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Performance Management Performance Management FAQs

  • If a notice of proposed action has been given to the employee, a change to an appraisal program should have no effect on the action. Regulations contain a specific provision, called the "savings provision," that safeguards administrative procedures pending under a previously approved appraisal program, from being disrupted by the implementation of new programs covered by these regulations. OPM's system approval procedures require agency appraisal programs to have a similar provision to safeguard pending administrative procedures when programs change.
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  • In some limited circumstances merchandise items could be used as an honorary award or informal recognition award. Merchandise may be used for awards purposes if and only if the item meets the criteria for an honorary award or an informal recognition award. Agencies need to be aware that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers merchandise to be a taxable fringe benefit that must be taxed on its fair market value. Further questions on taxable fringe benefits should be directed to the IRS.
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  • No. A rating of record does not change when an employee moves to another agency or organization, whether or not they use a different summary pattern. However, an employee will not know how many years of additional service credit will be given for a specific rating of record until an agency is getting ready to run a reduction in force.
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  • Yes, as long as employees with higher ratings of record receive higher dollar amounts than those with lower ratings of record (e.g., an award program must grant GS-9's who receive an outstanding rating a higher dollar amount than GS-9's who receive a fully successful rating). Agencies may use their discretion whether to pay rating-based awards as a lump-sum dollar amount or a percentage of base pay.
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  • Yes. Provided the temporary employees meet the Governmentwide requirements. An agency may exclude an employee who: is serving in a position under a temporary position for less than 1 year, agrees to serve without a performance evaluation, and will not be considered for a reappointment or for an increase in pay based in whole or in part on performance.
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  • No.  The Governmentwide regulations permit non-critical elements to have a greater weight in determining the final summary level.  However, if performance on any critical element is appraised as Unacceptable, a Level 1 summary must be assigned and performance on a non-critical element can not be used to raise that summary above Level 1, no matter the weight it might receive in other circumstances.
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  • The possible effect of performance-based additional service credit is most likely to appear in the second round of the reduction in force process, when employees exercise their bump (into positions held by employees in lower tenure groups for which they meet the basic qualification standard) and retreat (to previously held positions) rights.  Even at this stage, experience suggests that the performance-based additional service credit often has no impact on the actual final result of the reduction in force.
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  • If an employee has fewer than three ratings of record during the last four years, the actual rating(s) of record available would serve as the sole basis of the employee's credit (no assumed ratings would be used). Consequently, if an employee has received only two actual ratings of record during this period, the value assigned to each rating would be added together and divided by two to determine the amount of additional retention service credit. If an employee has only one actual rating of record, the value assigned to that rating would be used. If, however, the employee has no ratings of record during the last four years, the modal rating for the appraisal program that covers the employee's position of record at the time of the reduction in force is used to grant performance credit.
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  • Additional years of service credit are added to an employee's length of service based on the employee's three most recent ratings of record during the four years prior to the reduction in force. In a competitive area where all the ratings of record being credited were done under a single pattern of summary levels, the additional service credit is computed by averaging the three most recent ratings of record given in the previous four years using the following values: 20 years of service for each Level 5 (Outstanding or equivalent rating); 16 years of service for each Level 4; and 12 years of service for each Level 3 (Fully Successful or equivalent rating). In an agency where employees in a competitive area have ratings of record being credited for reduction in force that were done under more than one pattern of summary levels, the agency can establish the values for the summary levels (within 12 to 20 years) so that performance crediting will be as fair and equitable as possible. Within a competitive area, the agency must use the same number of years additional retention service credit for all ratings of record with the same summary level in the same pattern of summary levels.
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  • No. The regulations require that agency officials evaluate employee performance periodically against agency-assigned elements and standards. Since agencies cannot assign union work, this work cannot be included as elements and standards and is not subject to appraisal. As a result, employees who spend 100 percent of their time as employee representatives cannot receive a rating of record. Subsequently, since a rating of record is the basis for a performance or rating-based award, these employees are not eligible for performance awards.
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  • No. Rating-based cash awards are based on the rating of record, which is the written justification for the award.
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  • Yes. Regulations allow agencies to grant non-GS employees rating-based awards if the employees are covered by the awards regulations and not otherwise covered by a separate statute that authorizes rating-based awards (e.g., members of the Senior Executive Service).
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  • Yes. An agency can design procedures for deriving a rating of record that assign greater weight to non-critical elements (which may be used to measure team performance and may affect the rating of record) than to critical elements.  If desired, in summarizing overall performance at or above the "Fully Successful" level, agencies can make distinctions on the basis of team performance alone.
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  • Whenever an agency proposes to change its performance appraisal system to modify a provision that is subject to a regulatory requirement, the agency must submit the changes to OPM for review and approval prior to implementation.
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  • Yes. OPM believes it is possible to develop a critical element and standard that holds a supervisor, manager, or team leader responsible for group performance. The element and standard would have to be crafted carefully so that it identifies measurable achievements that would be expected to result when the individual supervisor, manager, or team leader properly exercises his or her leadership responsibilities.
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  • Yes.  The individual critical element must describe performance that is reasonably measured and controlled at the individual employee's level.  Such performance includes individual contributions to the team, but does not include team performance.
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  • Non-critical elements are not required but, if used, they must be expressed as elemenst and standards, be included in the employee's performance plan, and be used in assigning a summary level for the rating of record. However, non-critical elements cannot be used as a basis for taking a performance-based action. Other features of non-critical elements:
    • they cannot be used in two-level appraisal programs (i.e., pass/fail)
    • they can be given more weight than critical elements when assigning a summary level above "Unacceptable" (Level 1)
    • they must have a performance standard written for at least one level, the written standard need not describe the "Fully Successful" or equivalent level
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  • Yes. There are some award restrictions regarding political appointees depending on the nature of their appointment. Non-career SES members are not eligible for performance awards or Presidential Rank Awards. In addition, non-career SES and employees in confidential or policy-determining Schedule C positions may not receive awards during a Presidential election period (June 1 of a Presidential election year through January 20 of the following year). Meanwhile, PAS appointees (employees appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate) may not receive awards at any time.
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  • No. The level designators (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5) described in Governmentwide regulations address summary levels only. An agency appraisal program can be designed to appraise elements using a mix of rating levels. For example, critical elements might be appraised at five levels and non-critical elements appraised as pass/fail. A methodology for deriving a summary rating must be in place, however. Agencies have flexibility to determine how their elements are appraised and their particular program design choices that agencies and their subcomponents make should reflect their own situations and needs.
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  • Honorary awards represent symbolic formal recognition. Items presented as honorary awards must meet all of the following criteria: The item must be something that the recipient could reasonably be expected to value, but not something that conveys a sense of monetary value. The item must have a lasting trophy value. The item must clearly symbolize the employer-employee relationship in some fashion. The item must take an appropriate form to be used in the public sector and to be purchased with public funds.
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Total Count: 135, Number of Pages: 7, Page: 4
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