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Proposed Revision to Recording Noncreditable Service and Maintaining Records for Volunteers in the Federal Service

Friday, June 23, 2000
MSG 2000-054
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Human Resources Directors
From: 
STEVEN R. COHEN signed June 21, 2000 ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OFFICE OF MERIT SYSTEMS OVERSIGHT AND EFFECTIVENESS
Subject: 
Proposed Revision to Recording Noncreditable Service and Maintaining Records for Volunteers in the Federal Service

We are planning to implement new procedures for documenting and recordkeeping with respect to noncreditable volunteer service. We would appreciate having your comments on the new procedures by July 28, 2000. Comments should be sent to mccarter@opm.gov, or they may be faxed to the attention of Mary Carter at (202) 606-1719.

Our current requirements for documenting volunteer service are in Chapter 33 of The Guide to Processing Personnel Actions (http://www.opm.gov/feddata/gppa/gppa33.pdf ) . We are proposing to eliminate the requirements that you:

  • prepare a Standard Form (SF) 50 when you hire a volunteer;
  • create an Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for each volunteer;
  • track and record the days or hours each volunteer served;
  • prepare an SF 50 when you separate a volunteer;
  • transfer volunteers' OPF's to the National Personnel Records Center after the volunteer completes his or her service.

The only requirement we will retain is that you clearly tell volunteers that their volunteer service is not creditable for leave or other employee benefits. You can use language, such as:

  • Under 5 U.S.C. 3111, a student volunteer is not a Federal employee for any purposes other than injury compensation and laws related to the Tort Claims Act. Service is not creditable for leave or any other employee benefits (for student volunteers). OR
  • Volunteer service is not creditable for leave or any other employee benefits (for other volunteers).

The new guidance will recommend that when you appoint a volunteer, the "Welcome" message include the name of the agency, the volunteer's position title, the office title and duty location, and the days and hours the volunteer is expected to serve. When you separate a volunteer, we recommend the "Thank you" message include the dates during which the volunteer served, the total hours or days worked, and instructions on how the volunteer can get documentation of his or her volunteer service in the future.

Under the new procedures, you will:

  • decide what information you want to collect on volunteer service;
  • determine how information is collected and documented - on self-developed forms, letters, or any other formats;
  • determine the method of long term filing/recordkeeping you'll use for volunteer service documents. You may not use an OPF. Whatever filing system you use, the Office of Personnel Management's Governmentwide systems of records notice for OPM/GOVT-1 will continue to cover volunteer service records for purposes of the Privacy Act.
  • respond to any former volunteers' requests for service documentation;
  • set the disposition schedule for your volunteer service documents.

We have negotiated separate agreements covering some volunteer programs. These agreements authorized variations from the procedures in Chapter 33 of The Guide to Processing Personnel Actions. When we issue the new guidance, those agreements will no longer be necessary since you will be responsible for determining the practices that best suit your needs. You may opt to continue the practices in those agreements or change them as you see fit.

After we review your comments on this proposal, we will notify you whether or not we will implement it. If we do, we will update The Guide to Processing Personnel Actions accordingly.