Federal Manager's Daily Report

Rules proposed by OPM to carry out parts of the Trump administration’s executive orders on disciplinary policies that have not been blocked by a court order would affect some agency practices in several related areas.

* Agencies would have to report on disciplinary actions to OPM, which would publicize the data–and therefore bring more public scrutiny to the issue–to the extent that it would not identify anyone personally. The reports would include specifics on actions against employees broken down by specifics including type of action ranging from written reprimand to removal and how many of the employees were still in their probationary periods; the number of employees put on performance improvement plans; agency compliance with requirements to speed up the disciplinary process; the number and “key terms” of any settlement agreements reached in employee appeals; and the outcomes of any litigation.

* A settlement agreement could not include a promise to delete from an employee’s official personnel file any information about the employee’s performance or conduct. Agencies still would correct “records of an action taken by the agency illegally or in error” and “to the extent that an employee’s personnel file or other agency records contain a proposed action that is subsequently cancelled, an agency would have the authority to remove that action from the employee’s personnel file or other agency files.”

* Probationary periods “should be used to the greatest extent possible to assess how well they are performing the duties of their jobs; and instances of poor performance and misconduct should be dealt with promptly.” Agencies would have to notify supervisors that an employee’s probationary period is ending at least three months in advance and then again one month in advance and order the supervisor to “make an affirmative decision” on whether to retain the employee. MSPB studies have found that sometimes supervisors don’t know that their employees are nearing the end of those periods, after which they are entitled to fuller appeal rights.