Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Those darned prohibited personnel practices

Quick—how many Merit System Principles are there?

If you asked: What’s a Merit System Principle? then you probably don’t know that there are nine, and that they are the basic standards that govern the management of the executive branch workforce.

The Merit Systems Protection Board—which is charged with hearing and deciding employee complaints when an agency is alleged to have committed a prohibited personnel practice—wants you to know what those nine principles are.

That’s why, starting now, MSPB is highlighting one principle per month on its Web site for the next nine months. First up: Recruitment, Selection and Advancement.

MSPB has gotten more proactive under the management of Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann, who is taking seriously the idea that MSPB has a responsibility to educate feds on exactly what the federal merit system is, and how it works.

Take a look at the “principle of the month,” and while you’re at it, explore the MSPB Web site. It’s a lot more user-friendly that it used to be, and in fact will explain and take you through the whole process of filing an appeal, should the need ever arise.

Never hurts to be prepared.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Wed, Apr 6, 2011

Anyone who has gone to MSPB knows that the MSPB has no principles. They are simply a "rubber stamp" for the agency, and no one should waste their time and money going there. They don't even require the agency to submit accurate facts, and they don't uphold laws, even those that relate to employee due process rights. While their training manual says an employee can't unknowingly waive their career tenure, MSPB in practice doesn't follow this and tells the employee they won't hear their case (MSPB accepts the agency's misclassification of a employee as probationary, when the agency is dead wrong.) So when the agency makes a deadly mistake like this, they win - they can completely falsify the employees files, and there is no accountability at MSPB. Also, MSPB doesn't even enforce settlements, so the agencies don't even comply with the settlements - MSPB IS A COMPLETE JOKE AND SHOULD BE ELIMINATED - THE STATS DON'T LIE (1% MIGHT GET HEARD?) - MSPB IS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS THERE IS!!!

Fri, Jan 14, 2011 Minority_002 OR

I sit on a person's back, choking them and making them carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for them and wish to ease their lot by all possible means - EXCEPT by getting off off their back.

Leo Tolstoy

Thu, Jan 13, 2011

It’s personal and professional.

Thu, Jan 13, 2011 Chris Berry Washington, DC

The MSPB is a fantastic organization. I've had the pleasure of several training presentations over the years. All of the examples that are above may have merit and should have been reported. Quit your whining and call them. Stop complaining that someone didn't walk into your office and give you the phone number--LOOK IT UP.

Another great Federal Agency that wants to protect you is the Office of the Special Counsel. Forget all the hooploa over Scott Bloch and politics--the career employes of the OSC want to help and will do their jobs IF YOU REPORT IT.

Wed, Jan 12, 2011 CA Fed California

It's an interesting list of prohibited actions. Here I've seen one Request to Recruit with "job for 'so and so'" written into the remarks while advertising the merit promotion open to all qualified. Most of the local qualifed didn't apply because it was for 'so and so' but the employee who apply and make the top 3 on the cert did wasn't even given an interview. He didn't file a grievance because that is career suicide here. Also running rampant here is nepotism... one of the higher ranking employees in the HR has made sure their entire family has been hired as well as family members of friends. After working in HR for a while, I could see that if HR wanted a certain person there was always a way to get them in the 'back door' while at the same time telling other divisions a hire wasn't possible.

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