdown. And I apologize if that happened," Berry said.

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