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Policy, Data, Oversight Performance Management

  • Yes.  Governmentwide regulations define a rating of record as the performance rating completed at the end of the appraisal period that reflects performance over the entire period, or an off-cycle rating of record given when a within-grade increase (WGI) decision is not consistent with the employee's most recent rating of record and a more current rating of record must be prepared.  These are the only times that a rating of record can be issued.
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  • It depends on the type of award granted. For the most part, compensation-related information in the Federal Government is a matter of public record or obtainable under the Freedom of Information Act. Generally, this includes award payments except for rating-based awards. Agencies may not disclose award amounts if doing so could reveal the recipient's rating of record, which is protected information under the Privacy Act. For information on specific situations, contact your Office of General Counsel or Privacy Officer.
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  • No. The circumstances appropriate for the use of compensatory time are not generally appropriate for a time-off award. Compensatory time is authorized in exchange for hours worked in excess of the employee's regular work schedule. Awarding time off instead of compensatory time violates the incentive awards concept of recognizing exceptional performance, as opposed to compensating for extended work schedules.
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  • Under no circumstances may a political appointee receive an award in the form of cash or a time-off award during a Presidential election period.  An agency may grant a political appointee an honorary or informal recognition award during a Presidential election period, provided that the form of the award avoids the appearance of replacing a bonus.
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  • There are agencies and organizations within the Federal Government that are not covered by the performance appraisal provisions in the law and regulations. However, many of them have adopted these procedures or developed their own procedures to evaluate the performance of their employees. The regulations give agencies the basic guidelines by which they can review the performance evaluations employees bring with them from other Federal organizations and determine whether they qualify as equivalent ratings of record that can then be used as the basis for assigning additional service credit in a reduction in force.
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  • Yes. Agencies can authorize the development of separate appraisal programs under the framework of their appraisal system. This would allow their various subcomponents or subpopulations to determine how best to address their needs and cultures and more effectively manage individual and organizational performance by tailoring specific appraisal procedures and requirements to mission and work technology.
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  • No.  Both a performance rating and a rating of record involve the evaluation of an employee's performance against all the elements and standards in the performance plan.  At any time during the appraisal period, an agency can make the determination that an employee's performance is unacceptable on one or more critical elements.  This determination is sufficient to begin the process that could lead to a performance-based action if the employee's performance fails to improve to an acceptable level.
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  • The regulations read "written, or otherwise recorded."  This language was chosen very deliberately to allow for use of electronic formats.  Although agencies do not have to write performance appraisals on paper, the appraisals must be recorded in some way and agencies must be able to produce a paper copy, if needed.  Purely oral appraisals do not meet the regulatory requirement.
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  • Agencies may present such certificates and vouchers if they are being used as informal recognition awards. Merchant gift certificates should not be confused with cash surrogates (which are vouchers or checks that can be easily and widely redeemable for cash, not merchandise). Gift certificates usually are given when the intent is to give something but let the recipient make the final choice. Merchandise certificates cannot meet a cash surrogate's criterion of being easily negotiable because of limitations on where, how, and for what they may be redeemed. Gift certificates fail to meet the criteria for honorary awards because they convey a clear monetary value and cannot be characterized as symbolizing the employer-employee relationship. Consequently, the only circumstance where a gift certificate may be used to recognize an employee contribution is as an informal recognition award, which may not exceed nominal value. Agencies also need to be aware that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers gift certificates to be taxable fringe benefits that must be taxed on their fair market value. The face value of a gift certificate would be considered its fair market value. Further questions on taxable fringe benefits should be directed to the IRS.
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  • An acceptable level of competence determination can be delayed for only two reasons: when an employee has not had the minimum period of time to demonstrate acceptable performance on his or her elements and standards; and when an employee is reduced in grade because of unacceptable performance to a position in which he or she is eligible for a within-grade increase or will become eligible within the minimum appraisal period.
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Total Count: 135, Number of Pages: 14, Page: 4
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