SUPPORTING REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL ALLOCATIONS
Agencies requesting additional resources during the biennial review must provide a detailed justification for the desired increases that is based on a comprehensive, agencywide assessment of their executive resources needs. This assessment should include all established and requested positions, and prioritize all current and proposed positions in terms of their relative contribution to agency mission requirements. The assessment should be integrated with agency plans to restructure the workforce in support of the President's Management Agenda and should be consistent with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) guidance on workforce planning and restructuring.
In making allocation decisions, OPM considers the degree to which agencies are effectively managing their executive resources and have conducted a strategic analysis of their needs, including such things as redeploying permanent allocations to critical position needs, determining whether or not positions can be abolished, and addressing performance issues. OPM also considers whether a legislative mandate or Presidential directive requires the allocation of additional executive resources; whether an agency has acquired a new mission(s), is expanding an ongoing agency program(s); or, additional executive resources are required as part of succession planning requirements. Additionally, other factors are taken into account including an agency's executive resources vacancy rate, whether the allocation requested is for a line or a staff position, a deputy or equivalent, or a principal position. Consideration is also given to an agency's overall funding levels and personnel ceilings, and the impact of a requested increase on Governmentwide allocations. Finally, OPM consults with OMB about the resource implications of a requested increase.
New SES Needs
Identify by title and organizational location the specific positions for which the additional allocations are requested. For each position, include:
- The particular mission-critical requirement giving rise to the need (e.g., legislative mandate, Presidential directive). Indicate whether this is a new initiative or expansion of an ongoing activity.
- The source of funding or other resources to support the new or expanded initiative(s). Compare current and/or future resource levels agencywide with comparable levels in previous years. If the increase is less than that allotted for the new/expanded initiative(s), indicate where resources are being reallocated within the agency to support the activity.
- The outcomes anticipated from each additional executive position. What results will the additional executive allocations contribute to the activity? For example, an increase in the amount of grant monies appropriated does not necessarily require an increase in executive allocations; if an allocation is requested, what result will it bring to the management of the program and mission accomplishment?
Agencywide SES Priorities
Provide organization charts identifying all current and proposed SES positions, with encumbered positions indicated by an asterisk or other notation.
- Prioritize all currently established positions, whether vacant or encumbered, in terms of their relative contribution to the agency's mission requirements.
- Agencies can establish and recruit for positions in excess of their allocation; however, the number of filled positions cannot exceed the number allocated. Agencies that use a system of "floating" vacancies should account for all established vacancies, even if the total exceeds the number allocated.
- For ease of analysis, agencies should prioritize positions by category (e.g., Category ‘A' includes positions most critical to agency mission accomplishment). Please use at least three, but no more that five, categories. While the precise definition of categories is left to each agency, in all cases the lowest category must consist of those positions that present opportunities for redeployment of executive resources - i.e., positions that may be filled at a lower level or abolished as turnover occurs, or positions from which the present incumbent may be reassigned if an appropriate opportunity is identified.
- Prioritize all new executive resource needs for which the additional SES allocations are being requested, using the same system of categories. Indicate how the new needs relate to the prioritized list of current resources.
- Provide an analysis of how the agency can best meet the highest priority needs by redirecting resources from lower priority areas. In conducting this analysis, please keep in mind that we are focusing on agencywide priorities - that is, while an executive may believe a particular position is critical to his/her own program area, that position may not rank as high in terms of the agency as a whole. Also, include estimated time frames for redirecting resources away from lower priority needs for the rest of this biennium (FY 2004/2005), if applicable.
Senior-Level and Scientific Resources
Each agency is responsible for making its own classification decisions and for conducting an agencywide assessment of its priorities to determine how its pool of SES/SL/ST allocations should be distributed. If, as part of that review, an agency concludes that it has high priority SL or ST needs and it is able to redirect SES resources from lower priority areas to meet those needs, the agency may convert vacant SES allocations to SL or ST allocations after obtaining OPM approval. Agencies may also request to convert SL or ST allocations to SES allocations after obtaining OPM approval.
If an agency is seeking an overall increase in its total SES/SL/ST pool, the same detailed justification must be provided for SL/ST increases as for SES increases. Specifically:
- Identify new SL/ST needs, on a position-by-position basis, showing the title and organizational location of each new position; the particular circumstances giving rise to the need; the source of funding or other resources to support the new or expanded initiative(s); and the specific outcome or result anticipated from each additional SL/ST resource; and
- Determine agencywide priorities by first prioritizing all currently established SES/SL/ST positions, vacant or encumbered, using a category system; then prioritizing all new resource needs (SES/SL/ST) in relation to established positions, using the same system of categories; and finally providing us with an analysis of how the agency can best meet the highest priority needs by redirecting resources from lower priority areas.
Please keep in mind that allocation increases outside the biennial cycle are discouraged unless the agency can demonstrate that there are unforeseen, mission-critical emergencies that cannot be met within the current allocation. In these situations, OPM's approach is to grant temporary relief, if justified, until the next biennial assessment.
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