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News Release

Thursday, June 29, 2006
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Deputy Director Testifies Before Senate Committee on Tying Employee Pay Increases to Employee Performance

Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Deputy Director Dan G. Blair today said federal employee pay increases should be contingent on performance. Blair testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia on the Federal Workforce Performance Appraisal and Management Improvement Act.

The proposed legislation is intended to strengthen performance management in the federal government, and to make the annual federal employee pay increase contingent on performance.

Opening his remarks, Blair stated, "We see this legislation as a significant step with respect to Governmentwide human capital reforms - one that will help to ensure that we are able to have a 21st century compensation system for federal employees. However, we need commitment to sound infrastructure and careful implementation that gives appropriate emphasis to improving performance management systems, holding managers accountable for effective performance appraisal, and training them appropriately."

OPM believes the proposed legislation would improve the performance appraisal process by ensuring employee expectations are defined and communicated to individuals.

"If supervisors are going to be held accountable for communicating clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback and coaching employees, and making fair and credible performance assessments, we must provide them appropriate training and development experiences," said Blair. "OPM is fully committed to ensuring effective training is available. We are prepared to set standards for effective training and to offer such training as part of our comprehensive leadership development programs."

Over the past few years, many agencies have begun redesigning and strengthening their performance management systems to ensure employee performance plans align with organizational goals and focus employees on achieving results. To further this effort, OPM has provided extensive guidance and expects agencies to make distinctions and provide consequences based on performance when evaluating employees, as well as hold managers accountable for appropriately managing the performance appraisal process.

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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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