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Human Capital Management Accountability



Now more than ever, organizational leaders need to be adept at redefining goals and objectives to deliver improved return on human capital investment."
2004 Workforce Diagnosis System Executive Summary ,The Saratoga Institute

The accountability system provides consistent means to monitor and analyze agency performance on all aspects of human capital management policies, programs, and activities, which must themselves support mission accomplishment and be effective, efficient, and in compliance with merit system principles.


A system that contributes to agency performance by monitoring and evaluating the results of its human capital management policies, programs, and activities; by analyzing compliance with merit system principles; and by identifying and monitoring necessary improvements.


Agency human capital management decisions are guided by a data-driven, results-oriented planning and accountability system.

Results of the agency accountability system must inform the development of the human capital goals and objectives, in conjunction with the agency’s strategic planning and performance budgets.

Effective application of the accountability system contributes to agencies’ practice of effective human capital management in accordance with the merit system principles and in compliance with Federal laws, rules, and regulations.

Applicable Merit System Principles

The following merit system principle is especially relevant to the Accountability system:

  • All employees should maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest. (5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(4))


This system is assessed based on documented evidence of a Human Capital Accountability System that provides for annual assessment of agency human capital management progress and results including compliance with relevant laws, rules, and regulations. The system will:

  • Be formal, documented, and approved by OPM.
  • Be supported and resourced by agency leadership.
  • Measure and assess all human capital management systems for mission alignment, effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance with merit system principles, laws, and regulations.
  • Include an independent audit process with periodic review of human resources transactions to insure legal and regulatory compliance.
  • Ensure action is taken to improve human capital programs and processes and correct deficiencies.
  • Ensure results are analyzed and reported to agency management and OPM.


When the key elements of the Accountability system are effectively implemented, agencies will realize the following results:

Effectiveness Results

  • The agency has documented its human capital management processes, measures, and results; evaluated its accomplishments; and reported findings to agency decisionmakers and other stakeholders.
  • Agency leadership demonstrates commitment to the accountability system, based on OPM’s requirements, through its actions and allocation of appropriate resources.
  • The agency conducts a continuous assessment of its human capital practices to ensure they are sound, produce results, and adhere to merit systems principles, laws, and regulations. The agency provides an annual report, which identifies areas needing improvement. A process is in place that assigns responsibility for taking corrective action resulting in improved human capital strategies and program integrity.

Compliance Results

  • In accordance with Civil Service Rule X, the agency has established and maintains a system of accountability that meets OPM's requirements for a sound human capital accountability system, measures effectiveness in meeting the requirements, and corrects deficiencies in meeting the requirements.
  • As provided in the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Act of 2002 (5 U.S.C. 1103(c)), the agency holds managers and human resources officers accountable for efficient and effective human resources management in support of the agency’s mission in accordance with merit system principles.
  • Human capital programs, activities, and practices are evaluated in accordance with law, regulation, and public policy within the Leadership and Knowledge Management, Results-Oriented Performance Culture, and Talent Management systems.


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