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Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


Linda M. Springer

Allocation of Temporary Senior Executive Service (SES), Senior Level (SL), or scientific and Professional (ST) Spaces to Support Continuing Development of Career Senior Leaders

On September 12,2006, I sent you a memorandum transmitting the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Guidelines for Managerial Development. In that memorandum I stated that we believe the time is right to recommit the Federal Government to developing effective leaders. The purpose of the current memorandum is to tell you about an initiative by which OPM will promote your efforts in this regard.

One of the most effective ways to develop good leaders is by exposing them to new challenges.  We want to encourage you to actively develop career senior leaders through strategic short-term assignments that will strengthen them for more effective service. When you evaluate the challenges your agency must meet, assess the capabilities and potential of your senior leaders, and choose to send them on temporary assignments that will prepare them for higher level service in your agency or elsewhere in Government, we intend to support that choice.

From time to time, OPM grants a temporary space to support an agency sending an executive or senior professional on a short-term assignment, e.g., an interagency detail, during which the individual will occupy an agency space even though he or she is not available for agency work. I want to remind you that OPM grants spaces for this purpose and to point out that this practice holds great potential for supporting continuing development of your career senior leaders.

When you determine that a carefully selected assignment ranging from 12 to 24 months will strengthen a career senior leader for higher level service but your agency cannot afford to lose the SES, SL or ST space encumbered by the individual during that period, I invite you to explore whether OPM can allocate a temporary space to support your plan. For example, we will make temporary spaces available to support certain intra-agency details, Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignments, short term transfers that involve a reemployment right (e.g., to an international organization), and short-term reassignments, if the position to which the individual would be reassigned cannot be established within the agency's current allocation.

We are developing a streamlined process for requesting these temporary spaces through the Executive and Schedule C System and will implement this as soon as possible. In the meantime, you may submit your requests to Ms. Cathy Penn, Manager, Executive Resources Services Group by fax at (202) 606-2126 or by mail to the Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW, Room 6484, Washington, DC 20415. An outline of the information you should submit to enable us to efficiently assess and respond to your requests is attached.

We look forward to giving you the support you need to develop the best possible leaders for the future. If you have questions about this initiative, please contact Mr. Paul Thompson, Manager, Center for Learning, Executive Resources, and Policy Analysis at (202) 606-1429 or, or Ms. Penn at (202) 606-2671 or

cc: Human Resources Directors



Please include the following information in your request for a temporary space to support continuing development of an SES, SL or ST employee.

  1. Identify who will be going on the development assignment.  Provide the individual’s name, position, organizational component, location, and current appointment type.
  2. Describe the development assignment.  Identify the position to which the individual will be assigned; the type of assignment, e.g., detail, transfer, reassignment, including any applicable statutory or regulatory authority, such as the Intergovernmental Personnel Act or Detail or Transfer to International Organizations; the agency, organizational component and location; and the planned duration of the assignment.
  3. Identify the challenges or development opportunities that the assignment will provide that the individual has not had in previous positions.
  4. Describe the agency’s future plans for the individual, presuming the anticipated benefits of the developmental assignments are fully realized.  What position or positions will this assignment prepare the individual to assume?

You may submit your request to Ms. Cathy Penn, Manager, Executive Resources Services Group by fax at (202) 606-2126 or by mail to the Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW, Room 6484, Washington, DC 20415.  If you have further questions about how to make your request, you may contact Ms. Penn on (202) 606-2671 or by email at Our Mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a
World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People
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