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Title 5 – Administrative Personnel–Volume 1

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Title 5 – Administrative Personnel–Volume 1



Note:Title 5 of the United States Code was revised and enacted into positive law by Pub. L. 89-554, Sept. 6, 1966. New citations for obsolete references to sections of 5 U.S.C. appearing in this volume may be found in a redesignation table under Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, United States Code.

Part


chapter i – Office of Personnel Management

1

CHAPTER I – OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

SUBCHAPTER A – CIVIL SERVICE RULES

PART 1 – COVERAGE AND DEFINITIONS (RULE I)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10022, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 1.1 Positions and employees affected by the rules in this subchapter.

The rules in this subchapter shall apply to all positions in the competitive service and to all incumbents of such positions. Except as expressly provided in the rule concerned, the rules in this subchapter shall not apply to positions and employees in the excepted service.


§ 1.2 Extent of the competitive service.

The competitive service shall include: (a) All civilian positions in the executive branch of the Government unless specifically excepted therefrom by or pursuant to statute or by the Office of Personnel Management (hereafter referred to in this subchapter as OPM) under § 6.1 of this subchapter; and (b) all positions in the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government and in the Government of the District of Columbia which are specifically made subject to the civil service laws by statute. OPM is authorized and directed to determine finally whether a position is in the competitive service.


§ 1.3 Definitions.

As used in the rules in this subchapter:


(a) Competitive service shall have the same meaning as the words “classified service”, or “classified (competitive) service”, or “classified civil service” as defined in existing statutes and executive orders.


(b) Competitive position shall mean a position in the competitive service.


(c) Competitive status shall mean basic eligibility to be noncompetitively selected to fill a vacancy in a competitive position. A competitive status shall be acquired by career-conditional or career appointment through open competitive examination upon satisfactory completion of a probationary period, or may be granted by statute, executive order, or the Civil Service Rules without competitive examination. A person with competitive status may be promoted, transferred, reassigned, reinstated, or demoted without taking an open competitive examination, subject to the conditions prescribed by the Civil Service Rules and Regulations.


(d) An employee shall be considered as being in the competitive service when he has a competitive status and occupies a competitive position unless he is serving under a temporary appointment: Provided, that an employee who is in the competitive service at the time his position is first listed under Schedule A, B, or C shall be considered as continuing in the competitive service as long as he continues to occupy such position.


(e) Tenure shall mean the period of time an employee may reasonably expect to serve under his current appointment. Tenure shall be granted and governed by the type of appointment under which an employee is currently serving without regard to whether he has a competitive status or whether his appointment is to a competitive position or an excepted position.


§ 1.4 Extent of the excepted service.

(a) The excepted service shall include all civilian positions in the executive branch of the Government which are specifically excepted from the requirements of the Civil Service Act or from the competitive service by or pursuant to statute or by OPM under § 6.1 of this subchapter.


(b) Excepted service shall have the same meaning as the words “unclassified service”, or “unclassified civil service”, or “positions outside the competitive civil service” as used in existing statutes and executive orders.


(c) Excepted position shall have the same meaning as “unclassified position”, or “position excepted by law”, or “position excepted by executive order”, or “position excepted by Civil Service Rule”, or “position outside the competitive service” as used in existing statutes and Executive orders.


PART 2 – APPOINTMENT THROUGH THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE; RELATED MATTERS (RULE II)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10023, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 2.1 Competitive examinations and eligible registers; suitability and fitness for civil service employment.

(a) OPM shall be responsible for:


(i) Open competitive examinations for admission to the competitive service that will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the persons examined for the position to be filled.


(ii) Standards with respect to citizenship, age, education, training and experience, physical and mental fitness, and for residence or other requirements that applicants must meet to be admitted to or rated in examinations.


(iii) Standards of suitability based on character and conduct for appointment to a position in the competitive service, for appointment to a position in the excepted service where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, and for career appointment to a position in the Senior Executive Service.


(iv) Minimum standards of fitness based on character and conduct for appointment in any other position in the excepted service of the executive branch, except for (A) positions in any element of the intelligence community as defined in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, to the extent they are not otherwise subject to OPM appointing authorities, and (B) positions where OPM is statutorily precluded from prescribing such standards.”


(b) In addition to the names of persons who qualify in competitive examinations, the names of persons who have lost eligibility on a career or career-conditional register because of service in the armed forces, and the names of persons who lost opportunity for certification or who have served under career or career-conditional appointment when OPM determines that they should be given certification, may also be entered at such places on appropriate registers and under such conditions as OPM may prescribe.


(c) Whenever the Office of Personnel Management (1) is unable to certify a sufficient number of names to permit the appointing officer to consider three eligibles for appointment to a fourth-class postmaster position in accordance with the regular procedure, or (2) finds that a particular rate of compensation for fourth-class postmaster positions is too low to warrant regular competitive examinations for such positions, it may authorize appointment to any such position or positions in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by OPM. Persons appointed under this paragraph may acquire competitive status subject to satisfactory completion of a probationary period prescribed by OPM.


[28 FR 10023, Sept. 14, 1963, as amended by E.O. 13764, 82 FR 8115, Jan. 23, 2017]


§ 2.2 Appointments.

(a) OPM shall establish and administer a career-conditional appointment system for positions subject to competitive examinations which will permit adjustment of the career service to necessary fluctuations in Federal employment, and provide an equitable and orderly system for stabilizing the Federal work force. A competitive status shall be acquired by a career-conditional appointee upon satisfactory completion of a probationary period, but the appointee shall have career-conditional tenure for a period of service to be prescribed by regulation of OPM. When an employee has completed the required period of service his appointment shall be converted to a career appointment without time limitation: Provided, That his career-conditional appointment shall not be converted to a career appointment if the limitation on the number of permanent employees in the Federal civil service established under paragraph (b) of this section would be exceeded thereby. Persons selected from competitive civil service registers for other than temporary appointment shall be given career-conditional appointments: Provided, That career appointments shall be given to the following classes of eligibles:


(1) Persons whose appointments are required by statute to be made on a permanent basis;


(2) Employees serving under career appointments at the time of selection from such registers;


(3) Former employees who have eligibility for career appointments upon reinstatement; and


(4) To the extent permitted by law, persons appointed to positions in the field service of the U.S. Postal Service for which salary rates are fixed by the act of July 6, 1945, 59 Stat. 435, as heretofore or hereafter amended and supplemented.


(b) Under the career-conditional appointment system there shall be a limit on the number of permanent employees in the Federal civil service which shall be the ceiling established by section 1310 of the Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1952 (65 Stat. 757), as amended. In the event section 1310, supra, is repealed, OPM is authorized to fix such limitation on the number of permanent employees in the Federal civil service as it finds necessary to meet the needs of the service.


(c) OPM may determine the types, duration, and conditions of indefinite and temporary appointments, and may prescribe the method for replacing persons holding such appointments.


§ 2.3 Apportionment.

Subject to such modifications as OPM finds to be necessary in the interest of good administration, appointments to positions in agencies’ headquarters offices which are located within the metropolitan area of Washington, DC, shall be made so as to maintain the apportionment of appointments among the several States, Territories, and the District of Columbia upon the basis of population.


§ 2.4 Probationary period.

Persons selected from registers of eligibles for career or career-conditional appointment and employees promoted, transferred, or otherwise assigned, for the first time, to supervisory or managerial positions shall be required to serve a probationary period under terms and conditions prescribed by the Office.


[45 FR 4337, Jan. 22, 1980]


PART 3 – NONCOMPETITIVE ACQUISITION OF STATUS (RULE III)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10023, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 3.1 Classes of persons who may noncompetitively acquire status.

(a) Upon recommendation by the agency concerned, and subject to such noncompetitive examination, time limits, or other requirements as OPM may prescribe the following classes of persons may acquire a competitive status without competitive examination:


(1) A person holding a permanent position when it is placed in the competitive service by statute or executive order or is otherwise made subject to competitive examination.


(2) A disabled veteran who, in a manner satisfactory to OPM, has completed a course of training in the executive branch of the Government prescribed by the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs in accordance with the act of March 24, 1943 (57 Stat. 43).


(3) An employee who has served at least two years in the immediate office of the President or on the White House Staff and who is transferred to a competitive position at the request of an agency.


(4) An employee who was serving when his name was reached for certification on a civil service register appropriate for the position in which he was serving: Provided, That the recommendation for competitive status is made prior to expiration of the register on which his name appears or is made during a period of continuous service since his name was reached: Provided further, That the register was being used for appointments conferring competitive status at the time his name was reached.


(b) Upon recommendation by the employing agency, and subject to such requirements as the Office of Personnel Management may prescribe, the following classes of handicapped employees may acquire competitive status without competitive examination:


(1) A severely physically handicapped employee who completes at least two years of satisfactory service in a position excepted from the competitive service.


(2) A mentally retarded employee who completes at least two years of satisfactory service in a position excepted from the competitive service.


(3) An employee with a psychiatric disability who completes at least 2 years of satisfactory service in a position excepted from the competitive service.


[28 FR 10023, Sept. 14, 1963, as amended by E.O. 12125, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 375; 65 FR 41868, July 7, 2000]


§ 3.2 Appointments without competitive examination in rare cases.

Subject to receipt of satisfactory evidence of the qualifications of the person to be appointed, OPM may authorize an appointment in the competitive service without competitive examination whenever it finds that the duties or compensation of the position are such, or that qualified persons are so rare, that, in the interest of good civil-service administration, the position cannot be filled through open competitive examination. Any person heretofore or hereafter appointed under this section shall acquire a competitive status upon completion of at least one year of satisfactory service and compliance with such requirements as OPM may prescribe. Detailed statements of the reasons for the noncompetitive appointments made under this section shall be published in OPM’s annual reports.


§ 3.3 Conversion of appointments.

Any person who acquires a competitive status under this part shall have his appointment converted to career-conditional appointment unless he meets the service requirement for career appointment prescribed under § 2.2(a) of this subchapter.


PART 4 – PROHIBITED PRACTICES (RULE IV)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.

§ 4.1 Prohibition against political activity.

No person employed in the executive branch of the Federal Government, or any agency or department thereof, shall use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or affecting the result thereof. No person occupying a position in the competitive service shall take any active part in political management or in political campaigns, except as may be provided by or pursuant to statute. All such persons shall retain the right to vote as they may choose and to express their opinions on all political subjects and candidates.


[28 FR 10024, Sept. 14, 1963]


§ 4.2 Prohibition against racial, political or religious discrimination.

No person employed in the executive branch of the Federal Government who has authority to take or recommend any personnel action with respect to any person who is an employee in the competitive service or any eligible or applicant for a position in the competitive service shall make any inquiry concerning the race, political affiliation, or religious beliefs of any such employee, eligible, or applicant. All disclosures concerning such matters shall be ignored, except as to such membership in political parties or organizations as constitutes by law a disqualification for Government employment. No discrimination shall be exercised, threatened, or promised by any person in the executive branch of the Federal Government against or in favor of any employee in the competitive service, or any eligible or applicant for a position in the competitive service because of his race, political affiliation, or religious beliefs, except as may be authorized or required by law.


[28 FR 10024, Sept. 14, 1963]


§ 4.3 Prohibition against securing withdrawal from competition.

No person shall influence another person to withdraw from competition for any position in the competitive service for the purpose of either improving or injuring the prospects of any applicant for appointment.


[28 FR 10024, Sept. 14, 1963, as amended at 45 FR 4337, Jan. 22, 1980]


PART 5 – REGULATIONS, INVESTIGATION, AND ENFORCEMENT (RULE V)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302; E.O. 12107.


Source:45 FR 4337, Jan. 22, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

§ 5.1 Civil Service regulations.

The Director, Office of Personnel Management, shall promulgate and enforce regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of the Civil Service Act and the Veterans’ Preference Act, as reenacted in title 5, United States Code, the Civil Service Rules, and all other statutes and Executive orders imposing responsibilities on the Office. The Director is authorized, whenever there are practical difficulties and unnecessary hardships in complying with the strict letter of the regulation, to grant a variation from the strict letter of the regulation if such a variation is within the spirit of the regulations, and the efficiency of the Government and the integrity of the competitive service are protected and promoted. Whenever a variation is granted the Director shall note the official record to show:


(a) The particular practical difficulty or hardship involved, (b) what is permitted in place of what is required by regulations, (c) the circumstances which protect or promote the efficiency of the Government and the integrity of the competitive service, and (d) a statement limiting the application of the variation to the continuation of the conditions which gave rise to it. Like variations shall be granted whenever like conditions exist. All such decisions and information concerning variations noted in the official record shall be published promptly in a Federal Personnel Manual Letter or Bulletin and in the Director’s next annual report.


§ 5.2 Investigation and evaluations.

The Director may secure effective implementation of the civil service laws, rules, and regulations, and all Executive orders imposing responsibilities on the Office by:


(a) Investigating the qualifications, suitability, and fitness of applicants for positions in the competitive service, positions in the excepted service where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, career appointments to positions in the Senior Executive Service, and any other positions in the excepted service of the executive branch for which the Director has standard-setting responsibility under Civil Service Rule II.


(i) The Director may require appointments to be made subject to investigation to enable the Director to determine, after appointment, that the requirements of law or the Civil Service Rules and Regulations have been met.


(ii) The Director may cause positions to be designated based on risk to determine the appropriate level of investigation, and may prescribe investigative standards, policies, and procedures.


(iii) The Director may prescribe standards for reciprocal acceptance by agencies of investigations and adjudications of suitability and fitness, except to the extent authority to apply additional fitness standards is vested by statute in an agency.


(b) Evaluating the effectiveness of: (1) Personnel policies, programs, and operations of Executive and other Federal agencies subject to the jurisdiction of the Office, including their effectiveness with regard to merit selection and employee development; (2) agency compliance with and enforcement of applicable laws, rules, regulations and office directives; and (3) agency personnel management evaluation systems.


(c) Investigating, or directing an agency to investigate and report on, apparent violations of applicable laws, rules, regulations, or directives requiring corrective action, found in the course of an evaluation.


[45 FR 4337, Jan. 22, 1980, as amended by E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, Jan. 25, 2001; E.O. 13764, 82 FR 8115, Jan. 23, 2017]


§ 5.3 Enforcement.

(a) The Director is authorized to ensure enforcement of the civil service laws, rules, and regulations, and all applicable Executive orders, by:


(1) Instructing an agency to separate or take other action against an employee serving an appointment subject to investigation when the Director finds that the employee is disqualified or unsuitable for Federal employment. Where the employee or the agency appeals the Director’s finding that a separation or other action is necessary, the Director may instruct the agency as to whether or not the employee should remain on duty and continue to receive pay pending adjudication of the appeal: Provided, That when an agency separates or takes other action against an employee pursuant to the Director’s instructions, and the Director, on the basis of new evidence, subsequently reverses the initial decision as to the employee’s qualifications and suitability, the agency shall, upon request of the Director, restore the employee to duty or otherwise reverse any action taken.


(2) Reporting the results of evaluation or investigations to the head of the agency concerned with instructions for any corrective action necessary, including cancellation of personnel actions where appropriate. The Director’s findings resulting from evaluations or investigations are binding unless changed as a result of agency evidence and arguments against them. If, during the course of any evaluation or investigation under this section, the Director finds evidence of matters which come within the investigative and prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Director shall refer this evidence to the Special Counsel for appropriate disposition.


(b) Whenever the Director issues specific instructions as to separation or other corrective action with regard to an employee, including cancellation of a personnel action, the head of the agency concerned shall comply with the Director’s instructions.


(c) If the agency head fails to comply with the specific instructions of the Director as to separation or other corrective action with regard to an employee, including cancellation of a personnel action, the Director may certify to the Comptroller General of the United States the agency’s failure to act together with such additional information as the Comptroller General may require, and shall furnish a copy of such certification to the head of the agency concerned. The individual with respect to whom such separation or other corrective action was instructed shall be entitled thereafter to no pay or only to such pay as appropriate to effectuate the Director’s instructions.


[45 FR 4337, Jan. 22, 1980, as amended by E.O. 13764, 82 FR 8115, Jan. 23, 2017]


§ 5.4 Information and testimony.

When required by the Office, the Merit Systems Protection Board, or the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board, or by authorized representatives of these bodies, agencies shall make available to them, or to their authorized representatives, employees to testify in regard to matters inquired of under the civil service laws, rules, and regulations, and records pertinent to these matters. All such employees, and all applicants or eligibles for positions covered by these rules, shall give to the Office, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Special Counsel, or to their authorized representatives, all information, testimony, documents, and material in regard to the above matters, the disclosure of which is not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation. These employees, applicants, and eligibles shall sign testimony given under oath or affirmation before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Employees are performing official duty when testifying or providing evidence pursuant to this section.


PART 6 – EXCEPTIONS FROM THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE (RULE VI)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 6.1 Authority to except positions from the competitive service.

(a) OPM may except positions from the competitive service when it determines that (A) appointments thereto through competitive examination are not practicable, or (B) recruitment from among students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs can better be achieved by devising additional means for recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the processes generally applicable to the competitive service. These positions shall be listed in OPM’s annual report for the fiscal year in which the exceptions are made.


(b) OPM shall decide whether the duties of any particular position are such that it may be filled as an excepted position under the appropriate schedule.


(c) Notice of OPM’s decision granting authority to make appointments to an excepted position under the appropriate schedule shall be published in the Federal Register.


[28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963, as amended by E.O. 11315, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 597; E.O. 12043, 43 FR 9773, Mar. 10, 1978; E.O. 13562, 75 FR 82587, Dec. 30, 2010]


§ 6.2 Schedules of excepted positions.

OPM shall list positions that it excepts from the competitive service in Schedules A, B, C, and D, and it shall list the position of administrative law judge in Schedule E, which schedules shall constitute parts of this rule, as follows:



Schedule A. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to examine shall be listed in Schedule A.

Schedule B. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to hold a competitive examination shall be listed in Schedule B. Appointments to these positions shall be subject to such noncompetitive examination as may be prescribed by OPM.

Schedule C. Positions of a confidential or policy-determining character shall be listed in Schedule C.

Schedule D. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which the competitive service requirements make impracticable the adequate recruitment of sufficient numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs shall be listed in Schedule D. These positions are temporarily placed in the excepted service to enable more effective recruitment from all segments of society by using means of recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the rules generally applicable to the competitive service.

