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Associate Director, Office of Merit Systems CAROL J. OKIN
Oversight and Effectiveness
WILLIAM E. FLYNN III
CURTIS J. SMITH
LYNN L. FURMAN
(VACANCY) for the Office of Personnel Management statement of organization, see the Federal Register of Jan. 5, 1979, 44 FR 1501)
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers a merit system to ensure compliance with personnel laws and regulations and assists agencies in recruiting, examining, and promoting people on the basis of their knowledge and skills, regardless of their race, religion, sex, political influence, or other nonmerit factors. The Office's role is to provide guidance to agencies in operating human resources programs which effectively support their missions and to provide an array of personnel services to applicants and employees. The Office supports Government program managers in their human resources management responsibilities and provide benefits to employees, retired employees, and their survivors.
The Office of Personnel Management was created as an independent establishment by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (5 U.S.C. app.), effective January 1, 1979, pursuant to Executive Order 12107 of December 28, 1978. Transferred to OPM were many of the functions of the former United States Civil Service Commission. The Office's duties and authority are specified in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 1101). Office of the Inspector General The Office of the Inspector General conducts comprehensive and independent audits, investigations, and evaluations relating to OPM programs and operations. It is responsible for administrative actions against health care providers who commit sanctionable offenses with respect to the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program or other Federal programs. The Office keeps the Director and Congress fully informed about problems and deficiencies in the administration of agency programs and operations, and the necessity for corrective action.
Activities Examining and Staffing The Office of Personnel Management is responsible for providing departments and agencies with technical assistance and guidance in examining competitive positions in the Federal civil service for General Schedule grades 1 through 15 and Federal Wage system positions. In addition, the Office is responsible for:
-providing examination services, at the request of an agency, on a reimbursable basis;
establishing basic qualification standards for all occupations;
-certifying agency delegated examining units to conduct examining;
---providing employment information for competitive service positions; and
-providing policy direction and guidance on promotions, reassignments, appointments in the excepted and competitive services, reinstatements, temporary and term employment, veterans preference, workforce restructuring, career transition, and other staffing provisions. Workforce Diversity The Office provides leadership, direction, and policy for governmentwide affirmative recruiting programs for minorities and veterans. It also provides leadership,
For further information, contact the Office of the Inspector General. Phone, 202-606-1200.
guidance, and technical assistance to promote merit and equality in systemic workforce recruitment, employment, training, and retention. In addition, OPM gathers, analyzes, and maintains statistical data on the diversity of the Federal workforce, and prepares evaluation reports for Congress and others on individual agency and governmentwide progress toward full workforce representation for all Americans in the Federal sector. Executive Resources The Office leads in the selection, management, and development of Federal executives. It administers the Senior Executive Service program and other merit-based executive personnel systems that promote the development of a corporate perspective. The Office provides policy guidance, consulting services, and technical support in such areas as recruitment, selection, succession planning, mobility performance, awards, and removals. It reviews agency nominations for SES career appointments and administers the Qualifications Review Boards that certify candidates' executive qualifications. It manages SES, senior-level, and scientific and professional space allocations to agencies, administers the Presidential Rank Awards program, and conducts orientation sessions for newly appointed executives. In addition, the Office manages three interagency residential development and training centers for executives and managers. Personnel Systems The Office provides leadership and guidance to agencies on systems to support the manager's personnel management responsibilities. These include:
-white and blue collar pay systems, including Senior Executive Service and special occupational pay systems; geographical adjustments and locality payments; special rates to address recruitment and retention problems; allowances and differentials, including recruitment and relocation bonuses, retention allowances, and hazardous duty/environmental pay; and premium pay;
-annual and sick leave, court leave, military leave, leave transfer and leave
bank programs, family and medical leave, excused absence, holidays, and scheduling of work—including flexible and compressed work schedules;
-performance management, covering appraisal systems, performance pay and awards, and incentive awards for suggestions, inventions, and special acts;
-classification policy and standards for agencies to determine the series and grades for Federal jobs;
-labor-management relations, including labor-management partnerships and consulting with unions on governmentwide issues;
-systems and techniques for resolving disputes with employees;
-quality of worklife initiatives, such as employee health and fitness, work and family, AIDS in the workplace, and employee assistance programs;
-training and employee development, including providing support to the Human Resources Development Council and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) interest group;
—the Training Management Assistance program, to help agencies design and produce training systems and products, performance management systems, workforce productivity systems, business process reengineering, compensation, and employee relations systems;
-information systems to support and improve Federal personnel management decisionmaking; and
-governmentwide instructions for personnel processing and recordkeeping, and for release of personnel data under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act.
