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Executive Order – Strengthening the Senior Executive Service: Guidance on Qualifications Review Board Submission Methods

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing the attached guidance to agencies on Qualification Review Board (QRB) submission methods, as required by the Executive Order (EO) -"Strengthening the Senior Executive Service," issued on December 15, 2015, ( This EO mandates a number of actions over the next three years to improve the management of the Senior Executive Service (SES).

Fiscal Year 2017 Prevailing Rate Pay Adjustments

Division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (the fiscal year 2016 Act), contains two provisions that affect the determination of pay adjustments for certain prevailing rate (wage) employees.  The Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (the FY 2017 Act), extends into FY 2017 the two provisions of the FY 2016 Act. 

Relationships with Management Organizations

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s regulations at 5 CFR Part 251 provide a framework for agencies to consult and communicate with management organizations representing Federal employees and with other organizations on matters related to agency operations and personnel management.  The purposes of consultation and communication are: (1) the improvement of agency operations, personnel management, and employee effectiveness; (2) the exchange of information; and (3) the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the agency.

Guidance for Assigning New Cybersecurity Codes to Positions with Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Cyber-Related Functions

I am pleased to share guidance that explains how agencies will institute the updated procedures for assigning codes to Federal cybersecurity positions.  This guidance supports the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) role with implementing the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act.  Additionally, coding and identifying our cybersecurity workforce is important foundational work to better managing these critical positions.


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Executive Order to Strengthen the Senior Executive Service

In accordance with the Executive Order 13714, Strengthening the Senior Executive Service (SES), signed on December 15, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is providing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that address the specific provisions within the Executive Order. 

Management Tools for Maximizing Employee Performance

The Federal Government’s workforce is critical to driving success on a variety of compelling missions.  Numerous research studies have found that employee engagement has great impact on organizational outcomes*.    Research demonstrates a strong positive relationship between high levels of employee engagement and desired organizational outcomes such as customer satisfaction, safety, low turnover, and productivity.

America’s PrepareAthon! – September 30, 2016 – Day of Action

America’s PrepareAthon! builds upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Program by adding a focused national call to action for individuals and organizations to take simple, specific actions to improve their preparedness for a potential disaster. FEMA’s goal is to increase the number of citizens who understand the hazards most relevant to their community; know the corresponding protective actions, mitigation measures, and community plans.

Protecting Our Federal Workforce During the 2015-16 Flu Season

Please help us ensure all federal employees take action to reduce the spread of influenza in the workplace, among our families, and in our communities.  The best way to do this is to encourage everyone to get the annual flu vaccine—it can prevent influenza illness and reduce time lost from work and school, as well as preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

Senior-Level and Scientific and Professional Performance Appraisal System/Program and Streamlined Certification Process

I am pleased to announce the design and issuance of a standard Senior-Level (SL) and Scientific and Professional (ST) performance appraisal system and program (referred to as the Basic SL/ST System/Program) available now for voluntary agency adoption.


Since its beginning as the Federal Human Capital Survey in 2002 to its evolution into the Federal Employee Viewpoint (FEVS) of today, the FEVS remains one of the most powerful platforms for employees to share their opinions and perceptions of their work experiences, their agency and their leadership.  The FEVS is an important way to let employees know that their opinions matter, while providing necessary resources for agency leadership to translate those opinions into results; and results into action. 

Excusing Federal Employees from Duty for the Last Half of the Scheduled Workday on Thursday, December 24, 2015

The President has issued an Executive order excusing executive branch non-Postal Service employees from duty for the last half of the scheduled workday on Thursday, December 24, 2015, with pay and without a charge to leave, except those who, in the judgment of the head of the agency, cannot be excused for reasons of national security, defense, or other essential public need.  (See Attachment 1.)  For pay and leave purposes, th

Emergency Leave Transfer for Federal Employees Affected by the Severe Storms and Flooding in Louisiana

President Obama has directed the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish an emergency leave transfer program to assist employees affected by the severe storms and flooding in Louisiana.  Pursuant to 5 U.S.C.

Pay-Related Legislative Changes in the National Defense Authorization Act, FY 2017

This is to inform you of several legislative changes and extensions affecting Federal employee pay and certain benefits.  The changes resulting from the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (Public Law 114-328, December 23, 2016) are summarized below. 

Section 611 – Reserve Income Replacement Program 

Washington, DC, Area Dismissal and Closure Procedures

As we begin the 2015-2016 winter season, the U.S.

Training to Combat Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking in the Workplace

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are pleased to announce the release of a newly-developed training course entitled “Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking in the Workplace.”  This course is available to all agencies at no cost on HR University ( 

January 2016 Pay Adjustments

The President has signed an Executive order to implement the January 2016 pay adjustments.  (See Attachment 1.)  The Executive order authorizes a 1 percent across-the-board increase for statutory pay systems and locality pay increases costing approximately 0.3 percent of basic payroll, reflecting an overall average pay increase of 1.3 percent.

Human Resources Flexibilities and Authorities for Federal Employees Affected by the Zika Virus

The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus to be a “public health emergency of international concern” (

2015 Annual Review of Special Rates (Results)

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts an annual review of special rates established under 5 U.S.C. 5305 to determine the disposition of special rate schedules when General Schedule (GS) pay is adjusted under 5 U.S.C.

Excused Absence for Voting

This memorandum provides agencies with information on the Federal Government’s longstanding policy of granting employees limited time off from work (i.e., excused absence) to vote in Federal, State, county, or municipal elections, or in referendums on any civic matter in their community.  The head of each agency (or his or her designee) has discretion to grant excused absence in limited circumstances under his or her broad authority to govern, unless otherwise prohibited by law.  Agencies have discretionary authority to grant excused absence to

Fiscal Year 2016 Prevailing Rate Pay Adjustments

Division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, contains provisions affecting the determination of pay adjustments for certain prevailing rate (wage) employees in fiscal year 2016.  Section 737(a) provides that pay increases for certain prevailing rate employees in FY 2016 may not exceed 1.37 percent—the sum of the January 2016 General Schedule (GS) across-the-board percentage adjustment and the difference between the overall average percentage locality payments for

Responding to Incidents of Societal Tension and Unrest

This memorandum identifies important actions recommended by the Diversity and Inclusion in Government Council (DIG) that Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies can take to help employees positively cope with stress that can occur as a result of incidents of societal tension that have a racial, or other identity consideration. During a July 2016 Convening on Racial Justice following the incidents of summer 2016 surfacing racial unrest, participants shared important actions taken by members of the Cabinet and Agency Heads to quickly address the needs of employees.

Performance Management Guidance for End-of-Fiscal Year 2015 and Beginning-of-Fiscal Year 2016 Activities

As we enter Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, I would like to provide some helpful information on performance management, as many agencies are concluding performance appraisal periods and planning for the next performance cycle.  Attached to this memorandum are guidance and reminders for agencies on performance management, including involving employees in crucial performance management activities.