Back to Top

Biennial Review of Executive Resources Allocations for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

Friday, December 12, 2014
Other Stakeholders
Katherine Archuleta Director
Biennial Review of Executive Resources Allocations for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

This memorandum provides information and guidance to Federal Departments, Agencies, and Offices of Inspectors General for the submission to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of a written request for a specific number of Senior Executive Service (SES), Senior Level (SL), and Scientific/Professional (ST) positions for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2016 and 2017. 

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 each of such fiscal years.  Since 2014 is an even-numbered calendar year, agencies are required to conduct an examination of their SES position needs for FYs 2016 and 2017, and must submit a written request to OPM for a specific number of SES positions for FYs 2016 and 2017.  Although not expressly required by statute, Federal agencies conduct the same examination and submit a similar written request to OPM for their positions in the SL and ST pay systems.

The executive resources biennial allocation process provides OPM the authority to review organizational missions, plans, and structures and assess whether executive resources are being used in the most efficient manner.  The following Agency submissions and deadlines apply for the FY 2016-2017 executive resources (i.e., SES, SL, and ST positions) allocation process:

(1) By Wednesday, December 31, 2014,  all Agencies must complete and submit the attached Biennial Allocations Request template indicating their intent to:

• Maintain, increase or decrease their established executive resources allocations (i.e., SES, SL, and ST positions); and/or

• Request changes in their executive resources allocations, such as a redesignation of positions (e.g., from General to Career Reserved), or a conversion of existing allocations, (e.g., from SES to SL), for FYs 2016 and 2017.

(2) By Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Agencies requesting changes to their executive resources allocations for FYs 2016 and 2017 must also submit written justifications and documentation to OPM, consistent with the attached guidance.  

While requirements may vary from one biennial cycle to another, the following specifies additional general information agencies must ultimately submit to justify requests for additional allocations – as noted above, due to OPM by Wednesday, April 1, 2015:

• Identification of specific positions (by title and organizational location) for which any additional executive spaces are sought, and the basis for determining these needs;
• Description of the particular circumstances giving rise to the needs (e.g., legislative mandate, Presidential directive, new agency mission, etc.);
• Specific results expected from each additional position, and the impact to agency mission and/or Administration goals;
• Identification of funding or other resources to support the new allocations, including reprogramming of resources and revision to functions within each agency, aligned to agency priorities;
• Prioritization of all established and proposed positions (vacant, encumbered, or temporary) by their relative significance and impact to agencies’ mission requirements (i.e., agency-wide goals and objectives); 
• Numbers of vacant positions, and length of time positions remain vacant; and
• Extent to which individual positions meet SES functional criteria.

The following documents are attached to assist agencies’ preparation of submissions for the FY 2016-2017 executive resources allocation process: 

• FY 2016-2017 Executive Resources Biennial Allocation(s) Request template
• Executive Resources Biennial Allocations Guidance

Additional guidance will be forthcoming for Agencies’ electronic submissions of requests and documentation.  Alternatively, Agencies may submit hardcopy requests and documentation packages to:
                  U.S. Office of Personnel Management
                  Senior Executive Services and Performance Management
                 1900 E Street NW, Room 7412
                 ATTN:  Phyllis Proctor
                 Washington, DC  20415-5100

If you or your staff have any questions or require any assistance, please contact either:  (1) Phyllis Proctor, by telephone at (202) 606-2683 or by e-mail at, or (2) Laura Lynch, by telephone at (202) 606-2773 or by e-mail at


• FY 2016-2017 Executive Resources Biennial Allocation(s) Request template
• Executive Resources Biennial Allocations Guidance

cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers, and Human Resources Directors