Federal Employees News Digest

OPM releases SES award guidance

The Office of Personnel Management and Office of Management and Budget issued guidance instructing agencies to set the total spending limit for fiscal 2017 Senior Executive Service performance awards at 7.5 percent of the aggregate salaries of their career executives at the end of fiscal 2016.

The limit applies to individual rating-based awards for SES career employees and senior level and senior professional and scientific employees.

In a joint memo, OMB Director Shaun Donovan and OPM acting Director Beth Cobert issued guidance advising agencies to reserve the awards for top performers.

“To ensure the continued integrity of the awards programs, agencies should allocate awards in a manner that provides meaningfully greater rewards to top performers,” the memo stated. “Agencies should ensure only SES and SL/ST employees who have demonstrated the highest levels of individual performance and/or contribution to the agency's performance receive the highest annual summary ratings and the largest corresponding performance awards, pay adjustments, and rates of pay.

“Agencies are encouraged to use these awards to recognize those senior leaders who take on the most challenging assignments, use exemplary innovative and collaborative methods, take on challenging rotational assignments, and/or have the greatest impact on agency priorities and mission imperatives in a given performance period,” the memo said.

According to the memo, agencies also may spend up to 1.0 percent of the aggregate salaries of their career executives and SL/ST employees at the end of fiscal 2016 on individual contribution awards—such as special act awards—that are paid throughout the fiscal year.

See more at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2016/m-16-22.pdf.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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