Schedule E. Positions of administrative law judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105 shall be listed in Schedule E. Conditions of good administration warrant placing the position of administrative law judge in the excepted service and exempting appointment to this position from the requirements of 5 CFR, part 302, including examination and rating requirements, though each agency shall follow the principle of veteran preference as far as administratively feasible.

[E.O. 14029, 86 FR 27025, May 19, 2021]


§ 6.3 Method of filling excepted positions and status of incumbents.

(a) The head of an agency may fill excepted positions by the appointment of persons without civil service eligibility or competitive status and such persons shall not acquire competitive status by reason of such appointment: Provided, That OPM, in its discretion, may by regulation prescribe conditions under which excepted positions may be filled in the same manner as competitive positions are filled and conditions under which persons so appointed may acquire a competitive status in accordance with the Civil Service Rules and Regulations.


(b) To the extent permitted by law and the provisions of this part, and subject to the suitability and fitness requirements of the applicable Civil Service Rules and Regulations, appointments and position changes in the excepted service shall be made in accordance with such regulations and practices as the head of the agency concerned finds necessary. These shall include, for the position of administrative law judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105, the requirement that, at the time of application and any new appointment, the individual, other than an incumbent administrative law judge, must possess a professional license to practice law and be authorized to practice law under the laws of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territorial court established under the United States Constitution. For purposes of this requirement, judicial status is acceptable in lieu of “active” status in States that prohibit sitting judges from maintaining “active” status to practice law, and being in “good standing” is also acceptable in lieu of “active” status in States where the licensing authority considers “good standing” as having a current license to practice law. This requirement shall constitute a minimum standard for appointment to the position of administrative law judge, and such appointments may be subject to additional agency requirements where appropriate.


[28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963, as amended by E.O. 13764, 82 FR 8115, Jan. 23, 2017; E.O. 13843, 83 FR 32755, July 13, 2018]


§ 6.4 Removal of incumbents of excepted positions.

Except as required by statute, the Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall not apply to removals from positions listed in Schedules A, C, D, or E, or from positions excepted from the competitive service by statute. The Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall apply to removals from positions listed in Schedule B of persons who have competitive status.


[E.O. 14029, 86 FR 27026, May 19, 2021]


§ 6.5 Assignment of excepted employees.

No person who is serving under an excepted appointment shall be assigned to the work of a position in the competitive service without prior approval of OPM.


§ 6.6 Revocation of exceptions.

OPM may remove any position from or may revoke in whole or in part any provision of Schedule A, B, C, or D. Notice of OPM’s decision making these changes shall be published in the Federal Register.


[E.O. 11315, 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 597, as amended by E.O. 12043, 43 FR 9773, Mar. 10, 1978; E.O. 13562, 75 FR 82587, Dec. 30, 2010]


§ 6.7 Movement of persons between the civil service system and other merit systems.

Whenever OPM and any Federal agency having an established merit system determine it to be in the interest of good administration and consistent with the intent of the civil service laws and any other applicable laws, they may enter into an agreement prescribing conditions under which persons may be moved from one system to the other and defining the status and tenure that the persons affected shall acquire upon such movement.


§ 6.8 Specified exceptions.

(a) Positions in the Department of the Interior and in the Department of Commerce whose incumbents serve as the principal representative of the Secretary in their respective regions shall be listed in Schedule C for grades not exceeding grade GS-15 of the General Schedule, and shall be designated Noncareer Executive Assignments for positions graded higher than GS-15. Incumbents of these positions who are, on February 15, 1975, in the competitive service shall not be affected by the foregoing provisions of this section.


(b) Positions in the Community Services Administration and ACTION whose incumbents serve as regional director or regional administrator shall be listed in Schedule C for grades not exceeding GS-15 of the General Schedule and shall be designated Noncareer Executive Assignments for positions graded higher than GS-15. Incumbents of these positions who are, on November 29, 1977, in the competitive service shall not be affected by the foregoing provisions of this subsection.


(c) Within the Department of Agriculture, positions in the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service the incumbents of which serve as State Executive Directors and positions in the Farmers Home Administration the incumbents of which serve as State Directors or State Directors-at-Large shall be listed in Schedule C for all grades of the General Schedule.


(d) Effective on July 10, 2018, the position of administrative law judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105 shall be listed in Schedule E for all levels of basic pay under 5 U.S.C. 5372(b). Incumbents of this position who are, on July 10, 2018, in the competitive service shall remain in the competitive service as long as they remain in their current positions.


[E.O. 11839, 40 FR 7351, Feb. 19, 1975, as amended by E.O. 11887, 40 FR 51411, Nov. 5, 1975; E.O. 12021, 42 FR 61237, Dec. 2, 1977; 47 FR 4227, Jan. 29, 1982; E.O. 13843, 83 FR 32755, July 13, 2018]


PART 7 – GENERAL PROVISIONS (RULE VII)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 7.1 Discretion in filling vacancies.

In his discretion, an appointing officer may fill any position in the competitive service either by competitive appointment from a civil service register or by noncompetitive selection of a present or former Federal employee, in accordance with the Civil Service Regulations. He shall exercise his discretion in all personnel actions solely on the basis of merit and fitness and without regard to political or religious affiliations, marital status, or race.


§ 7.2 Reemployment rights.

OPM, whenever it determines it to be necessary, shall prescribe regulations governing the release of employees (both within the competitive service and the excepted service) by any agency in the executive branch of the Government for employment in any other agency, and governing the establishment, granting, and exercise of rights to reemployment in the agencies from which employees are released.


[28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963. Redesignated by E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, Jan. 25, 2001]


§ 7.3 Citizenship.

(a) No person shall be admitted to competitive examination unless such person is a citizen or national of the United States.


(b) No person shall be given any appointment in the competitive service unless such person is a citizen or national of the United States.


(c) OPM may, as an exception to this rule and to the extent permitted by law, authorize the appointment of aliens to positions in the competitive service when necessary to promote the efficiency of the service in specific cases or for temporary appointments.


[E.O. 11935, 41 FR 37301, Sept. 3, 1976. Redesignated by E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, Jan. 25, 2001]


PART 8 – APPOINTMENTS TO OVERSEAS POSITIONS (RULE VIII)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302.


Source:28 FR 10025, Sept. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted.

§ 8.1 Additional authority of OPM.

In addition to authorizing the recruitment and appointment of persons to overseas positions under regulations issued under the preceding Rules, OPM may, by the regulations prescribed by it, authorize the recruitment and appointment of persons to such positions as provided in § 8.2. As used in this part, overseas positions means positions in foreign countries and in other areas beyond the continental limits of the United States, except as provided in § 8.4.


§ 8.2 Appointment of United States citizens.

United States citizens may be recruited overseas for appointment to overseas positions in the competitive service without regard to the competitive requirements of the Civil Service Act. Persons so recruited who meet the qualification standards and other requirements of OPM for overseas positions may be given appointments to be known as “overseas limited appointments.” Such appointments shall be of temporary or indefinite duration, and shall not confer the right to acquire a competitive status. OPM may authorize overseas limited appointments for United States citizens recruited within the continental limits of the United States whenever it determines that it is not feasible to appoint from a civil-service register. Persons serving under appointments made pursuant to this section are hereby excluded from the operation of the Civil Service Retirement Act of May 29, 1930, as amended, unless eligible for retirement benefits by continuity of service or otherwise.


§ 8.3 Appointment of persons not citizens of the United States.

Persons who are not citizens of the United States may be recruited overseas and appointed to overseas positions without regard to the Civil Service Act.


§ 8.4 Positions excepted from the application of this part.

This part shall not apply to positions in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Alaska, and on the Isthmus of Panama.


PART 9 – WORKFORCE INFORMATION (RULE IX)


Source:E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, Jan. 25, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

§ 9.1 Definition.

As used in this rule, ‘Executive agency’ means an Executive department, a Government corporation, and an independent establishment, as those terms are defined in chapter 1 of title 5, United States Code, but does not include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National Security Agency, and, as determined by the President, any Executive agency or unit within an Executive agency which has as its principal function the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities.


§ 9.2 Reporting workforce information.

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management may require all Executive agencies to report information relating to civilian employees, including positions and employees in the competitive, excepted, and Senior Executive services, in a manner and at times prescribed by the Director. The Director shall establish standards for workforce information submissions under this section, and agencies shall ensure that their submissions meet these standards consistent with the Privacy Act. The Director may exempt from this section a specific agency or group of employees when the Director determines that an exemption is appropriate because of special circumstances.


PART 10 – AGENCY ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEMS; OPM AUTHORITY TO REVIEW PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS (RULE X)


Source:E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, Jan. 25, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

§ 10.1 Definitions.

For purposes of this rule –


(a) ‘Agency’ means an Executive agency as defined in Rule IX, but does not include a Government corporation or the General Accounting Office; and


(b) ‘Merit system principles’ means the principles for Federal personnel management that are set forth in section 2301(b) of title 5, United States Code.


§ 10.2 Accountability systems.

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management may require an agency to establish and maintain a system of accountability for merit system principles that


(1) Sets standards for applying the merit system principles,


(2) Measures the agency’s effectiveness in meeting these standards, and


(3) Corrects any deficiencies in meeting these standards.


§ 10.3 OPM authority to review personnel management programs and practices.

The Office of Personnel Management may review the human resources management programs and practices of any agency and report to the head of the agency and the President on the effectiveness of these programs and practices, including whether they are consistent with the merit system principles.


SUBCHAPTER B – CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS

PART 110 – POSTING NOTICES OF NEW OPM REGULATIONS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1103.


Source:69 FR 33535, June 16, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

§ 110.101 What are OPM’s Notice and Posting System responsibilities?

OPM will issue a notice that will provide information for Federal agencies, employees, managers, and other stakeholders on each of its new proposed, interim, and final regulations. Each notice will transmit:


(a) A posting notice that briefly explains the nature of the change, and provides a place for Federal agencies to indicate where the full text of the Federal Register notice will be available for review.


(b) A copy of the notice of rulemaking that appears in the Federal Register or a link to a Web site where the notice of rulemaking appears.


§ 110.102 What are Agency responsibilities?

(a) Agencies will make regulations available for review by employees, managers, and other interested parties. Federal agencies receiving the notices of rulemaking described in § 110.101(b) will make those regulations available for review upon request. Each agency will complete the posting notice described in § 110.101(a) indicating where and how requests to review these materials should be made.


(b) Agencies will determine posting locations and, if desired, develop supplemental announcements. Agencies will display completed posting notices in a prominent place where the notices can be easily seen and read. Agencies will choose the posting location that best fits their physical layout. Agencies may supplement these postings with announcements in employee newsletters, agency Web sites, or other communication methods. The basic requirement to post the notice continues, however, even if supplemental announcement methods are used.


(c) Agencies will post notices of the new regulations even if the Federal Register comment date has passed. The public comment period on proposed regulations begins when a notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, not with the posting of the notice described in § 110.101(a). The purpose of posting notice is solely to inform agency personnel of changes. Agencies are required to post the posting notice even if the formal deadline for comments shown in the preamble of the Federal Register notice of rulemaking has passed. Agencies should make every reasonable effort to minimize delays in distributing the notice described in § 110.101 to their field offices.


(d) No fixed posting period. There are no minimum or maximum time limits on displaying the notice described in § 110.101(a). Each office receiving a notice for posting should choose the posting period which provides the best opportunity to inform managers and employees of regulatory changes based upon office layout, geographic dispersion of employees, and other local factors.


PART 120 – ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDANCE


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1); E.O. 13891, 84 FR 55235.


Source:85 FR 65651, Oct. 16, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

§ 120.1 Purpose and scope.

(a) This part prescribes general procedures that apply to OPM guidance documents.


(b) This part governs all OPM employees and contractors involved with all phases of issuing guidance documents.


(c) This part applies to all OPM guidance documents in effect on or after April 28, 2020.


§ 120.2 Definitions applicable to this part.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the term guidance document means an agency statement of general applicability, intended to have future effect on the behavior of regulated parties, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue, or an interpretation of a statute or regulation.


(b) The term guidance document does not include:


(1) Rules promulgated under 5 U.S.C. 553 (or similar statutory provisions);


(2) Rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice that are not anticipated to have substantial future effect on the behavior of regulated parties or the public;


(3) Decisions of agency adjudications;


(4) Internal executive branch legal advice or legal opinions addressed to executive branch officials;


(5) Agency statements of specific applicability, including advisory or legal opinions directed to particular parties about circumstance-specific questions (e.g., case or investigatory letters responding to complaints, warning letters), notices regarding particular locations or facilities (e.g., guidance pertaining to the use, operation, or control of a Government facility or property), and correspondence with individual persons or entities (e.g., congressional correspondence), except documents ostensibly directed to a particular party but designed to guide the conduct of the broader regulated public;


(6) Legal briefs, other filings with a court or administrative tribunal, records or communications produced in a legal proceeding, or positions taken in litigation or enforcement actions;


(7) Agency statements that do not set forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue or an interpretation of a statute or regulation, including speeches and individual presentations, editorials, media interviews, press materials, or congressional testimony that do not set forth a new regulatory policy;


(8) Guidance pertaining to military or foreign affairs functions, or to a national security or homeland security function of the United States (other than guidance documents involving procurement or the import or export of non-defense articles and services), and any other guidance when application of this order, or any part of this order, would, in the judgment of the Director of OPM, undermine the national security;


(9) Any action related to a criminal investigation or prosecution, including undercover operations, or any civil enforcement action or related investigation by the Department of Justice, including any action related to a civil investigative demand under 18 U.S.C. 1968;


(10) Any investigation of misconduct by an agency employee or any disciplinary, corrective, or employment action taken against an agency employee;


(11) Grant solicitations and awards;


(12) Contract solicitations and awards;


(13) Agency documents that are not publicly disseminated, including classified information, information subject to a statutory or regulatory redisclosure restriction, privileged information, and information exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act;


(14) Purely internal agency policies or guidance directed solely to OPM employees or contractors that are not anticipated to have substantial future effect on the behavior of regulated parties or the public; and


(15) Documents that are directed solely to other agencies (or personnel of such agencies) and that are not anticipated to have substantial future effect on the behavior of regulated parties or the public, including the typical documents issued for government-wide use by OPM.


(c) OMB means the Office of Management and Budget.


(d) OIRA means the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB.


§ 120.3 Requirements for clearance.

Except as described in § 120.6(c), the Director of OPM may delegate any function related to the review and clearance of guidance. OPM’s review and clearance of guidance shall ensure that each guidance document proposed to be issued by OPM satisfies the following requirements:


(a) The guidance document complies with all relevant statutes and regulation (including any statutory deadlines for agency action);


(b) The guidance document identifies or includes:


(1) The term “guidance” or its functional equivalent;


(2) The issuing office name;


(3) A unique identifier, including, at a minimum, the date of issuance, title of the document, and its regulatory identification number (Z-RIN) in the case of a significant guidance document;


(4) The general topic, activity, persons, and/or entities to which the guidance applies;


(5) Citations to applicable statutes and regulations;


(6) A statement noting whether the guidance is intended to revise or replace any previously issued guidance and, if so, sufficient information to identify the previously issued guidance; and


(7) A concise summary of the guidance document’s content;


(c) The guidance document avoids using mandatory language, such as “shall,” “must,” “required,” or “requirement,” unless it is binding guidance by law or as incorporated in a contract, the language is describing an established statutory or regulatory requirement, or the language is addressed to agency staff or other Federal employees and will not foreclose OPM’s ability to consider positions advanced by any affected private parties;


(d) The guidance document is written in plain and understandable English; and


(e) The guidance document includes the following disclaimer prominently: “The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.” When a guidance document is binding because binding guidance is authorized by law or because the guidance is incorporated into a contract, the originating office should modify this disclaimer to reflect either of those facts.


§ 120.4 Public access to guidance documents.

(a) OPM shall ensure all guidance documents in effect are on OPM’s Web portal in a single, searchable, indexed database, available to the public.


(b) The Web portal will:


(1) Include an index with each guidance document’s name, date of issuance, date of posting, and unique agency identifier; if the guidance document is a significant guidance document, its Z-RIN; the general topic and a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of the guidance document; and a hypertext link to the guidance document;


(2) Note that guidance documents lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law or as incorporated into a contract;


(3) Note that OPM may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted except to establish historical facts unless OMB makes an exception for particular guidance documents or categories of guidance documents;


(4) Include a link to this part and to any Federal Register notice referencing the Web portal;


(5) Explain how the public can request the withdrawal or modification of an existing guidance document, including an email address where electronic requests can be submitted, a mailing address where hard copy requests can be submitted, and an office at the agency responsible for coordinating such requests; and


(6) Include the information about proposed significant guidance documents described in § 120.7.


§ 120.5 Definition of significant guidance document.

(a) The term significant guidance document means a guidance document that will be disseminated to regulated entities or the general public and that may reasonably be anticipated:


(1) To lead to an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the U.S. economy, a sector of the U.S. economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;


(2) To create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Federal agency;


(3) To alter materially the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or


(4) To raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in E.O. 12866.


(b) The term significant guidance document does not include the categories of documents excluded by § 120.2 or any other category of guidance documents exempted in writing by OPM in consultation with OIRA.


§ 120.6 Procedure for guidance documents identified as “significant.”

(a) OPM will make an initial, preliminary determination about a guidance document’s significance. Thereafter, OPM must submit the guidance document to OIRA for its determination whether guidance is significant guidance, unless the guidance is otherwise exempted from such a determination by the Administrator of OIRA.


(b) Significant guidance documents, as determined by the Administrator of OIRA, must be reviewed by OIRA under E.O. 12866 before issuance; and must demonstrate compliance with the applicable requirements for regulations or rules, including significant regulatory actions, set forth in E.O. 12866, E.O. 13563, E.O. 13609, E.O. 13771, and E.O. 13777.


(c) Significant guidance documents must be signed by the Director of OPM.


§ 120.7 Notice-and-comment procedures.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, all proposed OPM guidance documents determined to be a “significant guidance document” within the meaning of § 120.5 shall be subject to the following informal notice-and-comment procedures. OPM shall publish notification in the Federal Register announcing that a draft of the proposed guidance document is publicly available, shall post a link to the Federal Register notice and the draft guidance document on its guidance portal, shall invite public comment on the draft document for a minimum of 30 days, and shall prepare and post a public response to major concerns raised in the comments, as appropriate, on its guidance Web portal, either before or when the guidance document is finalized and issued.


