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No. An agency program must specify the length
of its minimum period and that minimum must fall within any limits
by the agency appraisal system. However, the outcomes of performance
are applied in other personnel areas, and these applications create
some practical limits for minimum periods.
For example, the regulations and statutory waiting periods for
the within-grade pay increase for General Schedule and Prevailing Rate
System employees rely on a determination that the employee's
merits the pay adjustment. Prevailing Rate System employees with a work
performance rating of satisfactory or better are advanced from step 1
to step 2 after 26 weeks, which implies that their performance must
be ratable before that. Consequently, and without taking into
the nature of the work itself, the practical outside limit for the
period for prevailing rate employees is roughly 180 days.
In addition, the minimum period is one of the program features that
be subject to third-party review. Agencies are advised to be careful in
determining the time limits to be used and avoid setting minimum
that might be judged unreasonably short.
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