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What We Do



OPM's divisions, offices, and their employees implement the programs and deliver the services that enable the agency to meet its strategic goals. OPM works in several broad categories to lead and serve the Federal Government in enterprise human resource management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted effective civilian workforce.

Human Capital Management

  • Policy
  • Service
  • Oversight


  • Federal Benefits for Employees and Annuitant
  • Retirement


Human Capital Management Leadership


OPM provides policy direction and leadership in designing, developing, and promulgating Government-wide human resources systems, programs, and policies that support the current and emerging needs of federal agencies. In addition, OPM provides technical support and guidance to agencies regarding the full range of human resources (HR) management policies and practices. OPM responds to agency requests to exercise certain Government-wide personnel management authorities that are centrally administered or subject to OPM approval under the law/regulation. The agency also provides stewardship and supports the implementation of Administration priorities and goals concerning Government-wide human capital management matters.


OPM provides HR products and services to meet the evolving human capital needs and mission requirements of the Federal Government. The products and services are designed to enable the execution of Government-wide HR strategy and policy as well as the human capital priorities of each Administration. To support this activity, OPM has a nationwide cadre of human capital specialists, psychologists, educators, IT specialists, and program managers along with numerous private sector allies that assist federal agencies in developing leaders, attracting and building a high quality public sector workforce, deploying Human Resources Information Technology (HRIT) capabilities and strategies, and transforming these agencies into high performing organizations.

OPM provides agencies with access to pre-competed private contractors as part of the Government-wide Category Management effort. The private contractors, comprised of large and small companies, complement OPM’s internal capabilities in the areas of human capital management, organizational design, and learning and development. These companies observe federal HR rules and policies in order to provide their products and services to federal agencies under the oversight and guidance of OPM experts.

OPM provides a leadership development continuum that enables federal executives, managers, and aspiring leaders to acquire knowledge and master skills so they can lead within a rapidly changing Government environment. Anchored by the Federal Executive Institute, OPM’s leadership development infrastructure and programs also include the Eastern and Western Management Development Centers, the Presidential Management Fellows Program, and the Lab at OPM.

OPM generates Government-wide benefit through HRIT consolidation, standardization, and modernization. OPM offers federal HRIT systems such as Enterprise Human Resource Integration, USALearning®, USA Staffing®, USA Hire℠, and USA Performance®. Also, OPM also is developing the necessary information technology infrastructure to facilitate the exchange of human resources data and information Government-wide. 

OPM maintains USAJOBS, the official job site of the Federal Government. It is the one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information by which federal agencies meet their legal obligations to provide public notice of federal employment opportunities to federal employees and American citizens. Many agencies use this platform even when it is not required. The USAJOBS website is thus the portal for federal recruitment for most Government positions, whether competitively or non-competitively sourced.


Through OPM’s oversight evaluation work, special studies, and collaboration with agencies, OPM makes sure federal human resources programs and human capital management systems are effective and meet merit system principles and related civil service requirements. OPM works directly with agencies to make improvements or changes to programs that are ineffective, inefficient, or not in compliance with federal law to help them achieve mission objectives. OPM also adjudicates classification appeals, job grading appeals, Fair Labor Standards Act claims, compensation and leave claims, and declination of reasonable appeals, which provide federal employees with procedural rights to challenge compensation and related agency decisions.


Federal Benefits for Employees and Annuitants

OPM offers the availability of quality benefits for federal employees and their families. The agency works to facilitate access to the high-caliber healthcare and insurance programs offered by the Federal Government, including health insurance services, dental and vision benefits, flexible spending accounts, life insurance; and long-term care insurance programs. OPM manages insurance benefits for more than eight million federal employees, retirees, and their families. OPM also develops and administers programs that provide health insurance to uninsured Americans through Affordable Insurance Exchanges, and employees of tribes or tribal organizations.


OPM is responsible for the administration of the Federal Retirement Program covering more than 2.7 million active employees, including the United States Postal Service, and nearly 2.6 million annuitants, survivors, and family members. OPM also administers, develops, and provides federal employees, retirees, and their families with benefits programs and services that offer choice, value, and quality to help maintain the Government’s position as a competitive employer. Activities include record maintenance and service credit accounts prior to retirement, initial eligibility determinations at retirement, adjudicating annuity benefits based on age and service, disability or death based on a myriad of laws and regulations, post retirement changes due to numerous life events, health and life insurance enrollments, federal and state tax deductions, as well as other payroll functions.


Vetting includes all of the steps in the end-to-end process for individuals to undergo investigation, evaluation, and adjudication of whether they are, and remain over time, suitable or fit for federal employment, eligible to occupy a sensitive position, eligible for access to classified information, eligible to serve as a non-appropriated fund employee or a contractor, eligible to serve in the military, or authorized to be issued a federal credential. OPM's Director is designated by the President to serve as the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent, a key role in the vetting governance structure.

As the Suitability and Credential Executive Agent, OPM's Director is responsible for prescribing suitability, fitness, and credentialing standards for employment; prescribing position designation requirements with respect to risk to the integrity and efficiency of the service; prescribing applicable investigative standards, policies, and procedures for suitability, fitness, and credentialing; prescribing reciprocity standards; and making suitability determinations and taking actions. With respect to suitability determinations and actions, OPM delegates suitability responsibility to agencies while retaining jurisdiction of suitability adjudications in circumstances where a Government-wide bar of an individual from federal service is necessary to promote efficiency and protect the integrity of the service. OPM issues guidelines and instructions to the heads of other agencies to promote uniformity and effectiveness when implementing OPM issued policies or executing their delegated responsibilities, and OPM conducts oversight of agencies' programs and processes in these areas.

The OPM Director as the Suitability Executive Agent, issued National Training Standards for Suitability Adjudicators to support uniformity in the continued professional development of the suitability workforce and to promote reciprocal recognition of suitability determinations. OPM offers training courses for suitability and fitness adjudicators that conform to the Government-wide training standards.

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