(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section will not apply to any significant guidance document or categories of significant guidance documents for which OPM finds good cause that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest (and incorporates the finding of good cause and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the guidance issued).


(c) Where appropriate, the originating office may recommend to the Director of OPM that a particular guidance document that is otherwise of importance to OPM’s interests shall also be subject to the informal notice-and-comment procedures described in paragraph (a) of this section.


§ 120.8 Petitions to withdraw or modify guidance.

(a) Any person may petition OPM to withdraw or modify a particular guidance document as specified by § 120.4(b)(5).


(b) Any person may submit a petition to OPM requesting withdrawal or modification of any effective guidance document by writing to OPM Office of the Executive Secretariat at: [email protected], or U.S. Office of Personnel Management Attn: Executive Secretariat 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415.


(c) OPM will respond to all requests in a timely manner, but no later than 90 days after receipt of the request.


§ 120.9 Rescinded guidance.

(a) In the absence of a petition, OPM may rescind a guidance document on grounds that it is no longer accurate or necessary.


(b) If OPM rescinds a guidance document, the hyperlink to the guidance document will be removed. The name, title, unique identifier, and date of rescission will be listed on the guidance portal for at least one year after rescission.


(c) No employee of OPM may cite, use, or rely on rescinded guidance documents, except to establish historical facts, unless OMB makes an exception for particular guidance documents or categories of guidance documents.


§ 120.10 Exceptional circumstances.

(a) A guidance document may be exempted from the requirements of section 120.6(b) or 120.7(a) by agreement of OPM and OIRA for reasons of exigency, safety, health, or other compelling cause.


(b) In emergency situations or when OPM is required by statutory deadline or court order to act more quickly than normal review procedures allow, OPM will notify OIRA as soon as possible and, to the extent practicable, shall comply with the requirements of this part at the earliest opportunity. Wherever practicable, OPM should schedule its proceedings to permit sufficient time to comply with the procedures set forth in this part.


§ 120.11 Reports to Congress and GAO.

When OPM adopts final guidance constituting a “rule” under 5 U.S.C. 804, OPM will submit the reports to Congress and GAO and comply with the procedures specified by 5 U.S.C. 801 (commonly known as the Congressional Review Act).


§ 120.12 No judicial review or enforceable rights.

This part is intended to improve the internal management of OPM. As such, it is for the use of OPM personnel only and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its agencies or other entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.


PART 151 – POLITICAL ACTIVITY OF STATE OR LOCAL OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1302, 1501-1508, as amended, Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978, section 102, 92 Stat. 3783, 3 CFR 1978 Comp. p. 323; and E.O. 12107, section 1-102, 3 CFR 1978 Comp. p. 264.


Source:35 FR 16783, Oct. 30, 1970, unless otherwise noted.

General Provisions

§ 151.101 Definitions.

In this part:


(a) State means a State or territory or possession of the United States.


(b) State or local agency means:


(1) The executive branch of a State, municipality, or other political subdivision of a State, or an agency or department thereof; or


(2) The executive branch of the District of Columbia, or an agency or department thereof.


(c) Federal agency means an executive agency or other agency of the United States, but does not include a member bank of the Federal Reserve System;


(d) State or local officer or employee means an individual employed by a State or local agency whose principal employment is in connection with an activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a Federal agency but does not include –


(1) An individual who exercises no functions in connection with that activity.


(2) An individual employed by an educational or research institution, establishment, agency, or system which is supported in whole or in part by –


(i) A State or political subdivision thereof;


(ii) The District of Columbia; or


(iii) A recognized religious, philanthropic, or cultural organization.


(e) Political party means a National political party, a State political party, and an affiliated organization.


(f) Election includes a primary, special, and general election.


(g) Nonpartisan election means an election at which none of the candidates is to be nominated or elected as representing a political party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector receives votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected.


(h) Partisan when used as an adjective refers to a political party.


(i) Elective office means any office which is voted upon at an election as defined at § 151.101(f), above, but does not include political party office.


[40 FR 42733, Sept. 16, 1975, as amended at 79 FR 25484, May 5, 2014]


Permissible Activities

§ 151.111 Permissible activities.

(a) All State or local officers or employees are free to engage in political activity to the widest extent consistent with the restrictions imposed by law and this part. A State or local officer or employee may participate in all political activity not specifically restricted by law and this part, including candidacy for office in a nonpartisan election and candidacy for political party office.


[40 FR 42733, Sept. 16, 1975]


Prohibited Activities

§ 151.121 Use of official authority; coercion; candidacy; prohibitions.

A State or local officer or employee may not –


(a) Use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office; or


(b) Directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command, or advise a State or local officer or employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value to a political party, committee, organization, agency, or person for a political purpose.


(c) Be a candidate for elective office if the salary of the employee is paid completely, directly or indirectly, by loans or grants made by the United States or a Federal agency.


[40 FR 42733, Sept. 16, 1975, as amended at 79 FR 25484, May 5, 2014]


§ 151.122 Candidacy; exceptions.

Section 151.121(c) does not apply to –


(a) The Governor or Lieutenant Governor of a State or an individual authorized by law to act as Governor;


(b) The Mayor of a city;


(c) A duly elected head of an executive department of a State, municipality, or the District of Columbia, who is not classified under a merit or civil service system of a State, municipality, or the District of Columbia;


(d) An individual holding elective office;


(e) Activity in connection with a nonpartisan election; or


(f) Candidacy for a position of officer of a political party, delegate to a political party convention, member of a National, State, or local committee of a political party, or any similar position.


[40 FR 42733, Sept. 16, 1975, as amended at 40 FR 47101, Oct. 8, 1975; 79 FR 25484, May 5, 2014]


PART 175 – OPM MANDATORY REVIEW OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS


Authority:E.O. 12065, 43 FR 28949.

§ 175.101 Policy.

The Office of Personnel Management bases its procedures for handling national security information on Executive Order 12065, “National Security Information,” and Information Security Oversight Office Directive No. 1 concerning national security information.


[45 FR 995, Jan. 4, 1980]


§ 175.102 Requests for the declassification of documents.

Any Federal agency, Government employee or member of the public has the right to request a mandatory review of any classified document, held by the Office of Personnel Management, which was classified for national security purposes by the Civil Service Commission. The Office of Personnel Management does not have the authority to classify documents.


(a) Requests for mandatory declassification review should be addressed to the Director, Office of Management, or the designee of the Director, who will act on requests within 60 days. Requests need not be made in any special form but shall, as specified in section 3-501 of the Executive order, reasonably describe the information.


(b) Based upon the review, the document, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof that no longer requires protection under the Executive order, shall be declassified and released unless withholding is otherwise warranted under applicable law.


(c) No OPM official will refuse to confirm the existence or non-existence of any document requested under the Freedom of Information Act or the mandatory review provisions of the Executive order, unless the fact of its existence or non-existence would itself be classifiable under the Executive order. OPM Administrative Manual chapter 22, covering OPM policies and procedures relating to classified information or material is available for inspection by the public in the OPM Library, room 5H27, 1900 E. St., NW., Washington, DC, or in one of the 10 OPM regional offices in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Seattle.


[45 FR 995, Jan. 4, 1980]


PART 177 – ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIMS UNDER THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT


Authority:28 U.S.C. 2672; 28 CFR 14.11.


Source:65 FR 44945, July 20, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

§ 177.101 Scope of regulations.

The regulations in this part apply only to claims presented or filed with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) under the Federal Tort Claims Act, as amended, for money damages against the United States for injury to or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of an officer or employee of OPM while acting within the scope of his or her office or employment.


§ 177.102 Administrative claim; when presented; appropriate OPM office.

(a) For purposes of the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 2401(b), 2672, and 2675, a claim is deemed to have been presented when OPM receives from a claimant, his or her authorized agent or legal representative, an executed Standard Form 95 (Claim for Damage, Injury or Death), or other written notification of an incident, accompanied by a claim for money damages stating a sum certain (a specific dollar amount) for injury to or loss of property, personal injury, or death alleged to have occurred as a result of the incident.


(b) All claims filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act as a result of the alleged negligence or wrongdoing of OPM or its employees will be mailed or delivered to the Office of the General Counsel, United States Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415-1300.


(c) A claim must be presented to the Federal agency whose activities gave rise to the claim. A claim that should have been presented to OPM, but was mistakenly addressed to or filed with another Federal agency, is presented to OPM, as required by 28 U.S.C. 2401(b), as of the date the claim is received by OPM. When a claim is mistakenly presented to OPM, OPM will transfer the claim to the appropriate Federal agency, if ascertainable, and advise the claimant of the transfer, or return the claim to the claimant.


(d) A claimant whose claim arises from an incident involving OPM and one or more other Federal agencies, will identify each agency to which the claim has been submitted at the time the claim is presented to OPM. OPM will contact all other affected Federal agencies in order to designate the single agency that will investigate and decide the merits of the claim. In the event a designation cannot be agreed upon by the affected agencies, the Department of Justice will be consulted and will designate an agency to investigate and determine the merits of the claim. The designated agency will notify the claimant that all future correspondence concerning the claim must be directed to that Federal agency. All involved Federal agencies may agree to conduct their own administrative reviews and to coordinate the results, or to have the investigation conducted by the designated Federal agency. But, in either event, the designated agency will be responsible for the final determination of the claim.


(e) A claim presented in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section may be amended by the claimant at any time prior to final agency action or prior to the exercise of the claimant’s option under 28 U.S.C. 2675(a). Amendments must be in writing and signed by the claimant or his or her authorized agent or legal representative. Upon timely filing of an amendment to a pending claim, OPM will have 6 months in which to make a final disposition of the claim as amended and claimant’s option under 28 U.S.C. 2675 (a) will not accrue until 6 months after the filing of an amendment.


§ 177.103 Administrative claim; who may file.

(a) A claim for injury to or loss of property may be presented by the owner of the property, his or her authorized agent or legal representative.


(b) A claim for personal injury may be presented by the injured person, his or her authorized agent or legal representative.


(c) A claim based on death may be presented by the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate or by any other person legally entitled to assert a claim under the applicable State law.


(d) A claim for loss totally compensated by an insurer with the rights to subrogate may be presented by the insurer. A claim for loss partially compensated by an insurer with the rights to subrogate may be presented by the insurer or the insured individually, as their respective interests appear, or jointly. When an insurer presents a claim asserting the rights to subrogate, he or she will present with the claim appropriate evidence that he or she has the rights to subrogate.


(e) A claim presented by an agent or legal representative must be presented in the name of the claimant, be signed by the agent or legal representative, show the title or legal capacity of the person signing, and be accompanied by evidence of his or her authority to present a claim on behalf of the claimant as agent, executor, administrator, parent, guardian, or other representative.


§ 177.104 Investigations.

OPM may investigate, or may request any other Federal agency to investigate, a claim filed under this part.


§ 177.105 Administrative claim; evidence and information to be submitted.

(a) Death. In support of a claim based on death, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) An authenticated death certificate or other competent evidence showing cause of death, date of death, and age of the decedent.


(2) Decedent’s employment or occupation at time of death, including his or her monthly or yearly salary or earnings (if any), and the duration of his or her last employment or occupation.


(3) Full names, addresses, birth date, kinship, and marital status of the decedent’s survivors, including identification of those survivors who were dependent for support from the decedent at the time of death.


(4) Degree of support afforded by the decedent to each survivor dependent on him or her for support at the time of death.


(5) Decedent’s general physical and mental condition before death.


(6) Itemized bills for medical and burial expenses incurred by reason of the incident causing death, or itemized receipts of payment for such expenses.


(7) If damages for pain and suffering before death are claimed, a physician’s detailed statement specifying the injuries suffered, duration of pain and suffering, any drugs administered for pain, and the decedent’s physical condition in the interval between injuries and death.


(8) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the death or the amount of damages claimed.


(b) Personal injury. In support of a claim for personal injury, including pain and suffering, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) A written report by the attending physician or dentist setting forth the nature and extent of the injury, nature and extent of treatment, any degree of temporary or permanent disability, the prognosis, period of hospitalization, and any diminished earning capacity. In addition, the claimant may be required to submit to a physical or mental examination by a physician employed by OPM or another Federal agency. On written request, OPM will make available to the claimant a copy of the report of the examining physician employed by the United States, provided the claimant has furnished OPM with the report referred to in the first sentence of this subparagraph. In addition, the claimant must have made or agrees to make available to OPM all other physician’s reports previously or thereafter made of the physical or mental condition that is the subject matter of his or her claim.


(2) Itemized bills for medical, dental, and hospital expenses incurred, or itemized receipts of payment for such expenses.


(3) If the prognosis reveals the necessity for future treatment, a statement of expected expenses for such treatment.


(4) If a claim is made for loss of time from employment, a written statement from his or her employer showing actual time lost from employment, whether he or she is a full-or part-time employee, and wages or salary actually lost.


(5) If a claim is made for loss of income and the claimant is self-employed, documentary evidence showing the amount of earnings actually lost.


(6) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the personal injury or the damages claimed.


(c) Property damage. In support of a claim for injury to or loss of property, real or personal, the claimant may be required to submit the following evidence or information:


(1) Proof of ownership of the property.


(2) A detailed statement of the amount claimed with respect to each item of property.


(3) An itemized receipt of payment for necessary repairs or itemized written estimates of the cost of such repairs.


(4) A statement listing date of purchase, purchase price, and salvage value, where repair is economical.


(5) Any other evidence or information which may have a bearing on either the responsibility of the United States for the injury to or loss of property or the damages claimed.


§ 177.106 Authority to adjust, determine, compromise, and settle.

(a) The General Counsel of OPM, or his or her designee, is delegated authority to consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, compromise, and settle claims under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 2672, and this part. The General Counsel, in his or her discretion, has the authority to further delegate the responsibility for adjudicating, considering, adjusting, compromising, and settling any claim submitted under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 2672, and this part, that is based on the alleged negligence or wrongful act or omission of an OPM employee, with the exception of claims involving personal injury. All claims involving personal injury will be adjudicated, considered, adjusted, compromised and settled by the Office of the General Counsel.


§ 177.107 Limitations on authority.

(a) An award, compromise, or settlement of a claim under 28 U.S.C. 2672, and this part, in excess of $25,000 can be effected only with the prior written approval of the Attorney General or his or her designee. For purposes of this paragraph, a principal claim and any derivative or subrogated claim will be treated as a single claim.


(b) An administrative claim may be adjusted, determined, compromised, or settled under this part, only after consultation with the Department of Justice when, in the opinion of the General Counsel of OPM, or his or her designee:


(1) A new precedent or a new point of law is involved; or


(2) A question of policy is or may be involved; or


(3) The United States is or may be entitled to indemnity or contribution from a third party and OPM is unable to adjust the third party claim; or


(4) The compromise of a particular claim, as a practical matter, will or may control the disposition of a related claim in which the amount to be paid may exceed $25,000.


(c) An administrative claim may be adjusted, determined, compromised, or settled under 28 U.S.C. 2672, and this part, only after consultation with the Department of Justice when, OPM is informed or is otherwise aware that the United States or an employee, agent, or cost-type contractor of the United States is involved in litigation based on a claim arising out of the same incident or transaction.


§ 177.108 Referral to Department of Justice.

When Department of Justice approval or consultation is required, or the advice of the Department of Justice is otherwise to be requested, under § 177.107, the written referral or request will be transmitted to the Department of Justice by the General Counsel of OPM or his or her designee.


§ 177.109 Final denial of claim.

Final denial of an administrative claim must be in writing and sent to the claimant, his or her attorney, or legal representative by certified or registered mail. The notification of final denial may include a statement of the reasons for the denial. But, it must include a statement that, if the claimant is dissatisfied with the OPM action, he or she may file suit in an appropriate United States district court not later than 6 months after the date of mailing of the notification.


§ 177.110 Action on approved claim.

(a) Payment of a claim approved under this part is contingent on claimant’s execution of a Standard Form 95 (Claim for Damage, Injury or Death); a claims settlement agreement; and a Standard Form 1145 (Voucher for Payment), as appropriate. When a claimant is represented by an attorney, the Voucher for Payment will designate both the claimant and his or her attorney as payees, and the check will be delivered to the attorney, whose address is to appear on the Voucher for Payment.


(b) Acceptance by the claimant, his or her agent, or legal representative, of an award, compromise, or settlement made under 28 U.S.C. 2672 or 28 U.S.C. 2677 is final and conclusive on the claimant, his or her agent or legal representative, and any other person on whose behalf or for whose benefit the claim has been presented, and constitutes a complete release of any claim against the United States and against any employee of the Federal Government whose act or omission gave rise to the claim, by reason of the same subject matter.


PART 178 – PROCEDURES FOR SETTLING CLAIMS


Source:62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Administrative Claims – Compensation and Leave, Deceased Employees’ Accounts and Proceeds of Canceled Checks for Veterans’ Benefits Payable to Deceased Beneficiaries


Authority:31 U.S.C. 3702; 5 U.S.C. 5583; 38 U.S.C. 5122; Pub. L. No. 104-53, 211, Nov. 19, 1995; E.O. 12107.

§ 178.101 Scope of subpart.

(a) Claims covered. This subpart prescribes general procedures applicable to claims against the United States that may be settled by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3702, 5 U.S.C. 5583 and 38 U.S.C. 5122. In general, these claims involve Federal employees’ compensation and leave and claims for proceeds of canceled checks for veterans’ benefits payable to deceased beneficiaries.


(b) Claims not covered. This subpart does not apply to claims that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of administrative agencies pursuant to specific statutory authority or claims concerning matters that are subject to negotiated grievance procedures under collective bargaining agreements entered into pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7121(a). Also, these procedures do not apply to claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Procedures for FLSA claims are set out in part 551 of this chapter.


§ 178.102 Procedures for submitting claims.