The Office also provides administrative support to special advisory bodies, including the Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee, the Federal Salary Council, and the National Partnership Council. Oversight The Office assesses agencies' effectiveness in personnel management at the governmentwide, agency, and installation levels to gather information for policy development and program, refinement, ensure compliance with personnel laws and regulations, enhance agency capability for self-evaluation, and assist agencies in operating personnel
programs which effectively support accomplishment of their primary missions. The Office also works with other Federal agencies on demonstration projects to explore potential improvements in personnel systems and better and simpler ways to manage Federal personnel. Employee Benefits The Office also manages numerous activities that directly affect the well-being of the Federal employee and indirectly enhance employee effectiveness. These include health benefits, life insurance, and retirement benefits. Other Personnel Programs The Office coordinates the temporary assignment of employees between Federal agencies and State, local, and Indian tribal governments; institutions of higher education; and other eligible organizations for up to 2 years, for work of mutual benefit to the participating organizations. It administers the Presidential Management Intern Program, which provides 2-year, excepted appointments with Federal agencies to recipients of graduate degrees in appropriate disciplines. In addition, the Office of Personnel Management administers the Federal Merit System Standards, which apply to certain grantaided State and local programs. Federal Executive Boards Federal Executive Boards (FEB's) were established by Presidential directive (a memorandum for heads of Federal departments and agencies dated November 13, 1961) to improve internal Federal management practices and to provide a central focus for Federal participation in civic affairs in major metropolitan centers of Federal activity. They carry out their functions under OPM supervision and control.
Federal Executive Boards serve as a means for disseminating information within the Federal Government and for promoting discussion of Federal policies and activities of importance to all Federal executives in the field. Each Board is composed of heads of Federal field offices in the metropolitan area. A Chairman is elected annually from
among the membership to provide overall leadership to the Board's operations. Committees and task forces carry out interagency projects consistent with the Board's missions.
Federal Executive Boards are located in 28 metropolitan areas that are important centers of Federal activity. These areas are: Albuquerque-Santa Fe, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, DallasFort Worth, Denver, Detroit, HonoluluPacific, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul).
Federal Executive Associations, Councils, or Committees have been locally organized in over 100 other metropolitan areas to perform functions similar to the Federal Executive Boards but on a lesser scale of organization and activity. For further information, contact the Assistant for Regional Operations, Office of Personnel Management, Room 5H22L, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-0001. Phone, 202-606 1001.
Sources of Information Contracts Contact the Chief, Contracting Division, Office of Personnel Management, Washington, DC 204150001. Phone, 202-606-2240. Employment Federal Job Information Centers, located in major metropolitan areas, provide Federal employment information. To obtain the appropriate telephone number, check the blue pages under U.S. Government, Office of Personnel Management. For information about employment opportunities within the Office of Personnel Management, contact the Director for Human Resources. Phone, 202-606-2400. Publications The Chief, Publications Services Division, can provide information about Federal personnel management publications. Phone, 202606-1822.
For further information, contact the Office of Communications, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415-0001. Phone, 202-606-1800.
OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL
KATHLEEN DAY KOCH
WILLIAM L. DEAN MICHAEL G. LAWRENCE
The Office of Special Counsel investigates allegations of certain activities prohibited by civil service laws, rules, or regulations and litigates before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Activities The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) was established on January 1, 1979, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (5 U.S.C. app.). The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 1101 note), which became effective on January 11, 1979, enlarged its functions and powers. Pursuant to provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (5 U.S.C. 1211 et seq.), OSC functions as an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency within the executive branch which litigates before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The primary role of OSC is to protect employees, former employees, and applicants for employment from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing. Its basic areas of statutory responsibility are:
--receiving and investigating allegations of prohibited personnel practices and other activities prohibited
by civil service law, rule, or regulation and, if warranted, initiating corrective or disciplinary action;
-providing a secure channel through which information evidencing a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety may be disclosed without fear of retaliation and without disclosure of identity, except with the employee's consent; and
-enforcing the provisions of the Hatch Act.
Sources of Information Field offices are located in Dallas, TX (Room 7C30, 1100 Commerce Street, 75242; phone, 214–767–8871) and Oakland, CA (Suite 365S, 1301 Clay Street, 94612-5217; phone, 510-6373460).
For further information, contact the Office of Special Counsel, Suite 300, 1730 M Street NW., Washington, DC 20036-4505. Phone, 202-653–7188 or 800-872-9855 (toll-free)