Fedweek

OPM says it is continuing to review federal employment policies on pay, leave and performance for possible additional administrative actions and legislative proposals.

In an update on the federal workforce portion of the President’s Management Agenda, OPM said it has reviewed previous proposals and alternative systems on performance management “to start to identify possible areas for legislative, regulatory, or administrative improvements”; has “collected findings from MSPB and GAO on addressing poor performance”; and has reviewed research on performance management from industry and academia and from demonstration projects already operating inside the government.

OPM also said it has analyzed statistics “to better understand the operation of the current general schedule and title5 leave systems.” The administration has frequently criticized the GS as outdated and lacking in either rewards for good performance or consequences for poor performance. In its budget proposal earlier this year it further recommended combining sick leave and annual leave into one category to be called paid time off.

So far it has not proposed specifics on either topic but has said it expects to make a proposal to Congress before the November elections to revamp key provisions of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act, the basic body of law governing federal employment.

The update also said OPM is continuing to work on another theme mentioned in the management agenda and other administration initiatives, “reskilling” employees to move into high-priority fields such as IT and cybersecurity where the government has especial trouble recruiting and retaining employees. Work also is continuing on simplifying and streamlining hiring practices while making more use of the alternative methods already available, it said.

OPM further said that tasks the management agenda assigns to it are on track except for: ensuring that all first-line supervisors “possess critical leadership competencies” within the first year of appointment; and developing a plan to use “social media and other crowd-sourcing capabilities to identify and share examples of federal career paths.”