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Senior Executive Service Performance Appraisal System

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Heads Of Executive Departments And Agencies
John Berry, Office of Personnel Management, Director
Jeffrey Zients, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Deputy Director for Management and Chief Performance Officer
Senior Executive Service Performance Appraisal System

We are pleased to announce the design and issuance of a model Senior Executive Service (SES) performance appraisal system.  Drawing from leading practices in Federal agencies and the private sector, working groups of agency representatives – including SES members – developed this system to meet the SES performance management needs of Executive Branch agencies and their SES employees.  

Under the new system (attached), agencies will be able to rely upon a more consistent and uniform framework to communicate expectations and evaluate the performance of SES members.  This system focuses, in particular, on the role and responsibility of SES employees to achieve results through effective executive leadership.  The system will provide agencies with a standardized approach to managing the performance of SES members – furthering Congress’ original vision, in enacting the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, of an executive cadre that can readily move into different assignments as needed by the Government.  In addition to promoting greater consistency, the new system will promote greater clarity, transferability, and equity in the development of performance standards, the delivery of feedback, the derivation of ratings, and the link to compensation.  The new system will also provide the necessary flexibility and capability for appropriate customization to better meet the needs of all agencies and other Federal organizations (e.g., offices of Inspectors General).  With regard to implementation, agencies and other Federal organizations will have the opportunity to transition to this new system template as their current system certifications naturally expire, or sooner if an agency prefers. 

To support agency implementation of the new SES appraisal system, OPM is currently coordinating additional interagency workgroups to develop strategies and solutions for implementation, communication, and training, as well as to improve the SES performance appraisal system certification process.  OPM staff will soon be scheduling meetings with agency Executive Resources staff to share products and tools developed by these additional interagency workgroups, and to provide guidance and support on implementation of the new system.

We extend special thanks to your agencies’ representatives who helped design this system.  If you have questions regarding the SES appraisal system, including implementation and certification, please contact Steve Shih, Deputy Associate Director, Executive Resources and Employee Development, at (202) 606-8046, or Karen Lebing, Manager for Performance Management Implementation, at (202) 606-1633.

Basic Executive Performance Plan Template

Cc:   President’s Management Council

        Chief Human Capital Officers

        Human Resources Directors

        Executive Resources Directors