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News Release

Monday, January 31, 2005
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Grants Department of Labor Provisional Recertification for its Senior Executive Service Performance Appraisal System

Authorizes higher pay for agencies' best management performers

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James today granted provisional recertification to the Department of Labor (DOL) for its Senior Executive Service (SES) performance appraisal system for 2005. DOL first was granted provisional certification in 2004. Being granted provisional certification allows an agency to authorize pay above the rate for level III of the Executive Schedule, up to the rate for level II of the Executive Schedule, for an agency's highest performing SES staff.

"As we continue our governmentwide transition into pay-for-performance, we continue to see DOL contribute to this initiative by making further performance distinctions through pay and awards," stated James. "Secretary Chao and her management team have successfully moved their department to green status on human capital and other standards under the President's Management Scorecard, indicating a firm commitment and record of results."

OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last August jointly issued important rules linking the pay of federal senior executives and senior professionals to their performance on the job. Agencies must submit requests to OPM and OMB for certification that their appraisal systems make meaningful distinctions among levels of performance in order to be permitted to increase the salaries of their highest performing senior executives.

"Providing bigger paychecks for the federal government's senior professionals is not the goal here," remarked James. "We are trying to link salary increases with performance and accountability, two hallmarks of President Bush's Administration, so that Americans are given the best value for their tax dollars."

The SES rule changes represent the culmination of a long-term focus on improving the performance of the government through its senior executives and more directly linking their pay and performance. For the past three years, consistent with President Bush's focus on achieving results through his Management Agenda, James has directed federal agencies to make meaningful distinctions in the performance ratings of their senior executives.

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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