OPM has told agencies to submit by December 31 their requests for SES, senior level and senior scientific/professional slots for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
A memo says that by law, in even-numbered calendar years agencies are required to examine their needs for SES positions and to submit to OPM any requests for changes. “By practice, federal agencies also conduct the same examination and submit a similar written request to OPM for their positions in the SL and ST pay systems,” it says.
The memo includes a template for agencies to fill out even if they only are seeking to remain at current levels. “OPM expects agencies to be judicious in making requests for additional allocations. Agency assessments should include a rigorous evaluation to ensure effective utilization of all existing allocations and to determine if positions are still appropriately classified,” the memo says.
Agencies also are to “continue to consider” the 2017 OMB memo on achieving workforce reductions and meeting mission priorities.
“Priority will be given to requests based upon new or changed legislation, or unforeseen exigent needs. Requests based upon on-going initiatives or positions with an accretion of duties (i.e., promotions) may not be considered priority. Additionally, agencies will be required to address in detail vacancy rates that exceed 8 percent,” it says.