Federal Manager's Daily Report

Above half of career SES members were rated as “outstanding,” the top of their five-level rating system in 2016, continuing a trend of several years of increasing ratings overall, according to the latest OPM report.

Of the roughly 6,700 career execs rated that year, 51.7 percent received that top rating and 40.7 percent were rated as one level below, “exceeds fully successful.” Another 7.2 percent were rated as “fully successful,” leaving just 0.2 percent each at the “minimally satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory” levels–in numeric terms, 15 in the former category and 13 in the latter.


In 2015 the percentages at the top two levels were 48.9 and 41.4 percent, respectively; in 2014, 47.9 and 41.8; and in 2013, 45.3 and 43.9.

The release of the figures comes shortly after the administration proposed to extend pay for performance to all federal employees, although without much detail. GAO reported in 2016 that ratings for employees below the executive level also are concentrated at the top two levels, although not to the extent seen in the SES system–in five-level systems, 38.6 and 35.1 percent.