Fedweek

The Trump administration last year suspended the program with little explanation several months after issuing a similar call for nominations.

OPM has revived the annual Presidential Rank Awards for career employees in the SES and equivalent levels, asking agencies to submit nominations by April 9.

“A Presidential Rank Award is the one of the most prestigious awards in the federal career civil service; and, accordingly, I am asking you to nominate your most exceptional career executives and senior professionals – those who have made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the federal government,” OPM acting director Kathleen McGettigan said in a memo.

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“The individuals who are nominated and chosen for these awards perform valuable services on behalf of the American public and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to public service. We are looking for extraordinary leaders who have made significant contributions in delivering mission critical solutions, providing excellent customer service and being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars,” she said.

There are two categories of awards, distinguished and meritorious, with one grouping for SES members and another for senior level/senior scientific or technical employees, commonly called senior professionals. The “distinguished” award, worth 35 percent of base pay, can be granted to no more than 1 percent of an agency’s employees in such positions and the “meritorious” award, worth 20 percent of base pay, to no more than 5 percent.

As in prior years, the memo added that when making nominations, agencies are to take into consideration “any issues relating to personal and professional conduct.”

The Trump administration last year suspended the program with little explanation several months after issuing a similar call for nominations. In 2013 the Obama administration had made that year’s awards cashless amid the “sequestration” budget limits but the following year reinstated the cash component.

The memo, at www.chcoc.gov, contains guidance and instructions on nominations.

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