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Biennial Review of Executive Resources Allocations for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 Update

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Biennial Review of Executive Resources Allocations for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 Update

This memorandum provides you an update on the direction of the current Executive Resources biennial allocation process, to ensure alignment with the President’s March 13, 2017, Executive Order 13781– Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.  This memorandum also extends the due date for agencies to submit to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) their detailed justifications supporting any requests to change:  Senior Executive Service (SES), Senior Level (SL), and Scientific/Professional (ST) allocations; SES position designations; and conversions of vacant allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and FY 2019.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C § 3133(a), Federal agencies are required – during each even-numbered calendar year (CY) – to examine their needs for SES positions for each of the two fiscal years beginning after such calendar year, and to submit to OPM a written request for any changes.  Since 2016 is an even-numbered calendar year, agencies were required to conduct an examination of their SES position needs for FY 2018 and FY 2019, and submit a written request to OPM, by December 30, 2016, for a specific number of SES positions for FY 2018 and FY 2019.  By practice, Federal agencies also conduct the same examination and submit a similar written request to OPM for their positions in the SL and ST pay system.  In addition to the written request agencies provided to OPM, the necessary detailed justification to support the agencies’ request for changes was initially due to OPM on May 2, 2017, with an extension to June 15, 2017.

In light of the President’s Executive Order – focusing on the improvement of agencies’ efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability – OPM expects agencies will exercise restraint and be judicious in making requests for additional allocations, and each agency must specifically first:

(1)Move, or request to convert existing allocations, as needed, to accomplish the agency’s strategic mission and goals;

(2)Fill at least 90 percent of the agency’s existing allocations, based on the agencies’ data within the Executive and Schedule C System (ESCS) ; the vacancy rate should not be greater than 10 percent;

(3)Ensure alignment of any request for additional allocations, or changes to current allocations, with the agency’s own reform plan that will be due to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in support of the Executive Order.  OMB will concurrently review and verify alignment between an agency’s request relating to allocations and the agency’s reform plan; and

(4)Agencies considering the elimination of programs or the use of workforce reduction flexibilities to address changes in budget or agency priorities (e.g., early retirements or voluntary separations), should refrain from requesting additional allocations.

Furthermore, OPM recognizes the transformational changes being addressed across the Federal Government, and is extending the deadline to submit the agencies’ detailed justifications, supporting requests relating to allocations, to Saturday, September 30, 2017.  OPM will process all requests on a first-come, first-served basis.  If the agency determines in FY 2018, that additional changes are needed to its executive allocations based on their transformational changes, agencies may submit an out-of-cycle allocation request to OPM.  These requests will be completed, after the biennial requests have been processed, and also on a first-come, first-served basis.

Below are references to documents that may be useful when completing your analysis and detailed justifications for changes in SES/SL/ST allocations:

•Call Memo for Biennial Allocations for FY 2018 and FY 2019

Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

OMB Memorandum - Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce

•OMB Max Portal for templates to be completed for any request for changes in executive allocations

If you or your staff have any questions or require any assistance, please contact:  Phyllis Proctor by telephone at (202) 606-2683 or email at, or Laura Lynch by telephone at (202) 606-2773 or email at

Attachments:  See 508-compliant fillable PDF forms below

cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers, Human Resources Directors, and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency