Federal Manager's Daily Report

OPM has issued its annual call to agencies for data on performance ratings, pay and awards among their SES and equivalent level employees.

That information, to be reported by April 10 on senior level and senior scientific and professional positions as well as agency and IG SES, is used for determining whether ratings are the primary basis for annual performance-based compensation decisions and for certifying that an agency’s performance management system makes “meaningful distinctions” at those levels. Agencies with that certification may pay higher salary rates and a higher cap on pay and awards combined applies, as well.

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Agencies “should take steps to ensure the data reports submitted to satisfy this requirement are accurate and free of errors, compliant with the associated instructions, and reflective of the results of the appraisal system, as not doing so may impact the agency’s ability to attain system certification,” a memo says.

Agencies are to report only on ratings and pay and award actions that have been taken, as opposed to prospective, and must protect personally identifiable information in their submissions.

Past reports showed that about half of SES members are rated at the top of five levels, nearly all the rest at the next highest level, and almost none in the bottom two. OPM has not issued that type of report for several years, however, and has never reported on comparable data for others at senior levels.

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Federal Manager’s Handbook, 5th Ed.