Notice & Comment

OPM To Provide Flag Benefit For Fallen Federal Civilian Employees, by Shannon Allen

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), seeks comment on proposed regulations to implement the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011 (the “Act”) which would support the government in administering a “flag recognition benefit” for“fallen Federal civilian employees.”

Congress passed this Act in order to recognize that Federal civilian employees are exposed to dangerous situations.  The proposed regulations would institute a “comprehensive Government wide” method to “honor” employees who “die of certain injuries.”  As a way to “formally express sympathy and gratitude on behalf of the Nation” the Act permits agency heads to “give United States flags to beneficiaries” of employees who “die in the course of serving their country.”

The OPM proposed regulations allow for the creation of additional means to honor these employees and specifically permit agencies to provide flags in support of Federal civilian employees “who die of injuries” sustained “in connection with their employment” as a consequence of:

1)      criminal acts,

2)      acts of terrorism,

3)      natural disasters, or

4)      other circumstances as determined by the President.

According to the proposed regulations:

  • the beneficiary must request a flag from the employing agency,
  • the request must be in a format specified by the employing agency and include necessary documentation,
  • the OPM will create an optional form for requesting a flag,
  • agencies will distribute flags in a manner that is most efficient and cost-effective, but agencies must keep in mind the meaningfulness of prompt delivery to beneficiaries.

Comments are due by August 16, 2013 and interested parties may submit comments, identified by “RIN 3206-AM58,” using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit comments electronically at Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: Send to Include “RIN 3206-AM58” in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: Send to (202) 606-4264
  • Mail, Hand Deliver/Courier comments: Address comments to Mr. Stephen T. Shih, Deputy Associate Director, Senior Executive Service and Performance Management, Suite 7412, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-1000.

This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.

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