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News Release

Friday, March 19, 2004
Contact: Chad Cowan
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Issues Memorandum on Appointments and Awards During the 2004 Presidential Election Period

Director strives to adhere to civil service merit system principles

WASHINGTON- Kay Coles James, Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, today issued a memorandum to heads of Federal departments and agencies reminding them that agency personnel actions must remain free of political influence and other improprieties and meet all relevant civil service laws, rules, and regulations.

"All official personnel records should clearly document the continued adherence with Federal merit principles and remain free of any prohibited personnel practices," Director James said in the memorandum. "In particular, the appointments of Schedule C and Noncareer Senior Executive Service employees to competitive service positions require careful attention to ensure that they comply with merit principles regarding fair and open competition."

Just as it has done in the past, OPM has instituted a requirement for the pre-appointment review of all competitive service appointment actions that involved the appointment or conversion of a Schedule C or Noncareer SES employee.

"In addition, OPM will continue to conduct merit staffing review of proposed SES selections of Schedule C or Noncareer SES appointments before they are formally presented to a Qualifications Review Board for certification of their executive qualification," Director James added.

The memorandum included additional guidance concerning competitive service and SES appointments, incentive awards, and other employment matters. Human resources directors and Chief Human Capital Officers also received the memorandum.

For more information please contact the OPM Office of Communications and Public Liaison at 202-606-2402.

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