(a) Content of claims. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a claim shall be submitted by the claimant in writing and must be signed by the claimant or by the claimant’s representative. While no specific form is required, the request should describe the basis for the claim and state the amount sought. The claim should also include:


(1) The name, address, telephone number and facsimile machine number, if available, of the claimant;


(2) The name, address, telephone number and facsimile machine number, if available, of the agency employee who denied the claim;


(3) A copy of the denial of the claim; and,


(4) Any other information which the claimant believes OPM should consider.


(b) Agency submissions of claims. At the discretion of the agency, the agency may forward the claim to OPM on the claimant’s behalf. The claimant is responsible for ensuring that OPM receives all the information requested in paragraph (a) of this section.


(c) Administrative report. At OPM’s discretion, OPM may request the agency to provide an administrative report. This report should include:


(1) The agency’s factual findings;


(2) The agency’s conclusions of law with relevant citations;


(3) The agency’s recommendation for disposition of the claim;


(4) A complete copy of any regulation, instruction, memorandum, or policy relied upon by the agency in making its determination;


(5) A statement that the claimant is or is not a member of a collective bargaining unit, and if so, a statement that the claim is or is not covered by a negotiated grievance procedure that specifically excludes the claim from coverage; and


(6) Any other information that the agency believes OPM should consider.


(d) Canceled checks for veterans’ benefits. Claims for the proceeds of canceled checks for veterans’ benefits payable to deceased beneficiaries must be accompanied by evidence that the claimant is the duly appointed representative of the decedent’s estate and that the estate will not escheat.


(e) Where to submit claims. (1) All claims under this section should be sent to the Program Manager, Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, Room 7671, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415. Telephone inquiries regarding these claims may be made to (202) 606-7948.


(2) FLSA claims should be sent to the appropriate OPM Oversight Division as provided in part 551 of this chapter.


[62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 40967, July 3, 2000]


§ 178.103 Claim filed by a claimant’s representative.

A claim filed by a claimant’s representative must be supported by a duly executed power of attorney or other documentary evidence of the representative’s right to act for the claimant.


§ 178.104 Statutory limitations on claims.

(a) Statutory limitations relating to claims generally. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section or as otherwise provided by law, all claims against the United States Government are subject to the 6-year statute of limitations contained in 31 U.S.C. 3702(b). To satisfy the statutory limitation, a claim must be received by the Office of Personnel Management, or by the department or agency out of whose activities the claim arose, within 6 years from the date the claim accrued. The claimant is responsible for proving that the claim was filed within the applicable statute of limitations.


(b) Claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Claims arising under the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. 207, et seq., must be received by the Office of Personnel Management, or by the department or agency out of whose activity the claim arose, within the time limitations specified in the FLSA.


(c) Other statutory limitations. Statutes of limitation other than that identified in paragraph (a) of this section may apply to certain claims. Claimants are responsible for informing themselves regarding other possible statutory limitations.


§ 178.105 Basis of claim settlements.

The burden is upon the claimant to establish the timeliness of the claim, the liability of the United States, and the claimant’s right to payment. The settlement of claims is based upon the written record only, which will include the submissions by the claimant and the agency. OPM will accept the facts asserted by the agency, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.


§ 178.106 Form of claim settlements.

OPM will send a settlement to the claimant advising whether the claim may be allowed in whole or in part. If OPM requested an agency report or if the agency forwarded the claim on behalf of the claimant, OPM also will send the agency a copy of the settlement.


§ 178.107 Finality of claim settlements.

(a) The OPM settlement is final; no further administrative review is available within OPM.


(b) Nothing is this subpart limits the right of a claimant to bring an action in an appropriate United States court.


Subpart B – Settlement of Accounts for Deceased Civilian Officers and Employees


Authority:5 U.S.C. 5581, 5582, 5583.

§ 178.201 Scope of subpart.

(a) Accounts covered. This subpart prescribes forms and procedures for the prompt settlement of accounts of deceased civilian officers and employees of the Federal Government and of the government of the District of Columbia (including wholly owned and mixed-ownership Government corporations), as stated in 5 U.S.C. 5581, 5582, 5583.


(b) Accounts not covered. This subpart does not apply to accounts of deceased officers and employees of the Federal land banks, Federal intermediate credit banks, or regional banks for cooperatives (see 5 U.S.C. 5581(1)). Also, these procedures do not apply to payment of unpaid balance of salary or other sums due deceased Senators or Members of the House of Representatives or their officers or employees (see 2 U.S.C. 36a, 38a).


§ 178.202 Definitions.

(a) The term deceased employees as used in this part includes former civilian officers and employees who die subsequent to separation from the employing agency.


(b) The term money due means the pay, salary, or allowances due on account of the services of the decedent for the Federal Government or the government of the District of Columbia. It includes, but is not limited to:


(1) All per diem instead of subsistence, mileage, and amounts due in reimbursement of travel expenses, including incidental and miscellaneous expenses which are incurred in connection with the travel and for which reimbursement is due;


(2) All allowances upon change of official station;


(3) All quarters and cost-of-living allowances and overtime or premium pay;


(4) Amounts due for payment of cash awards for employees’ suggestions;


(5) Amounts due as refund of salary deductions for United States Savings bonds;


(6) Payment for all accumulated and current accrued annual or vacation leave equal to the pay the decedent would have received had he or she lived and remained in the service until the expiration of the period of such annual or vacation leave;


(7) The amounts of all checks drawn in payment of such compensation which were not delivered by the Government to the officer or employee during his or her lifetime or of any unnegotiated checks returned to the Government because of the death of the officer or employee; and


(8) Retroactive pay under 5 U.S.C. 5344(b)(2).


§ 178.203 Designation of beneficiary.

(a) Agency notification. The employing agency shall notify each employee of his or her right to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive money due, and of the disposition of money due if a beneficiary is not designated. An employee may change or revoke a designation at any time under regulations promulgated by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management or his or her designee.


(b) Designation Form. Standard Form 1152, Designation of Beneficiary, Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee, is prescribed for use by employees in designating a beneficiary and in changing or revoking a previous designation; each agency will furnish the employee a Standard Form 1152 upon request. In the absence of the prescribed form, however, any designation, change, or cancellation of beneficiary witnessed and filed in accordance with the general requirements of this part will be acceptable.


(c) Who may be designated. An employee may designate any person or persons as beneficiary. The term person or persons as used in this part includes a legal entity or the estate of the deceased employee.


(d) Executing and filing a designation of beneficiary form. The Standard Form 1152 must be executed in duplicate by the employee and filed with the employing agency where the proper officer will sign it and insert the date of receipt in the space provided on each part, file the original, and return the duplicate to the employee. When a designation of beneficiary is changed or revoked, the employing agency should return the earlier designation to the employee, keeping a copy of only the current designation on file.


(e) Effective period of a designation. A properly executed and filed designation of beneficiary will be effective as long as employment by the same agency continues. If an employee resigns and is reemployed, or is transferred to another agency, the employee must execute another designation of beneficiary form in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. A new designation of beneficiary is not required, however, when an employee’s agency or site, function, records, equipment, and personnel are absorbed by another agency.


§ 178.204 Order of payment precedence.

To facilitate the settlement of the accounts of the deceased employees, money due an employee at the time of the employee’s death shall be paid to the person or persons surviving at the date of death, in the following order of precedence, and the payment bars recovery by another person of amounts so paid:


(a) First, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the employee in a writing received in the employing agency prior to the employee’s death;


(b) Second, if there is no designated beneficiary, to the surviving spouse of the employee;


(c) Third, if none of the above, to the child or children of the employee and descendants of deceased children by representation;


(d) Fourth, if none of the above, to the parents of the deceased employee or the survivor of them;


(e) Fifth, if none of the above, to the duly appointed legal representative of the estate of the deceased employee; and


(f) Sixth, if none of the above, to the person or persons entitled under the laws of the domicile of the employee at the time of his or her death.


§ 178.205 Procedures upon death of employee.

(a) Claim form. As soon as practicable after the death of an employee, the agency in which the employee was last employed will request, in the order of precedence outlined in § 178.204, the appropriate person or persons to execute Standard Form 1153, Claim for Unpaid Compensation of Deceased Civilian Employee.


(b) Claims involving minors or incompetents. If a guardian or committee has been appointed for a minor or incompetent appearing entitled to unpaid compensation, the claim should be supported by a certificate of the court showing the appointment and qualification of the claimant in such capacity. If no guardian or committee has been or will be appointed, the initial claim should be supported by a statement showing:


(1) Claimant’s relationship to the minor or incompetent, if any;


(2) The name and address of the person having care and custody of the minor or incompetent;


(3) That any moneys received will be applied to the use and benefit of the minor or incompetent; and


(4) That the appointment of a guardian or committee is not contemplated.


§ 178.206 Return of unnegotiated Government checks.

All unnegotiated United States Government checks drawn to the order of a decedent representing money due as defined in § 178.202, and in the possession of the claimant, should be returned to the employing agency concerned. Claimants should be instructed to return any other United States Government checks drawn to the order of a decedent, such as veterans benefits, social security benefits, or Federal tax refunds, to the agency from which the checks were received, with a request for further instructions from that agency.


§ 178.207 Claims settlement jurisdiction.

(a) District of Columbia and Government corporations. Claims for unpaid compensation due deceased employees of the government of the District of Columbia shall be paid by the District of Columbia, and those of Government corporations or mixed ownership Government corporations may be paid by the corporations.


(b) Office of Personnel Management. Each agency shall pay undisputed claims for the compensation due a deceased employee. Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, disputed claims for money due deceased employees of the Federal Government will be submitted to the Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness, in accordance with § 178.102 of subpart A. For example:


(1) When doubt exists as to the amount or validity of the claim;


(2) When doubt exists as to the person(s) properly entitled to payment; or


(3) When the claim involves uncurrent checks. Uncurrent checks are unnegotiated and/or undelivered checks for money due the decedent which have not been paid by the end of the fiscal year after the fiscal year in which the checks were issued. The checks, if available, should accompany the claims.


(c) Payment of claim. Claims for money due will be paid by the appropriate agency only after settlement by the Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness occurs.


[62 FR 68139, Dec. 31, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 40967, July 3, 2000]


§ 178.208 Applicability of general procedures.

When not in conflict with this subpart, the provisions of subpart A of this part relating to procedures applicable to claims generally are also applicable to the settlement of account of deceased civilian officers and employees.


PART 179 – CLAIMS COLLECTION STANDARDS


Authority:31 U.S.C. 952; 5 U.S.C. 1103; Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978; 5 U.S.C. 5514; 5 CFR part 550 subpart K; 31 U.S.C. 3701; 31 U.S.C. 3711; 31 U.S.C. 3716; 31 U.S.C. 3720A.

Subpart A – General Provisions and Administration

§ 179.101 General collection standards.

The general standards and procedures governing the collection, compromise, termination, and referral to the Department of Justice of claims for money and property that are prescribed in the regulations issued jointly by the General Accounting Office and the Department of Justice pursuant to the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (4 CFR part 101 et seq.), apply to the administrative claim collection activities of OPM.


[33 FR 12406, Sept. 4, 1968]


§ 179.102 Delegation of authority.

(a) The Chief Financial Officer and his or her delegates are designated by the Director and authorized to perform all the duties for which the Director is responsible under the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and Office of Personnel Management regulations with the exception of debts arising from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, the Employees’ Life Insurance Fund, the Retired Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (74 Stat. 849), and the Employees Health Benefits Fund. However, the Chief Financial Officer and his or her delegates will request a review by the General Counsel or his or her designee for all claims processed (in amounts of $2500 or more) for compromise, suspension, and termination of collection action.


(b) The Associate Director for Retirement and Insurance and his or her delegates are designated by the Director and authorized to perform all the duties for which the Director is responsible under the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and Office of Personnel Management regulations on debts caused by payments from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (subchapter III of chapter 83 or chapter 84), claims under the provisions of the Federal Employees’ Life Insurance Fund (chapter 87), the Retired Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (74 Stat. 849), the Employees Health Benefits Fund (chapter 89), the Panama Canal Construction Annuity Act (58 Stat. 257), and, the Lighthouse Service Widows’ Annuity Act (64 Stat. 465).


[59 FR 35216, July 11, 1994]


Subpart B – Salary Offset


Source:59 FR 35216, July 11, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

§ 179.201 Purpose.

The purpose of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365), is to provide a comprehensive statutory approach to the collection of debts due the Federal Government. These regulations implement section 5 of the Act which authorizes the collection of debts owed by Federal employees to the Federal Government by means of salary offset, except that no claim may be collected by such means if outstanding for more than 10 years after the agency’s right to collect the debt first accrued, unless facts material to the Government’s right to collect were not known, and could not reasonably have been known, by the official or officials who were charged with the responsibility for discovery and collection of such debts. These regulations are consistent with the regulations on salary offset published by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on July 3, 1984 (49 FR 27470) in 5 CFR part 550, subpart K.


§ 179.202 Scope.

(a) These regulations provide procedures for the collection of monies from a Federal employee’s pay by salary offset to satisfy certain debts owed the Government.


(b) These regulations apply to all collections by the Director of OPM (except collections involving debts because of payments made from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, payments made under the Retired Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (74 Stat. 849), the Panama Canal Construction Annuity Act and the Lighthouse Service Widows’ Annuity Act and payments or premiums relating to the Federal Employees’ Life Insurance Fund or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Fund) from:


(1) Federal employees who owe debts to OPM; and


(2) OPM employees who owe debts to other agencies.


(c) These regulations do not apply to debts or claims arising under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.); the tariff laws of the United States; or to any case where collection of a debt by salary offset is explicitly provided for or prohibited by another statute (e.g., travel advances in 5 U.S.C. 5705 and employee training expenses in 5 U.S.C. 4108).


(d) Section 179.207 does not apply to any adjustment to pay arising from an employee’s election of coverage or a change in coverage under a Federal benefits program requiring periodic deductions from pay, if the amount to be recovered was accumulated over four pay periods or less.


(e) Nothing in these regulations precludes the compromise, suspension, or termination of collection actions, where appropriate, under the standards implementing the Federal Claims Collection Act (31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq., 4 CFR parts 101-105, 38 CFR 1.900 et seq.).


(f) Nothing in these regulations precludes an employee from requesting a waiver of the debt under applicable statute; under the standards and procedures specified by the Federal Claims Collection Standards (FCCS); or waiver of salary overpayment under 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, or 32 U.S.C. 716, by submitting a subsequent claim to the General Accounting Office in accordance with procedures established by the General Accounting Office.


§ 179.203 Definitions.

As used in this subpart the following definitions shall apply:


Agency means:


(1) An Executive Agency as defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code;


(2) A military department as defined by section 102 of title 5, United States Code;


(3) An agency or court of the judicial branch including a court as defined in section 610 of title 28, United States Code, the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands and the Judicial Panel and Multidistrict Litigation;


(4) An agency of the legislative branch, including the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives; and


(5) Other independent establishments that are entities of the Federal Government.


Certification means a written debt claim, as prescribed by § 179.209, that is received from a creditor agency and which requests the paying agency to offset the salary of an employee.


Claim See debt.


Creditor agency means an agency of the Federal Government to which the debt is owed. For purposes of this part creditor agency includes OPM, unless otherwise noted.


Debt means money owed by an employee of the Federal Government to an agency of the Federal Government, from sources which include loans insured or guaranteed by the United States and all other amounts due the Government from fees, leases, rents, royalties, services, sales of real or personal property, overpayments, penalties, damages, interests, fines and forfeitures (except those arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and all other similar sources.


Delinquent means the failure to pay an obligation or debt by the date specified in the initial notification or applicable contractual agreement, unless other payment arrangements have been agreed to by OPM and the debtor by that date, or if, at any time thereafter, the debtor fails to satisfy the obligations under a payment agreement with the creditor agency.


Director means the Director of OPM or his or her designee.


Disposable pay means that part of current basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or, in the case of an employee not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay remaining after the deduction of any amount required by law to be withheld. OPM shall allow the following deductions, and any others required by law to be withheld, in determining disposable pay subject to salary offset;


(1) Federal employment taxes;


(2) Amounts mandatorily withheld for the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home;


(3) Fines and forfeitures ordered by a court martial or by a commanding officer;


(4) Federal, state or local income taxes no greater than would be the case if the employee claimed all dependents to which he or she is entitled and such additional amounts for which the employee presents evidence of a tax obligation supporting the additional withholding;


(5) Amounts withheld from benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act where the withholding is required by law;


(6) Amounts deducted for Medicare;


(7) Health insurance premiums;


(8) Normal retirement contributions as explained in 5 CFR 581.105(e) (e.g., Civil Service Retirement deductions, Survivor Benefit Plan or Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan); and


(9) Normal life insurance premiums (e.g., Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance and basic Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance premiums) exclusive of optional life insurance premiums.


Employee means a current employee of OPM or other agency, including a current member of the Armed Forces or Reserve of the Armed Forces of the United States.


FCCS means the Federal Claims Collection Standards jointly published by the Department of Justice and the General Accounting Office of 4 CFR 101.1 et seq.


Hearing official means an individual (including an administrative law judge) responsible for conducting any hearing with respect to the existence or amount of a debt claimed, and rendering a decision on the basis of such hearing. A hearing official may not be under the supervision or control of the Director of OPM when OPM is the creditor agency.


Notice of intent to offset or notice of intent means a written notice from a creditor agency to an employee that states the creditor agency’s determination that the employee owes a debt to the creditor agency and apprises the employee of certain administrative rights.


Notice of salary offset means a written notice from the paying agency to an employee after a certification has been issued by the creditor agency, informing the employee that salary offset will begin at the next officially established pay interval.


Office means the central and regional offices of the Office of Personnel Management.


Paying agency means the agency of the Federal Government which employs the individual who owes a debt to an agency of the Federal Government. In some cases, OPM may be both the creditor agency and the paying agency.


Payroll office means the payroll office in the paying agency which is primarily responsible for the payroll records and the coordination of pay matters with the appropriate personnel office with respect to an employee. Payroll office, with respect to OPM, means the central payroll office.


Salary offset means an administrative offset to collect a debt under 5 U.S.C. 5514 by deduction(s) at one or more officially established pay intervals from the current pay account of an employee, without his or her consent.


Salary Offset Coordinator means an official, designated by the Director of OPM, who is responsible for coordinating debt collection activities for OPM.


Waiver means the cancellation, remission, forgiveness, or non-recovery of a debt allegedly owed by an employee to OPM or another agency as permitted or required by 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, 32 U.S.C. 716, or any other law.


§ 179.204 Applicability of regulations.

These regulations are to be followed for all OPM collections (except those involving retirement, life, and health insurance debts for recovery by the Associate Director for Retirement and Insurance) in instances where:


(a) OPM is owed a debt by an individual currently employed by another agency;


(b) OPM is owed a debt by an individual who is a current employee of OPM; or


(c) OPM currently employs an individual who owes a debt to another Federal agency. Upon receipt of proper certification from the creditor agency, OPM will offset the debtor-employee’s salary in accordance with these regulations.


§ 179.205 Waiver requests and claims to the General Accounting Office.

These regulations do not preclude an employee from requesting waiver of an overpayment under 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, 32 U.S.C. 716, or in any way questioning the amount or validity of a debt by submitting a subsequent claim to the General Accounting Office in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the General Accounting Office. These regulations do not preclude an employee from requesting a waiver pursuant to other statutory provisions pertaining to the particular debt being collected.


§ 179.206 Notice requirements before offset.

(a) Deductions under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5514 shall not be made unless the creditor agency provides the employee with written notice that he/she owes a debt to the Federal government a minimum of 30 calendar days before salary offset is initiated. When OPM is the creditor agency, this notice of intent to offset an employee’s salary shall be hand-delivered at work, or sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the employee’s most current address that is available to the Office and will state:


(1) That the creditor agency has reviewed the records relating to the claim and has determined that a debt is owed, the amount of the debt, and the facts giving rise to the debt;


(2) The creditor agency’s intention to collect the debt by means of deduction from the employee’s current disposable pay account until the debt and all accumulated interest are paid in full;


(3) The amount, frequency, beginning date, and duration of the intended deductions;


(4) An explanation of OPM’s policy concerning interest, penalties and administrative costs including a statement that such assessments must be made unless excused in accordance with the FCCS, 4 CFR 101.1 et seq. (§ 179.214);


(5) The employee’s right to inspect and copy all records of the office pertaining to the debt claimed, or to request and to receive copies of such records if personal inspection is impractical;


(6) If not previously provided, the opportunity to establish a schedule for the voluntary repayment of the debt through offset or to enter into an agreement to establish a schedule for repayment of the debt in lieu of offset (4 CFR 102.2(e)). The agreement must contain terms agreeable to the Office and must be in such form that it is legally enforceable. The agreement must:


(i) Be in writing;


(ii) Be signed by both the employee and the creditor agency;


(iii) Specify all the terms of the arrangement for payment; and


(iv) Contain a provision accelerating the debt in the event of a default by the debtor, but such an increase may not result in a deduction that exceeds 15 percent of the employee’s disposable pay unless the employee has agreed in writing to the deduction of a greater amount (5 CFR 550.1104(i)).


(7) The right to a hearing conducted by an impartial hearing official (an administrative law judge, or alternatively, a hearing official not under the supervision or control of the Director) with respect to the existence and amount of the debt claimed, or the repayment schedule (i.e., the percentage of disposable pay to be deducted each pay period), so long as a petition is filed by the employee as prescribed in § 179.207;


(8) The method and time period for requesting a hearing;


(9) The name, address and phone number of an official or employee of the Office who may be contacted concerning procedures for requesting a hearing;


(10) The name and address of the office to which the petition for a hearing should be sent;


(11) That a timely and properly filed petition for hearing will stay the commencement of collection proceedings (a timely filing must be received in the office specified under paragraph (a)(10) of this section within 15 calendar days after receipt of such notice of intent to offset);


(12) That the Office will initiate certification procedures to implement a salary offset (which may not exceed 15 percent of the employee’s disposable pay) not less than 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice of debt, unless the employee files a timely petition for a hearing;


(13) That a final decision on the hearing (if a hearing is requested) will be issued at the earliest practical date, but not later than 60 days after the filing of the petition requesting the hearing, unless the employee requests and the hearing official grants a delay in the proceedings;


(14) That any knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations, or evidence may subject the employee to;


(i) Disciplinary procedures appropriate under chapter 75 of title 5, United States code; part 752 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations; or any other applicable statute or regulations;


(ii) Penalties under the False Claims Act, sections 3729 through 3731 of title 31, United States Code, or any other applicable statutory authority; and


(iii) Criminal penalties under sections 286, 287, 1001, and 1002 of title 18, United States code, or any other applicable statutory authority;


(15) Any other rights and remedies available to the employee under statutes or regulations governing the program for which the collection is being made;


(16) That unless there are applicable contractual or statutory provisions to the contrary, amounts paid on or deducted for the debt, which are later waived or found not owed to the United States, will be promptly refunded to the employee; and


(17) That proceedings with respect to such debt are governed by section 5 of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (5 U.S.C. 5514).


(b) The Office is not required to comply with paragraph (a) of this section for any adjustment to pay arising from:


(1) An employee’s selection of coverage or a change in coverage under a Federal benefits program requiring periodic deductions from pay, if the amount to be recovered was accumulated over four pay periods or less; or


(2) An employee’s consent to make voluntary withholdings from his or her current pay account.


§ 179.207 Hearing.

(a) Request for hearing. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an employee who desires a hearing concerning the existence or amount of the debt or the proposed offset schedule must send such a request to the office designated in the notice of intent (§ 179.207(a)(10)). The request (or petition) for hearing must be received by the designated office not later than 15 calendar days following the employee’s receipt of the notice. The employee’s request (or petition) must:


(1) Be signed by the employee;


(2) Fully identify and explain with reasonable specificity all the facts, evidence and witnesses, if any, that the employee believes support his or her position; and


(3) Specify whether an oral or paper hearing is requested. If an oral hearing is desired, the request should explain why the matter cannot be resolved by review of the documentary evidence alone (4 CFR 102.3(c)).


(b) Failure to timely submit. (1) If the employee files a petition for a hearing after the expiration of the 15 calendar day period provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, the Office may accept the request if the employee can show that the delay was the result of circumstances beyond his of her control or failure to receive actual notice of the filing deadline (unless the employee had actual notice of the filing deadline).


(2) An employee waives the right to a hearing, and will have his or her disposable pay offset in accordance with the Office offset schedule, if the employee:


(i) Fails to file a timely request for a hearing unless such failure is excused; or


(ii) Fails to appear at an oral hearing of which he or she was notified unless the hearing official determines that failure to appear was due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control.


(c) Representation at the hearing. The creditor agency may be represented by legal counsel. The employee may represent himself or herself or may be represented by an individual of his or her choice and at his or her expense.


(d) Review of Office records related to the debt. (1) An employee who intends to inspect or copy creditor agency records related to the debt, as provided by § 179.207(a)(5), must send a letter to the official designated in the notice of intent to offset stating his or her intention. The letter must be received within 15 calendar days after the employee’s receipt of the notice.


(2) In response to a timely request submitted by the debtor, the designated official will notify the employee of the location and time when the employee may inspect and copy records related to the debt.


(3) If personal inspection is impractical, arrangements shall be made to end copies of such records to the employee.


(e) Hearing official. The Office may request an administrative law judge to conduct the hearing, or the Office may obtain a hearing official who is not under the supervision or control of the Director of OPM.


(f) Obtaining the services of a hearing official when OPM is the creditor agency. (1) When the debtor is not an OPM employee and the Office cannot provide a prompt and appropriate hearing before a hearing official furnished pursuant to another lawful arrangement, the Office may contact an agent of the paying agency designated in 5 CFR part 581, appendix A, or other individual designated by the paying agency, and request a hearing official.


(2) When the debtor is an OPM employee, the Office may contact any agent of another agency designated in 5 CFR part 581, appendix A, or otherwise designated by that agency, to request a hearing official.


(g) Procedure – (1) General. After the employee requests a hearing, the hearing official shall notify the employee of the form of the hearing to be provided. If the hearing will be oral, the notice shall set forth the date, time and location of the hearing. If the hearing will be paper, the employee shall be notified that he or she should submit arguments in writing to the hearing official by a specified date after which the record shall be closed. This date shall give the employee reasonable time to submit documentation.


(2) Oral hearing. An employee who requests an oral hearing shall be provided an oral hearing if the hearing official determines that the matter cannot be resolved by review of documentary evidence alone (e.g., when an issue of credibility or veracity is involved). The hearing is not an adversarial adjudication and need not take the form of an evidentiary hearing. Oral hearings may take the form of, but are not limited to:


(i) Informal conferences with the hearing official, in which the employee and agency representative will be given full opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and argument;


(ii) Informal meetings with an interview of the employee; or


(iii) Formal written submissions with an opportunity for oral presentation.


(3) Paper hearing. If the hearing official determines that an oral hearing is not necessary, he or she will make a determination based upon a review of the available written record (4 CFR 102.3(c) (2) and (3)).


(4) Record. The hearing official must maintain a summary record of any hearing provided by this subpart (4 CFR 102.3(c)(1)(ii)). Witnesses who testify in oral hearings will do so under oath or affirmation.


(h) Date of decision. The hearing official shall issue a written opinion stating his or her decision, based upon documentary evidence and information developed at the hearing, as soon as practicable after the hearing, but not later than 60 days after the date on which the petition was received by the creditor agency, unless the employee requests a delay in the proceedings. In such case the 60-day decision period shall be extended by the number of days by which the hearing was postponed.


(i) Content of decision. The written decision shall include:


(1) A statement of the facts presented to support the origin, nature, and amount of the debt;


(2) The hearing official’s findings, analysis, and conclusions including a determination whether the debtor’s petition for hearing was baseless and resulted from an intent to delay creditor agency collection activity and whether the Office should pursue other actions against the debtor as provided by 5 CFR 550.1104(d)(11); and


(3) The terms of any repayment schedules, if applicable.


(j) Failure to appear. In the absence of good cause shown (e.g., illness), an employee who fails to appear at a hearing shall be deemed, for the purpose of this subpart, to admit the existence and amount of the debt as described in the notice of intent. If the representative of the creditor agency fails to appear, the hearing official shall proceed with the hearing as scheduled and make his/her determination based upon the oral testimony presented and the documentary evidence submitted by both parties. With the agreement of both parties, the hearing official shall schedule a new hearing date. Both parties shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place of the new hearing.


§ 179.208 Certification.

(a) OPM salary offset coordinator shall provide a certification to the paying agency in all cases where:


(1) The hearing official determines that a debt exists;


(2) The employee fails to contest the existence and amount of the debt by failing to request a hearing; or


(3) The employee fails to contest the existence of the debt by failing to appear at a hearing.


(b) The certification must be in writing and must state:


(1) That the employee owes the debt;


(2) The amount and basis of the debt;


(3) The date the Government’s right to collect the debt first accrued;


(4) That the Office’s regulations have been approved by OPM pursuant to 5 CFR part 550, subpart K;


(5) The date on which payment(s) is due;


(6) If the collection is to be made in installments, the number of installments to be collected, the amount of each installment or percentage of disposable pay, and the commencement date of the first installment, if a date other than the next officially established pay period is required; and


(7) The date(s) of any action(s) taken under 5 U.S.C. 5514(b).


§ 179.209 Voluntary repayment agreement as alternative to salary offset.

(a)(1) In response to a notice of intent, an employee may propose to repay the debt by making voluntary installment payments as an alternative to salary offset. An employee who wishes to repay a debt without salary offset shall submit in writing a proposed agreement to repay the debt. The proposal shall admit the existence of the debt, and the agreement must be in such form that it is legally enforceable. The agreement must:


(i) Be in writing;


(ii) Be signed by both the employee and the creditor agency;


(iii) Specify all the terms of the arrangement for payment; and


(iv) Contain a provision accelerating the debt in the event of default by the debtor, but such an increase may not result in a deduction that exceeds 15 percent of the employee’s disposable pay unless the employee has agreed in writing to deduction of a greater amount (5 CFR 550.1104(i)).


(2) Any proposal under paragraph (a) of this section must be received by the official designated in the notice of intent within 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice.


(b) The creditor agency will review a timely and properly submitted repayment proposal by the employee debtor and notify the employee whether the proposed written agreement for repayment is acceptable. It is within the creditor agency’s discretion to accept a repayment agreement instead of proceeding by offset.


(c) If the creditor agency decides that the proposed repayment agreement is unacceptable, the employee will have 15 days from the date he or she received notice of that decision to file a petition for a hearing or a special review as provided by § 179.210.


(d) If the creditor agency decides that the proposed repayment agreement is acceptable, the alternative arrangement must be in writing, signed by both the employee and the creditor agency designee and meet the other requirements of this section for a voluntary repayment agreement.


§ 179.210 Special review.

(a) An OPM employee subject to salary offset or a voluntary repayment agreement, may, at any time, request a special review by the Office of the amount of the salary offset or voluntary payment, based on materially changed circumstances such as, but not limited to, catastrophic illness, divorce, death, or disability.


(b) In determining whether an offset would prevent the employee from meeting essential subsistence expenses (food, housing, clothing, transportation and medical care), the employee shall submit a detailed statement and supporting documents for the employee, his or her spouse, and dependents indicating:


(1) Income from all sources;


(2) Assets;


(3) Liabilities;


(4) Number of dependents;


(5) Expenses for food, housing, clothing and transportation;


(6) Medical expenses; and


(7) Exceptional expenses, if any.


If an OPM employee requests a special review under this section, the employee shall file an alternative proposed offset or payment schedule and a statement, with supporting documents (§ 179.210(b)), stating why the current salary offset or payments result in an extreme financial hardship to the employee.

(c) The Director shall evaluate the statement and supporting documents, and determine whether the original offset or repayment schedule imposes an extreme financial hardship on the employee. The Director shall notify the employee in writing of such determination, including, if appropriate, a revised offset or repayment schedule.


(d) If the special review results in a revised offset or repayment schedule, the OPM salary offset coordinator shall provide a new certification to the payroll office.


§ 179.211 Notice of salary offset.

(a) Upon receipt of proper certification from a creditor agency, the OPM payroll office will send the OPM employee, identified in the certification as the debtor, a written notice of salary offset. Such notice shall, at a minimum:


(1) State that OPM has received a properly certified debt claim from a creditor agency;


(2) Contain a copy of the certification received from the creditor agency;


(3) Advise the employee that salary offset will be initiated at the next officially established pay interval; and


(4) State the amount of the claim and amount of deductions.


(b) The payroll office shall provide a copy of the notice to the creditor agency and advise such agency of the dollar amount to be offset and the pay period when the offset will begin.


§ 179.212 Procedures for salary offset.

(a) The Director or his or her designee shall coordinate salary deductions under this subpart.


(b) OPM payroll office shall determine the amount of an employee’s disposable pay and implement the salary offset.


(c) Deductions shall begin effective the pay period following receipt by OPM’s payroll office of proper certification of the debt (§ 179.208).


(d) Types of collection – (1) Lump-sum payment. A debt will be collected in a lump sum if possible. If an employee is financially unable to pay in one lump sum or the amount of the debt exceeds 15 percent of disposable pay for an officially established pay interval, collection must be made in installments.


(2) Installment deductions. Installment deductions will be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of employment and, except in rare circumstances, not to exceed 3 years. The size and frequency of installment deductions will bear a reasonable relation to the size of the debt and the employee’s ability to pay. The amount deducted for any period will not exceed 15 percent of the disposable pay from which the deduction is made unless the employee has agreed in writing to the deduction of a greater amount.


(3) Lump-sum deductions from final check. A lump-sum deduction exceeding the 15 percent disposable pay limitation may be made from any final salary payment pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716 in order to liquidate the debt, whether the employee is being separated voluntarily or involuntarily.


(4) Lump-sum deductions from other sources. When an employee subject to salary offset is separated from OPM and the balance of the debt cannot be liquidated by offset of the final salary check, the Office, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716, the FCCS and OPM’s implementing regulations, may offset the balance of the debt against any financial payment due the employee from the U.S. Government.


(e) Multiple debts. In instances where two or more creditor agencies are seeking salary offset, or where two or more debts are owed to a single creditor agency, OPM payroll office may, at its discretion, determine whether one or more debts should be offset simultaneously within the 15 percent limitation.


(f) Precedence of debts owed to OPM. For OPM employees, debts owed to the Office generally take precedence over debts owed to other agencies. In the event that a debt to the Office is certified while an employee is subject to a salary offset to repay another agency, the OPM payroll office may decide whether to have that debt repaid in full before collecting its claim or whether changes should be made in the salary deduction being sent to the other agency. If debts owed the Office can be collected in one pay period, the payroll office may suspend the salary offset to the other agency for that pay period in order to liquidate the office debt.


(g) When an employee owes two or more debts, the best interests of the Government shall be the primary consideration in determining the order of debt collection. The OPM payroll office, in making this determination, will be guided primarily by the statute of limitations that affects the collection of the debt(s).


§ 179.213 Coordinating salary offset with other agencies.

(a) Responsibility of OPM as the creditor agency. (1) The Director or his or her designee shall coordinate debt collections with other agencies and shall, as appropriate:


(i) Arrange for a hearing or special review upon proper petitioning by a Federal employee; and


(ii) Prescribe, upon consultation with the General Counsel, such additional practices and procedures as may be necessary to carry out the intent of this regulation.


(2) The designated salary offset coordinator will be responsible for:


(i) Ensuring that each notice of intent to offset is consistent with the requirements of § 179.206;


(ii) Ensuring that each certification of debt that is sent to a paying agency is consistent with the requirements of § 179.208;


(iii) Obtaining hearing officials from other agencies pursuant to § 179.207(f); and


(iv) Ensuring that hearings are properly scheduled.


(3) Requesting recovery from current paying agency. Upon completion of the procedures established in these regulations and pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5514, the Office must:


(i) Certify, in writing, to the paying agency that the employee owes the debt, the amount and basis of the debt, the date on which payment(s) is due, the date the Government’s right to collect the debt first accrued, and that the Office’s regulations implementing 5 U.S.C. 5514 have been approved by the Office of Personnel Management;


(ii) Advise the paying agency of the amount or percentage of disposable pay to be collected in each installment and the number and commencing date of the installments (if a date other than the next officially established pay period is required);


(iii) Advise the paying agency of the action(s) taken under 5 U.S.C. 5514(b) and give the date(s) and action(s) was taken (unless the employee has consented to the salary offset in writing or signed a statement acknowledging receipt of the required procedures and the written consent or statement is forwarded to the paying agency);


(iv) Submit a debt claim certification containing the information specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(i), (a)(3)(ii) and (a)(3)(iii) of this section and an installment agreement (or other instruction on the payment schedule), if applicable, to the employee’s paying agency; and


(v) Submit the debt claim, as provided in § 179.208, to the employee’s paying agency for collection if the employee is in the process of separating, and has not received a final salary check, or other final payment(s) from the paying agency. The paying agency must certify the total amount of its collection on the debt and send a copy of the certification to the employee and another copy to the creditor agency. If the paying agency’s collection does not fully satisfy the debt, and the paying agency is aware that the debtor is entitled to payments from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund or other similar payments that may be due the debtor employee from other Federal Government sources, the paying agency will provide written notification of the outstanding debt to the agency responsible for making such other payments to the debtor employee. The written notification shall state that the employee owes a debt (including the amount) and that the provisions of this section have been fully complied with. The Office must submit a properly certified claim to the agency responsible for making such payments before the collection can be made.


(4) Separated employee. If the employee is already separated and all payments due from his or her former paying agency have been paid, the Office may request, unless otherwise prohibited, that money due and payable to the employee from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (5 CFR 831.1801 et seq. or 5 CFR 845.401 et seq.) or other similar funds, be administratively offset to collect the debt (31 U.S.C. 3716 and the FCCS).


(5) Employee transfer. When an employee transfers from one paying agency to another paying agency, the Office is not required to repeat the due process procedures described in 5 U.S.C. 5514 and this subpart to resume the collection. The Office will submit a properly certified claim to the new paying agency and will subsequently review the debt to make sure the collection is resumed by the new paying agency.


(b) Responsibility of the Office as the paying agency – (1) Complete claim. When the Office receives a certified claim from a creditor agency, deductions should be scheduled to begin at the next officially established pay interval. Before deductions can begin, the employee must receive written notice from the Office including:


(i) A statement that the Office has received a certified debt claim from the creditor agency;


(ii) The amount of the debt claim;


(iii) The date salary offset deductions will begin, and


(iv) The amount of such deductions.


(2) Incomplete claim. When the Office receives an incomplete certification of debt from a creditor agency, the Office must return the debt claim with notice that procedures under 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 5 CFR 550.1101 et seq. must be followed and a properly certified debt claim received before action will be taken to collect from the employee’s current pay account.


(3) Review. The Office is not authorized to review the merits of the creditor agency’s determination with respect to the amount or validity of the debt certified by the creditor agency.


(4) Employees who transfer from one paying agency to another. If, after the creditor agency has submitted the debt claim to the Office, the employee transfers from OPM to a different paying agency before the debt is collected in full, the Office will certify the total amount collected on the debt. One copy of the certification will be furnished to the employee and one copy to the creditor agency along with notice of the employee’s transfer.


§ 179.214 Interest, penalties and administrative costs.

The office shall assess interest, penalties and administrative costs on debts owed pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3717 and 4 CFR part 101.1 et seq. Penalties and administrative costs will be assessed on all delinquent debts.


(a) In cases of default on a previous repayment agreement, the Office reserves the right to set a new interest rate which reflects the current value of funds to the Treasury at the time a new repayment agreement is executed.


(b) The Office, on a case-by-case basis, may waive all interest accrued on debts paid in full within 60 days of the due date if there is no indication of fault or lack of good faith on the part of the debtor.


(c) The Office may waive, in whole or in part, the collection of interest, penalties, and/or administrative costs assessed under this section under the criteria specified in part 103 of 4 CFR, chapter II, relating to the compromise of claims (without regard to the amount of the debt).


(d) The Office may waive, in whole or in part, the collection of interest, penalties, and/or administrative costs assessed under this section if the Office determines that collection of these charges would be against equity and good conscience or not in the best interests of the United States.


(e) The Office shall waive the accrual of interest pending consideration of a request for reconsideration, administrative review, or waiver of the underlying debt under provisions of a permissive statute providing for such review related to the debt.


(f) The Office shall waive interest on repayment agreements when the amount of interest accruing equals or exceeds the amount of installments the debtor can reasonably afford and there is no indication of fault or lack of good faith on the part of the debtor.


§ 179.215 Refunds.

(a) The Office shall promptly refund any amounts deducted under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5514 when:


(1) The debt is waived or otherwise found not to be owing the United States (unless expressly prohibited by statute or regulation); or


(2) An administrative or judicial order directs the Office to make a refund.


(b) Unless required or permitted by law or contract, refunds under this subsection shall not bear interest.


§ 179.216 Request for the services of a hearing official when the creditor agency is not OPM.

(a) The Office will provide a hearing official upon request of the creditor agency when the debtor is employed by the Office and the creditor agency cannot provide a prompt and appropriate hearing before a hearing official furnished pursuant to another lawful arrangement.


(b) The salary offset coordinator will secure qualified personnel to serve as hearing officials.


(c) Services rendered under this section will be provided on a fully reimbursable basis pursuant to the Economy Act of 1932, as amended, 31 U.S.C. 1535.


§ 179.217 Non-waiver of rights by payments.

An employee’s involuntary payment of all or any portion of a debt collected under this subpart must not be construed as a waiver of any rights which the employee may have under 5 U.S.C. 5514 or any other provision of contract or law unless there are statutory or contractual provisions to the contrary.


§ 179.218 Additional administrative collection action.

Nothing contained in this subpart is intended to preclude the use of any other administrative remedy which may be appropriate.


Subpart C – Administrative Offset


Source:59 FR 35214, July 11, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

§ 179.301 Scope of regulations.

These regulations apply to the collection of debts owed to the United States arising from transactions with OPM other than those involving payments made from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (the Fund), or where a request for an offset from OPM’s administrative accounts – other than the Fund – is received by OPM from another Federal agency. Regulations for other agencies to request OPM’s Retirement and Insurance Group to recover a debt from the Fund are provided at subpart R of part 831 and subpart D of part 845 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations are consistent with the Federal Claims Collection Standards on Administrative Offset issued jointly by the Department of Justice and the General Accounting Office as set forth in 4 CFR 102.3.


§ 179.302 Definitions.

Administrative offset, as defined in 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(1), means withholding money payable by the United States Government to, or held by the Government for, a person to satisfy a debt the person owes the Government.


Person, includes a natural person or persons, profit or non-profit corporation, partnership, association, trust, estate, consortium, or other entity which is capable of owing a debt to the United States Government except that agencies of the United States, or of any State or local government, shall be excluded.


§ 179.303 General.

(a) The Director or his or her designee, after attempting to collect a debt from a person under section 3(a) of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, as amended (31 U.S.C. 3711(a)), may collect the debt by administrative offset subject to the following:


(1) The debt is certain in amount; and


(2) It is in the best interest of the United States to collect the debt by administrative offset because it is less costly and speeds payment of the debt;


(b) The Director, or his or her designee, may initiate administrative offset with regard to debts owed by a person to another agency of the United States Government, upon receipt of a request from the head of another agency, or his or her designee, and a certification that the debt exists and that the person has been afforded the necessary due process rights.


(c) The Director, or his or her designee, may request another agency that holds funds payable to an OPM debtor to offset the debt against the funds held and will provide certification that:


(1) The debt exists; and


(2) The person has been afforded the necessary due process rights.


(d) If the 6-year period for bringing action on a debt provided in 28 U.S.C. 2415 has expired, then administrative offset may be used to collect the debt only if the costs of bringing such action are likely to be less than the amount of the debt.


(e) No collection by administrative offset shall be made on any debt that has been outstanding for more than 10 years unless facts material to the Government’s right to collect the debt were not known, and reasonably could not have been known, by the official or officials responsible for discovering and collecting such debt.


(f) These regulations do not apply to:


(1) A case in which administrative offset of the type of debt involved is explicitly provided for or prohibited by another statute.


(2) Debts owed to OPM by other agencies of the United States or by any State or local government.


§ 179.304 Notification procedures.

Before collecting any debt through administrative offset, a notice of intent to offset shall be sent to the debtor by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the most current address that is available to OPM. The notice shall provide:


(a) A description of the nature and amount of the debt and the intention of OPM to collect the debt through administrative offset;


(b) An opportunity to inspect and copy the records of OPM with respect to the debt;


(c) An opportunity for review within OPM concerning OPM’s determinations with respect to the debt; and


(d) An opportunity to enter into a written agreement for the repayment of the amount of the debt.


§ 179.305 Agency review.

(a) A debtor may dispute the existence of the debt, the amount of the debt, or the terms of repayment. The request to review a disputed debt must be received by the OPM official identified in the notification within 30 calendar days of the debtor’s receipt of the written notice described in § 179.304.


(b) If the debtor requests an opportunity to inspect or copy OPM’s records concerning the disputed claim, 10 business days will be granted for the review. The time period will be measured from the time the request for inspection is granted or from the time the copy of the records is received by the debtor.


(c) Pending the resolution of a dispute initiated by the debtor, transactions in any of the debtor’s account(s) maintained in OPM may be temporarily suspended to the extent of the debt that is owed. Depending on the type of transaction, the suspension could preclude payment, removal, or transfer, as well as prevent the payment of interest or discount due thereon. Should the dispute be resolved in the debtor’s favor, the suspension will be lifted immediately.


(d) During the review period, interest, penalties, and administrative costs authorized under the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, as amended, will continue to accrue.


§ 179.306 Written agreement for repayment.

A debtor who admits liability but elects not to have the debt collected by administrative offset will be afforded an opportunity to negotiate a written agreement for the repayment of the debt. If the financial condition of the debtor does not support the ability to pay in one lump-sum, reasonable installments may be considered. No installment arrangement will be considered unless the debtor submits a financial statement, executed under penalty of perjury, reflecting the debtor’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. The financial statement must be submitted within 10 business days of OPM’s request for the statement. At OPM’s option, a confess-judgment note or bond of indemnity with surety may be required for the installment agreement. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any reduction or compromise of a claim will be governed by 4 CFR part 103 and 31 U.S.C. 3711.


§ 179.307 Administrative offset.

(a) If the debtor does not exercise the right to request a review within the time specified in § 179.305 or, if as a result of the review, it is determined that the debt is due and no written agreement is executed, then administrative offset shall be ordered in accordance with these regulations without further notice.


(b) Request for offset to a Federal agency: The Director or his or her designee may request that funds due and payable to a debtor by a Federal agency be administratively offset in order to collect a debt owned to OPM by that debtor. In requesting administrative offset OPM, as creditor, will certify in writing to the Federal agency holding funds of the debtor:


(1) That the debtor owes the debt;


(2) The amount and basis of the debt; and


(3) That OPM has complied with the requirements of 31 U.S.C. 3716, its own administrative offset regulations, and the applicable provisions of 4 CFR part 102 with respect to providing the debtor with due process.


(c) Request for offset from a Federal agency: When administrative offset is authorized, any Federal creditor agency may request OPM to make an administrative offset from any OPM funds that are due and payable to a creditor agency’s debtor. OPM shall initiate the requested administrative offset only upon:


(1) Receipt of written certification from the creditor agency:


(i) That the debtor owes the debt;


(ii) The amount and basis of the debt;


(iii) That the agency has prescribed regulations for the exercise of administrative offset; and


(iv) That the agency has complied with its own administrative offset regulations and with the applicable provisions of 4 CFR part 102, including providing any required hearing or review.


(2) A determination by OPM that collection by offset against funds payable by OPM would not otherwise be contrary to law.


§ 179.308 Accelerated procedures.

OPM may make an administrative offset against a payment to be made to the debtor prior to the completion of the procedures required by §§ 179.304 and 179.305 if failure to take the offset would substantially jeopardize OPM’s ability to collect the debt, and the time before the payment is to be made does not reasonably permit the completion of those procedures. Such prior offset shall be promptly followed by the completion of those procedures. Amounts recovered by offset but later found not to be owed to OPM shall be promptly refunded.


§ 179.309 Additional administrative procedures.

Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to preclude the use of any other administrative remedy which may be available.


Subpart D – Administrative Wage Garnishment


Authority:15 U.S.C. 46; 31 U.S.C. 3720D; 31 CFR 285.11(f).

§ 179.401 Administrative wage garnishment.

General. OPM may use administrative wage garnishment to collect debts in accordance with the requirements of 31 U.S.C. 3720D and 31 CFR 285.11, including debts it refers to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Department of the Treasury, for cross-servicing pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3711. This part adopts and incorporates all of the provisions of 31 CFR 285.11 concerning administrative wage garnishment, including the hearing procedures described in 31 CFR 285.11(f). This section does not apply to collection of debt by Federal salary offset, under 5 U.S.C. 5514, the process by which OPM collects debts from the salaries of Federal employees.


[79 FR 29072, May 21, 2014]


PART 180 – EMPLOYEES’ PERSONAL PROPERTY CLAIMS


Authority:Sec. 3, 78 Stat. 767, as amended; 31 U.S.C. 241.


Source:43 FR 47163, Oct. 13, 1978, unless otherwise noted.

§ 180.101 Scope and purpose.

(a) The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees’ Claims Act of 1964, 31 U.S.C. 240 to 243, authorizes the Director, Office of Personnel Management to settle and pay (including replacement in kind) claims of officers and employees of OPM, amounting to not more than $15,000, for damage to or loss of personal property incident to their service. Claims are payable only for such types, quantities, or amounts of tangible personal property (including money) as the approving authority shall determine to be reasonable, useful, or proper under the circumstances existing at the time and place of the loss. In determining what is reasonable, useful, or proper, the approving authority will consider the type and quantity of property involved, circumstances attending acquistion and use of the property, and whether possession or use by the claimant at the time of damage or loss was incident to service.


(b) The Government does not underwrite all personal property losses that a claimant may sustain and it does not underwrite individual tastes. While the Government does not attempt to limit possession of property by an individual, payment for damage or loss is made only to the extent that the possession of the property is determined to be reasonable, useful, or proper. If individuals possess excessive quantities of items, or expensive items, they should have such property privately insured.


§ 180.102 Claimants.

(a) The following are proper claimants:


(1) Officers and employees of OPM;


(2) Former officers and employees of OPM whose claims arose out of incidents which occurred before their separation;


(3) The authorized agent or legal representative of persons in §§ 180.102(a)(1) and 180.102(a)(2);


(4) Survivors of persons in §§ 180.102(a)(1) and 180.102(a)(2) in the following order of precedence:


(i) Spouse,


(ii) Children,


(iii) Father or mother, or both,


(iv) Brothers or sisters, or both.


(b) A claim may not be presented by or for the benefit of a subrogee, assignee, conditional vendor, or other third party.


§ 180.103 Time limitations.

A claim must be presented in writing within 2 years after it accrues, except during war or armed conflict. If war or armed conflict occurs within the 2-year period following accrual, when claimant shows good cause, the claim may be presented within 2 years after the cause ceases to exist but not more than 2 years after termination of the war or armed conflict. A claim accrues when loss or damage is or should have been discovered by claimant even though such loss or damage occurred at a prior time.


§ 180.104 Allowable claims.

(a) A claim may be allowed only if:


(1) The damage or loss was not caused wholly or partly by the negligent or wrongful act of the claimant, claimant’s agent, a member of claimant’s family, or claimant’s private employee (the standard to be applied is that of reasonable care under the circumstances);


(2) The possession of the property damaged or lost and the quantity possessed is determined to have been reasonable, useful, or proper under the circumstances; and


(3) The claim is substantiated by proper and convincing evidence.


(b) Claims which are otherwise allowable under this part shall not be disallowed solely because the property was not in the possession of the claimant at the time of the damage or loss or solely because the claimant was not legal owner of the property for which the claim is made. For example, borrowed property may be the subject of a claim.


(c) Subject to the conditions in § 180.104(a) and the other provisions of this part, any claim for damage to or loss of personal property incident to service with OPM may be considered and allowed. The following are examples of the principal types of claims which may be allowed. These examples are not exclusive and other types of claims may be allowed unless excluded by § 180.106:


(1) Property damaged or lost in quarters. Claims may be allowed for damage to or loss of property located at:


(i) Quarters within the 50 States and the District of Columbia that were assigned to the claimant or otherwise provided in kind by the United States;


(ii) Quarters outside the 50 States and the District of Columbia that were occupied by the claimant, whether or not they were assigned or otherwise provided in kind by the United States, except when the claimant is a local inhabitant; or


(iii) Any warehouse, office, working area, or other place (except quarters) authorized or apparently authorized for the reception or storage of property.


(2) Transportation or travel losses. Claims may be allowed for damage to or loss of property incident to transportation or storage pursuant to orders, or in connection with travel under orders, including property in custody of a carrier, an agent or agency of the Government, or the claimant.


(3) Motor vehicles. Claims may be allowed for automobiles and other motor vehicles damaged or lost in oversea shipments provided by the Government. “Shipments provided by the Government” means via Government vessels, charter of commercial vessels, or by Government bills of lading on commercial vessels, and includes storage, unloading, and off-loading incident thereto. Other claims for damage to or loss of automobiles and other motor vehicles may be allowed only when use of the vehicle on a non-reimbursable basis was required by the claimant’s supervisor.


(4) Mobile homes. Claims may be allowed for damage to or loss of mobile homes and their contents under the provisions of § 180.104(c)(2). Claims for structural damage to mobile homes, other than that caused by collision, and damage to contents of mobile homes resulting from such structural damage must contain conclusive evidence that the damage was not caused by structural deficiency of the mobile home and that it was not overloaded. Claims for damage to or loss of tires mounted on mobile homes may be allowed only in cases of collision, theft, or vandalism.


(5) Money. Claims for money in an amount that is determined to be reasonable for the claimant to possess at the time of the loss are payable:


(i) Where personal funds were accepted by responsible Government personnel with apparent authority to receive them for safekeeping deposit, transmittal, or other authorized disposition, but were neither applied as directed by the owner nor returned;


(ii) When lost incident to a marine or aircraft disaster;


(iii) When lost by fire, flood, hurricane, or other natural disaster;


(iv) When stolen from the quarters of the claimant where it is conclusively shown that the money was in a locked container and that the quarters themselves were locked;


(v) When taken by force from the claimant’s person.


(6) Clothing. Claims may be allowed for clothing and accessories worn on the person which are damaged or lost:


(i) During the performance of official duties in an unusual or extraordinary-risk situation;


(ii) In cases involving emergency action required by natural disaster such as fire, flood, hurricane, or by enemy or other belligerent action;


(iii) In cases involving faulty equipment or defective furniture maintained by the Government and used by the claimant as required by the job situation; or


(iv) When using a motor vehicle.


(7) Property used for benefit of the Government. Claims may be allowed for damage to or loss of property (except motor vehicles) used for the benefit of the Government at the request of, or with the knowledge and consent of, superior authority or by reason of necessity.


(8) Enemy action or public service. Claims may be allowed for damage to or loss of property as a direct consequence of:


(i) Enemy action or threat thereof, or combat, guerilla, brigandage, or other belligerent activity, or unjust confiscation by a foreign power or its nationals;


(ii) Action by the claimant to quiet a civil disturbance or to alleviate a public disaster; or


(iii) Efforts by the claimant to save human life or Government property.


(9) Marine or aircraft disaster. Claims may be allowed for personal property damaged or lost as a result of marine or aircraft disaster or accident.


(10) Government property. Claims may be allowed for property owned by the United States only when the claimant is financially responsible to an agency of the Government other than OPM.


(11) Borrowed property. Claims may be allowed for borrowed property that has been damaged or lost.


§ 180.105 Claims not allowed.

(a) A claim is not allowable if:


(1) The damage or loss was caused wholly or partly by the negligent or wrongful act of the claimant, claimant’s agent, claimant’s employee, or a member of claimant’s family;


(2) The damage or loss occurred in quarters occupied by the claimant within the 50 States and the District of Columbia that were not assigned to the claimant or otherwise provided in kind by the United States;


(3) Possession of the property lost or damaged was not incident to service or not reasonable or proper under the circumstances.


(b) In addition to claims falling within the categories of § 180.105(a), the following are examples of claims which are not payable:


(1) Claims not incident to service. Claims which arose during the conduct of personal business are not payable.


(2) Subrogation claims. Claims based upon payment or other consideration to a proper claimant are not payable.


(3) Assigned claims. Claims based upon assignment of a claim by a proper claimant are not payable.


(4) Conditional vendor claims. Claims asserted by or on behalf of a conditional vendor are not payable.


(5) Claims by improper claimants. Claims by persons not designated in § 180.102(a) are not payable.


(6) Small items of substantial value. Claims are not payable for money or for small articles of substantial value, such as watches or expensive jewelry, when shipped with household goods or as unaccompanied baggage.


(7) Articles of extraordinary value. Claims are not payable for expensive articles of gold, silver, other precious metals, paintings, antiques other than bulky furnishings, relics, and other articles of extraordinary value when shipped with household goods by ordinary means or as unaccompanied baggage at normal released valuation. Claims for such articles are payable when their loss is incident to shipment by expedited mode in accordance with current joint travel regulations. This prohibition does not apply to articles in the personal custody of the claimant or articles properly checked, provided that reasonable protection or security measures have been taken by the claimant.


(8) Articles acquired for other persons. Claims are not payable for articles intended directly or indirectly for persons other than the claimant or members of the claimant’s immediate household. This prohibition includes articles acquired at the request of others and articles for sale.


(9) Property used for business. Claims are not payable for property normally used for business or profit.


(10) Unserviceable property. Claims are not payable for wornout or unserviceable property.


(11) Violation of law or directive. Claims are not payable for property acquired, possessed, or transported in violation of law, regulation, or other directive. This does not apply to limitations imposed on the weight of shipments of household goods.


(12) Intangible property. Claims are not payable for intangible property such as bank books, checks, promissory notes, stock certificates, bonds, bills of lading, warehouse receipts, baggage checks, insurance policies, money order, and traveler’s checks.


(13) Government property. Claims are not payable for property owned by the United States unless the claimant is financially responsible for the property to an agency of the Government other than OPM.


(14) Motor vehicles. Claims for motor vehicles, except as provided for by § 180.104(c)(3), will ordinarily not be paid. However, in exceptional cases, meritorius claims for damage to or loss of motor vehicles may be recommended to the Office of the General Counsel for consideration and approval for payment.


(15) Enemy property. Claims are not payable for enemy property, including war trophies.


(16) Losses recoverable from carrier. Claims are not payable for losses, or any portion thereof, which have been recovered or are recoverable from a carrier, except as permitted under § 180.106.


(17) Losses recoverable from insurer. Claims are not payable for losses, or any portion thereof, which have been recovered or are recoverable from an insurer, except as permitted under § 180.106.


(18) Losses recoverable from contractor. Claims are not payable for losses, or any portion thereof, which have been recovered or are recoverable under contract, except as permitted under § 180.106.


(19) Fees for estimates. Claims are not normally payable for fees paid to obtain estimates of repair in conjuction with submitting a claim under this part. However, where, in the opinion of the approving authority, the claimant could not obtain an estimate without paying a fee, such a claim may be considered in an amount reasonable in relation to the value or the cost of repairs of the articles involved, provided that the evidence furnished clearly indicates that the amount of the fee paid will not be deducted from the cost of repairs if the work is accomplished by the estimator.


(20) Items fraudulently claimed. Claims are not payable for items fraudulently claimed. When investigation discloses that a claimant, claimant’s agent, claimant’s employee, or member of claimant’s family has intentionally misrepresented an item claimed as to cost, condition, cost to repair, etc., the item will be disallowed in its entirety even though some actual damage has been sustained. However, if the remainder of the claim is proper it will be paid. This does not preclude appropriate disciplinary action if warranted.


§ 180.106 Claims involving carriers and insurers.

(a) Claimants must comply with the following before presenting claims involving a carrier or insurer:


(1) Whenever property is damaged or lost while being shipped pursuant to authorized travel orders, the owner must file a written claim for reimbursement with the carrier according to the terms of its bill of lading or contract before submitting a claim against the Government. The claimant may present a claim to the Government immediately after making demand on the carrier.


(2) Whenever property which is damaged or lost incident to the claimant’s service is insured in whole or in part, the claimant must make a written demand against the insurer for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage. Such demand should be made within the time limit provided in the policy and prior to the filing of a claim against the Government. The claimant may present a claim to the Government immediately after making demand on the insurer.


(b) If the claimant fails to make the required demand on the carrier or insurer or make reasonable efforts to collect the amount recoverable, the amount payable under the provisions of these regulations shall be reduced by the maximum amount recoverable. However, no deduction will be made if the circumstances of the claimant’s service were such as to preclude timely filing of the claim with the carrier or insurer and it is determined that a demand would have been impracticable or unavailing in any event.


(c) When a claim is paid by OPM, the claimant will assign to the United States, to the extent of any payment on the claim accepted by claimant, all rights, title, and interest in any claim against any carrier, insurer, or other party arising out of the incident on which the claim against the United States is based. On request, the claimant also will furnish such evidence as may be required to enable the United States to enforce the claim.


(d) After payment of a claim by the United States, if the claimant receives any payment from a carrier, contractor, insurer, or other third party, the claimant will pay the proceeds to the United States to the extent of the payment received by the claimant from the United States.


§ 180.107 Claims procedure.

(a) Filing a claim. Claims not exceeding $500 shall be filed with the appropriate bureau or regional director. Claims in excess of $500 shall be filed with the Office of the General Counsel, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415. Claims shall be in writing, using G.C. Form 33 when available, and shall contain as a minimum:


(1) Name, address, and place of employment of the claimant;


(2) Place and date of the damage or loss;


(3) A brief statement of the facts and circumstances surrounding the damage or loss;


(4) Cost, date, and place of acquisition of each piece of property damaged or lost;


(5) Two itemized repair estimates, or value estimates, whichever is applicable;


(6) Copies of police reports, if applicable;


(7) A statement from the claimant’s supervisor that the loss was incident to service;


(8) A statement that the property was or was not insured;


(9) With respect to claims involving thefts or losses in quarters or other places where the property was reasonably kept, a statement as to what security precautions were taken to protect the property involved;


(10) With respect to claims involving property being used for the benefit of the Government, a statement by the claimant’s supervisor that the claimant was required to provide such property or that the claimant’s providing it was in the interest of the Government; and


(11) Other evidence as may be required.


(b) Single claim. A single claim shall be presented for all lost or damaged property resulting from the same incident. If this procedure causes a hardship, the claimant may present an initial claim with notice that it is a partial claim, an explanation of the circumstances causing the hardship, and an estimate of the balance of the claim and the date it will be submitted. Payment may be made on a partial claim if the approving authority determines that a genuine hardship exists.


(c) Claims investigator. When a claim is filed, the appropriate associate or regional director, or the General Counsel, shall appoint a claims investigator to evaluate the claim and make a recommendation as to its disposition. Where the cost to repair damaged property does not exceed $100 per item and the claims investigator has inspected the damaged property, the claimant and the approving authority may agree upon a reasonable amount to be claimed for repair of an individual item in lieu of an independent estimate by a qualified repairman. In such a case, the claims investigator and the approving authority will certify that the property has been examined and that the amount claimed is a reasonable allowance for the cost of the repairs.


(d) Loss in quarters. Claims for property loss in quarters or other authorized places should be accompanied by a statement indicating:


(1) Geographical location;


(2) Whether the quarters were assigned or provided in kind by the Government;


(3) Whether the quarters are regularly occupied by the claimant;


(4) Name of the authority, if any, who designated the place of storage of the property if other than quarters;


(5) Measures taken to protect the property; and


(6) Whether the claimant is a local inhabitant.


(e) Loss by theft or robbery. Claims for property loss by theft or robbery should be accompanied by a statement indicating:


(1) Geographical location;


(2) Facts and circumstances surrounding the loss, including evidence of the crime such as breaking and entering, capture of the thief or robber, or recovery of part of the stolen goods; and


(3) Evidence that the claimant exercised due care in protecting the property prior to the loss, including information as to the degree of care normally exercised in the locale of the loss due to any unusual risks involved.


(f) Transportation losses. Claims for transportation losses should be accompanied by the following:


(1) Copies of orders authorizing the travel, transportation, or shipment or a certificate explaining the absence of orders and stating their substance;


(2) Statement in cases where property was turned over to a shipping officer, supply officer, or contract packer indicating:


(i) Name (or designation) and address of the shipping officer, supply officer, or contract packer;


(ii) Date the property was turned over;


(iii) Inventoried condition when the property was turned over;


(iv) When and where the property was packed and by whom;


(v) Date of shipment;


(vi) Copies of all bills of lading, inventories, and other applicable shipping documents;


(vii) Date and place of delivery to the claimant;


(viii) Date the property was unpacked by the carrier, claimant, or Government;


(ix) Statements of disinterested witnesses as to the condition of the property when received and delivered, or as to handling or storage;


(x) Whether the negligence of any Government employee acting within the scope of his employment caused the damage or loss;


(xi) Whether the last common carrier or local carrier was given a clear receipt, except for concealed damages;


(xii) Total gross, tare, and net weight of shipment;


(xiii) Insurance certificate or policy if losses are privately insured;


(xiv) Copy of the demand on carrier or insured, or both, when required, and the reply, if any;


(xv) Action taken by the claimant to locate missing baggage or household effects, including related correspondence.


(g) Marine or aircraft disaster. Claims for property losses due to marine or aircraft disaster should be accompanied by a copy of orders or other evidence to establish the claimant’s right to be, or to have property, on board.


(h) Enemy action, public disaster, or public service. Claims for property losses due to enemy action, public disaster, or public service should be accompanied by:


(1) Copies of orders or other evidence establishing the claimant’s required presence in the area involved, and


(2) A detailed statement of facts and circumstances showing an applicable case enumerated in § 180.104(c)(8).


(i) Property used for benefit of Government. Claims for property loss when the property was used for the benefit of the Government should be accompanied by:


(1) A statement from the proper authority that the property was supplied by the claimant in the performance of official business at the request of, or with the knowledge and consent of, superior authority or by reason of necessity; and


(2) If the property being used for the benefit of the Government was damaged or lost while not in use, evidence that the loss occurred in an authorized storage area.


(j) Money. Claims for loss of money deposited for safekeeping, transmittal, or other authorized disposition, should be accompanied by:


(1) Name, grade, and address of the person or persons who received the money and any others involved;


(2) Name and designation of the authority who authorized such person or persons to accept personal funds, and the disposition required; and


(3) Receipts and written sworn statements explaining the failure to account for funds or return them to the claimant.


(k) Motor vehicles in transit. Claims for damage to motor vehicles in transit should be accompanied by a copy of orders or other available evidence to establish the claimant’s lawful right to have the property shipped and evidence to establish damage in transit.


[43 FR 47163, Oct. 13, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 76747, Dec. 28, 1979]


§ 180.108 Settlement of claims.

(a) Authority. Associate Directors and Regional Directors are authorized to settle and pay any claim not exceeding $500 and arising under this part. The General Counsel is authorized to settle and pay any claim not exceeding $15,000 and arising under this part. Unless cognizable under § 180.104(c)(3), claims for damage to or loss of motor vehicles may be settled and paid only by the General Counsel.


(b) Redelegation. The approving authorities may establish such procedures and make such redelegations as may be required to fulfill the objectives of this part.


(c) Cost or value. The amount awarded on any item of property will not exceed the cost of the item (either the price paid in cash or property) or the value at the time of acquisition if not acquired by purchase or exchange. The amount payable will be determined by applying the principles of depreciation to the adjusted dollar value or other base price of property lost or damaged beyond economical repair; by allowing the cost of repairs when an item is economically repairable, provided the cost of repairs does not exceed the depreciated value of the item; and by deducting salvage value, if appropriate.


(d) Depreciation. Depreciation in value of an item is determined by considering the type of article involved, its cost, condition when damaged beyond economical repair or lost, and the time elapsed between the date of acquisition and the date of damage or loss.


(e) Appreciation. There will be no allowance for appreciation in the value of the property except that the cost of the item may be adjusted to reflect changes in the purchasing power of the dollar before depreciation is computed. Appreciation will not be allowed solely because the loss occurred or the claimant now resides in an area remote from the place of purchase of the property.


(f) Expensive articles. Allowance for expensive items (including heirlooms and antiques) or for items purchased at unreasonably high prices will be based on the fair and reasonable purchase price for substitute articles of a similar nature.


(g) Acquisition. Allowance for articles acquired by barter will not exceed the cost of the articles tendered in barter. No reimbursement will be made for articles acquired in black market or other prohibited activities.


(h) Replacement. Replacement of damaged or lost property may be made in kind whenever appropriate.


(i) Amount allowable. Subject to the limitations of §§ 180.108(c) through 180.108(h), the amount allowable in settlement of a claim is either:


(1) The depreciated value immediately prior to damage or loss of property damaged beyond economical repair or lost, less any salvage value; or


(2) The reasonable cost of repairs when property is economically repairable, provided that the cost of repairs does not exceed the depreciated value.


(j) Notification. The approving authority shall notify the claimant in writing of the action taken on the claim and, if the claim is disapproved or only partially approved, the reasons therefor.


(k) Carrier or insurer. In the event a claim submitted against a carrier or insurer under § 180.106 had not been settled before settlement of a claim against the Government under this part, the approving authority shall notify such carrier or insurer to pay the proceeds of the claim to OPM to the extent OPM has made payment to the claimant.


(l) Review. The action of the approving authority is final; however, the decision may be reconsidered if the claimant so requests and submits a written explanation why reconsideration is appropriate.


(m) Attorney’s fees. No more than 10 per centum of the amount paid in settlement of each individual claim submitted and settled under this subpart shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with that claim and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating this or any other provision of sections 240 to 243 of title 31, United States Code, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1000.


[43 FR 47163, Oct. 13, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 76747, Dec. 28, 1979]


PART 185 – PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES


Authority:28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 31 U.S.C. 3801-3812.


Source:60 FR 7891, Feb. 10, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

§ 185.101 Purpose.

This subpart implements the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986, Public Law 99-509, 6101-6104, 100 Stat. 1874 (October 21, 1986), codified at 31 U.S.C. 3801-3812. Section 3809 requires each authority head to promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of the statute. The subpart establishes administrative procedures for imposing civil penalties and assessments against persons who make, submit, or present, or cause to be made, submitted, or presented, false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or written statements to authorities or to their agents, and specifies the hearing and appeal rights of persons subject to allegations of liability for such penalties and assessments. The moneys collected as a result of these procedures are deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States.


§ 185.102 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part –


ALJ means an Administrative Law Judge in the authority appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105 or detailed to the authority pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3344.


Authority means the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).


Authority head means the Director of the Office of Personnel Management or the Director’s designee.


Benefit is very broad, and is intended to cover anything of value, including but not limited to any advantage, preference, privilege, license, permit, favorable decision, ruling, status or loan guarantee.


Claim means any request, demand, or submission –


(a) Made to the authority for property, services, or money (including money representing benefits, grants, loans or insurance);


(b) Made to a recipient of property, services, or money from the authority or to a party to a contract with the authority:


(1) For property or services if the United States –


(i) Provided such property or services;


(ii) Provided any portion of the funds for the purchase of such property or services; or


(iii) Will reimburse such recipient or party for the purchase of such property or services; or


(2) For the payment of money (including money representing grants, loans, insurance, or benefits) if the United States:


(i) Provided any portion of the money requested or demanded; or


(ii) Will reimburse such recipient or party for any portion of the money paid on such request or demand; or


(c) Made to the authority which has the effect of decreasing an obligation to pay or account for property, services, or money.


Complaint means the administrative complaint served by the reviewing official on the defendant under § 185.107.


Defendant means any person alleged in a complaint under § 185.107 to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment under § 185.103.


Government means the United States Government.


Individual means a natural person.


Initial decision means the written decision of the ALJ required by § 185.110 or § 185.137, and includes a revised initial decision issued following a remand or a motion for reconsideration.


Investigating Official means the Inspector General or the Inspector General’s designee.


Knows or has reason to know means that a person, with respect to a claim or statement:


(a) Has actual knowledge that the claim or statement is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(b) Acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement; or


(c) Acts in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the claim or statement.


Makes shall include the terms presents, submits, and causes to be made, presented, or submitted. As the context requires, making or made, shall likewise include the corresponding forms of such terms.


Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or private organization, and includes the plural of that term.


Representative means an attorney who is in good standing of the bar of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or of the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or other individual designated in writing by the defendant.


Reviewing Official means the General Counsel of OPM or the General Counsel’s designee. For the purposes of § 185.105 of these rules, the General Counsel personally, or members of the General Counsel’s immediate staff, shall perform the functions of the reviewing official provided that such person or persons serve in a position for which the rate of basic pay is not less than the minimum rate payable under section 5376 of title 5 of the United States Code. All other functions of the reviewing official, including administrative prosecution under these rules, shall be performed on behalf of the General Counsel by members of the Office of the General Counsel.


Statement means any representation, certification, affirmation, document, record, or accounting or bookkeeping entry made:


(a) With respect to a claim or to obtain the approval or payment of a claim (including relating to eligibility to make a claim); or


(b) With respect to (including relating to eligibility for):


(1) A contract with, or a bid or proposal for a contract with; or


(2) A grant, loan, or benefit from, the authority, or any State, political subdivision of a State, or other party, if the United States Government provides any portion of the money or property under such contract or for such grant, loan, or benefit, or if the Government will reimburse such State, political subdivision, or party for any portion of the money or property under such contract or for such grant, loan, or benefit.


§ 185.103 Basis for civil penalties and assessments.

(a) In addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, any person shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $12,537, where the person makes a claim and knows or has reason to know that the claim:


(1) In false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(2) Includes, or is supported by, any written statement which asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent;


(3) Includes, or is supported by, any written statement that:


(i) Omits a material fact;


(ii) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent as a result of such omission; and


(iii) Is a statement in which the person making such statement has a duty to include such material fact; or


(4) Is for payment for the provision of property or services which the person has not provided as claimed.


(b) Each voucher, invoice, claim form, or other individual request or demand for property, services, or money constitutes a separate claim.


(c) A claim shall be considered made to the authority, recipient, or party when such claim is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the authority, recipient, or party.


(d) Each claim for property, services, or money is subject to a civil penalty regardless of whether such property, services, or money is actually delivered or paid.


(e) If the Government has made any payment (including transferred property or provided services) on a claim, a person subject to a civil penalty under paragraph (a)(1) of this section may also be subject to an assessment of not more than twice the amount of such claim or that portion thereof that is determined to be in violation of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Such assessment shall be in lieu of damages sustained by the Government because of such claim.


(f) Any person who makes a written statement that:


(1) The person knows or has reason to know:


(i) Asserts a material fact which is false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or


(ii) Is false, fictitious, or fraudulent because it omits a material fact that the person making the statement has a duty to include in such statement; and


(2) Contains, or is accompanied by, an express certification or affirmation of the truthfulness and accuracy of the contents of the statement may be subject, in addition to any other remedy that may be prescribed by law, to a civil penalty of not more than $12,537 for each such statement.


(g) Each written representation, certification, or affirmation constitutes a separate statement.


(h) A statement shall be considered made to the authority when such statement is actually made to an agent, fiscal intermediary, or other entity, including any State or political subdivision thereof, acting for or on behalf of the authority.


(i) No proof of specific intent to defraud is required to establish liability under this section.


(j) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim or statement under this section, each such person may be held liable for a civil penalty under this section.


(k) In any case in which it is determined that more than one person is liable for making a claim under this section on which the Government has made payment (including transferred property or provided services), an assessment may be imposed against any such person or jointly and severally against any combination of such persons.


[60 FR 7891, Feb. 10, 1995, as amended at 81 FR 46828, July 19, 2016; 83 FR 34935, July 24, 2018; 84 FR 51938, Oct. 1, 2019; 85 FR 42300, July 14, 2020; 87 FR 16094, Mar. 22, 2022]


§ 185.104 Investigation.

(a) If an investigating official concludes that a subpoena pursuant to the authority conferred by 31 U.S.C. 3804(a) is warranted, he or she may issue a subpoena.


(1) The subpoena so issued shall notify the person to whom it is addressed of the authority under which the subpoena is issued and shall identify the records or documents sought;


(2) The investigating official may designate a person to act on his or her behalf to receive the documents sought; and


(3) The person receiving such subpoena shall be required to tender to the investigating official, or the person designated to receive the documents, a certification that


(i) The documents sought have been produced;


(ii) Such documents are not available and the reasons therefor; or


(iii) Such documents, suitably identified, have been withheld based upon the assertion of an identified privilege.


(b) If the investigating official concludes that an action under the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act may be warranted, the investigating official shall submit a report containing the findings and conclusions of such investigation to the reviewing official.


(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude or limit an investigating official’s discretion to refer allegations directly to the Department of Justice for suit under the False Claims Act or other civil relief, or to defer or postpone a report or referral to the reviewing official to avoid interference with a criminal investigation or prosecution.


(d) Nothing in this section modifies any responsibility of an investigating official to report violations of criminal law to the Attorney General.


§ 185.105 Review by the reviewing official.

If, based on the report of the investigating official under § 185.104(b), the reviewing official determines that there is adequate evidence to believe that a person is liable under § 185.103, the reviewing official shall transmit to the Attorney General a written notice of the reviewing official’s intention to have a complaint issued under § 185.107. Such notice shall include:


(a) A statement of the reviewing official’s reasons for issuing a complaint;


(b) A statement specifying the evidence that supports the allegations of liability;


(c) A description of the claims or statements upon which the allegations of liability are based;


(d) An estimate of the amount of money, or the value of property, services, or other benefits, requested or demanded in violation of § 185.103;


(e) A statement of any exculpatory or mitigating circumstances that may relate to the claims or statements known by the reviewing official or the investigating official; and


(f) A statement that there is a reasonable prospect of collecting an appropriate amount of penalties and assessments.


§ 185.106 Prerequisites for issuing a complaint.

(a) The reviewing official may issue a complaint under § 185.107 only if:


(1) The Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in a written statement described in section 3803(b)(1) of title 31 of the United States Code, and


(2) In the case of allegations of liability under § 185.103(a) with respect to a claim, the reviewing official determines that, with respect to such claim or a group of related claims submitted at the same time such claim is submitted (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section), the amount of money, or the value of property or services, demanded or requested in violation of § 185.103(a) does not exceed $150,000.


(b) For the purposes of this section, a related group of claims submitted at the same time shall include only those claims arising from the same transaction (e.g., grant, loan, application, or contract) that are submitted simultaneously as part of a single request, demand, or submission.


(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the reviewing official’s authority to join in a single complaint against a person, claims that are unrelated or were not submitted simultaneously, regardless of the amount of money, or the value of property or services, demanded or requested.


§ 185.107 Complaint.

(a) On or after the date the Department of Justice approves the issuance of a complaint in accordance with section 3803(b)(1) of title 31 of the United States Code, the reviewing official may serve a complaint on the defendant, as provided in § 185.108.


(b) The complaint shall state the following:


(1) The allegations of liability against the defendant, including the statutory basis for liability, an identification of the claims or statements that are the basis for the alleged liability, and the reasons why liability allegedly arises from such claims or statements;


(2) The maximum amount of penalties and assessments for which the defendant may be held liable;


(3) Instructions for filing an answer, including a specific statement of the defendant’s right to request a hearing and to be represented by a representative; and


(4) The fact that failure to file an answer within 30 days of service of the complaint will result in the imposition of the maximum amount of penalties and assessments without right to appeal, as provided in § 185.110.


(c) At the same time the reviewing official serves the complaint, he or she shall serve the defendant with a copy of these regulations.


§ 185.108 Service of complaint.

(a) Service of a complaint must be made by certified or registered mail or by delivery in any manner authorized by Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Service is complete upon receipt.


(b) Proof of service, stating the name and address of the person on whom the complaint was served, and the manner and date of service, may be made by:


(1) Affidavit of the individual serving the complaint by delivery;


(2) A United States Postal Service return receipt card acknowledging receipt; or


(3) Written acknowledgment of receipt by the defendant or his or her representative.


§ 185.109 Answer.

(a) The defendant may request a hearing in the answer filed with the reviewing official within 30 days of service of the complaint.


(b) In the answer, the defendant:


(1) Shall admit or deny each of the allegations of liability made in the complaint;


(2) Shall state any defense on which the defendant intends to rely;


(3) May state any reasons why the defendant contends that the penalties and assessments should be less than the statutory maximum; and


(4) Shall state the name, address, and telephone number of the person authorized by the defendant to act as defendant’s representative, if any.


(c) If the defendant is unable to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section within the time provided, the defendant may, before the expiration of 30 days from service of the complaint, file with the reviewing official a general answer denying liability and requesting a hearing, and a request for an extension of time within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. The reviewing official shall file promptly with the ALJ the complaint, the general answer denying liability, and the request for an extension of time as provided in § 185.110. For good cause shown, the ALJ may grant the defendant up to 30 additional days within which to file an answer meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. The ALJ shall decide expeditiously whether the dependent shall be granted an additional period of time to file such answer.


§ 185.110 Default upon failure to file an answer.

(a) If the defendant does not file an answer within the time prescribed in § 185.109(a), the reviewing official may refer the complaint to the ALJ.


(b) Upon the referral of the complaint, the ALJ shall promptly serve on the defendant in the manner prescribed in § 185.108, a notice that an initial decision will be issued under this section.


(c) The ALJ shall assume the facts alleged in the complaint to be true and, if such facts establish liability under § 185.103, the ALJ shall issue an initial decision imposing the maximum amount of penalties and assessments allowed under the statute.


(d) Except as otherwise provided in this section, by failing to file a timely answer the defendant waives any right to further review of the penalties and assessments imposed under paragraph (c) of this section and the initial decision shall become final and binding upon the parties 30 days after it is issued.


(e) If, before such an initial decision becomes final, the defendant files a motion with the ALJ seeking to reopen on the grounds that extraordinary circumstances prevented the defendant from filing an answer, the initial decision shall be stayed pending the ALJ’s decision on the motion.


(f) If, on such motion, the defendant can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances excusing the failure to file a timely answer, the ALJ shall withdraw the initial decision in paragraph (c) of this section, if such a decision has been issued, and shall grant the defendant an opportunity to answer the complaint.


(g) A decision of the ALJ denying a defendant’s motion under paragraph (e) of this section is not subject to reconsideration under § 185.138.


(h) The defendant may appeal to the authority head the decision denying a motion to reopen by filing a notice of appeal with the authority head within 15 days after the ALJ denies the motion. The timely filing of a notice of appeal shall stay the initial decision until the authority head decides the issue.


(i) If the defendant files a timely notice of appeal with the authority head, the ALJ shall forward the record of the proceeding to the authority head.


(j) The authority head shall decide expeditiously whether extraordinary circumstances excuse the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer based solely on the record before the ALJ.


(k) If the authority head decides that extraordinary circumstances excused the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer, the authority head shall remand the case to the ALJ with instructions to grant the defendant an opportunity to answer.


(l) If the authority head decides that the defendant’s failure to file a timely answer is not excused, the authority head shall reinstate the initial decision of the ALJ, which shall become final and binding upon the parties 30 days after the authority head issues such decision.


§ 185.111 Referral of complaint and answer to the ALJ.

Upon receipt of an answer, the reviewing official shall file the complaint and answer with the ALJ.


§ 185.112 Notice of hearing.

(a) When the ALJ receives the complaint and answer, the ALJ shall promptly serve a notice of hearing upon the defendant in the manner prescribed by § 185.108. At the same time, the ALJ shall send a copy of such notice to the reviewing official or his or her designee.


(b) Such notice shall include:


(1) The tentative time and place, and the nature of the hearing;


(2) The legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;


(3) The matters of fact and law to be asserted;


(4) A description of the procedures for the conduct of the hearing;


(5) The name, address, and telephone number of the representative of the Government and of the defendant, if any; and


(6) Such other matters as the ALJ deems appropriate.


§ 185.113 Location of hearing.

(a) The hearing may be held:


(1) In any judicial district of the United States in which the defendant resides or transacts business;


(2) In any judicial district of the United States in which the claim or statement in issue was made; or


(3) In such other place as may be agreed upon by the parties and the ALJ.


(b) Each party shall have the opportunity to present argument with respect to the location of the hearing.


(c) The hearing shall be held at the place and at the time ordered by the ALJ.


§ 185.114 Parties to the hearing.

(a) The parties to the hearing shall be the defendant and OPM.


(b) Except where the authority head designates another, OPM shall be represented by the members of the Office of the General Counsel.


(c) Pursuant to section 3730(c)(5) of title 31, United States Code, a private plaintiff under the False Claims Act may participate in these proceedings to the extent authorized by the provisions of that Act.


§ 185.115 Separation of functions.

(a) The investigating official, the reviewing official, and any employee or agent of the authority who takes part in investigating, preparing, or presenting a particular case may not, in such case or a factually related case:


(1) Participate in the hearing as the ALJ;


(2) Participate or advise in the initial decision or the review of the initial decision by the authority head, except as a witness or a representative in public proceedings; or


(3) Make the collection of penalties and assessments under section 3806 of title 31, United States Code.


(b) The ALJ shall not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of the investigating official or the reviewing official.


§ 185.116 Ex parte contacts.

No party or person (except employees of the ALJ’s office) shall communicate in any way with the ALJ on any matter at issue in a case, unless on notice and opportunity for all parties to participate. This provision does not prohibit a person or party from inquiring about the status of a case or asking routine questions concerning administrative functions or procedures.


§ 185.117 Disqualification of reviewing official or ALJ.

(a) A reviewing official or ALJ in a particular case may disqualify himself or herself at any time.


(b) A party may file with the ALJ a motion for disqualification of a reviewing official or an ALJ. Such motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit alleging personal bias or other reason for disqualification.


(c) Such motion and affidavit shall be filed promptly upon the party’s discovery of reasons requiring disqualification, or such objections shall be deemed waived.


(d) Such affidavit shall state specific facts that support the party’s belief that personal bias or other reason for disqualification exists and the time and circumstances of the party’s discovery of such facts. It shall be accompanied by a certificate of the representative of record that it is made in good faith.


(e) Upon the filing of such a motion and affidavit, the ALJ shall proceed no further in the case until he or she resolves the matter of disqualification in accordance with this section.


(1) If the ALJ determines that a reviewing official is disqualified, the ALJ shall dismiss the complaint without prejudice.


(2) If the ALJ disqualifies himself or herself, the case shall be reassigned promptly to another ALJ.


(3) If the ALJ denies a motion to disqualify, the authority head may determine the matter only as part of his or her review of the initial decision upon appeal, if any.


§ 185.118 Rights of parties.

Except as otherwise limited by this part, all parties may:


(a) Be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative;


(b) Participate in any conference held by the ALJ;


(c) Conduct discovery as provided under § 185.122;


(d) Agree to stipulations of fact or law, which shall be made a part of the record;


(e) Present evidence relevant to the issues at the hearing;


(f) Present and cross-examine witnesses;


(g) Present oral arguments at the hearing as permitted by the ALJ; and


(h) Submit written briefs and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law after the hearing.


§ 185.119 Authority of the ALJ.

(a) The ALJ shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing, avoid delay, maintain order, and assure that a record of the proceeding is made.


(b) The ALJ has the authority to:


(1) Set and change the date, time, and place of the hearing upon reasonable notice to the parties;


(2) Continue or recess the hearing in whole or in part for a reasonable period of time;


(3) Hold conferences to identify or simplify the issues, or to consider other matters that may aid in the expeditious disposition of the proceeding;


(4) Administer oaths and affirmations;


(5) Issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at depositions or at hearings;


(6) Rule on motions and other procedural matters;


(7) Regulate the scope and timing of discovery;


(8) Regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct of representatives and parties;


(9) Examine witnesses;


(10) Receive, rule on, exclude, or limit evidence;


(11) Upon motion of a party, take official notice of facts;


(12) Upon motion of a party, decide cases, in whole or in part, by summary judgment where there is no disputed issue of material fact;


(13) Conduct any conference, argument, or hearing on motions in person or by telephone; and


(14) Exercise such other authority as is necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the ALJ under this part.


(c) The ALJ does not have the authority to find Federal statutes or regulations invalid.


§ 185.120 Prehearing conferences.

(a) The ALJ may schedule prehearing conferences as appropriate.


(b) Upon the motion of any party, the ALJ shall schedule at least one prehearing conference at a reasonable time in advance of the hearing.


(c) The ALJ may use prehearing conferences to discuss the following:


(1) Simplification of the issues;


(2) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings, including the need for a more definite statement;


(3) Stipulations and admissions of fact or as to the contents and authenticity of documents;


(4) Whether the parties can agree to submission of the case on a stipulated record;


(5) Whether a party chooses to waive appearance at an oral hearing and to submit only documentary evidence (subject to the objection of other parties) and written argument;


(6) Limitation of the number of witnesses;


(7) Scheduling dates for the exchange of witness lists and of proposed exhibits;


(8) Discovery;


(9) The time and place for the hearing; and


(10) Such other matters as may tend to expedite the fair and just disposition of the proceedings.


(d) The ALJ may issue an order containing all matters agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the ALJ at a prehearing conference.


§ 185.121 Disclosure of documents.

(a) Upon written request to the reviewing official, generally prior to the filing of an answer, the defendant may review any relevant and material documents, transcripts, records, and other materials that relate to the allegations set out in the complaint and upon which the findings and conclusions of the investigating official under § 185.104(b) are based, unless such documents are subject to a privilege under Federal law. Upon payment of fees for duplication, the defendant may obtain copies of such documents.


(b) Upon written request to the reviewing official, the defendant, may also obtain a copy of all exculpatory information in the possession of the reviewing official or investigating official relating to the allegations in the complaint, even if it is contained in a document that would otherwise be privileged. If the document would otherwise be privileged, only that portion containing exculpatory information must be disclosed.


(c) The notice sent to the Attorney General from the reviewing official as described in § 185.105 is not discoverable under any circumstances.


(d) The defendant may file a motion to compel disclosure of the documents subject to the provisions of this section. Such a motion may only be filed with the ALJ following the filing of an answer pursuant to § 185.109.


§ 185.122 Discovery.

(a) The following types of discovery are authorized:


(1) Requests for production of documents for inspection and copying;


(2) Requests for admissions of the authenticity of any relevant document or of the truth of any relevant fact;


(3) Written interrogatories; and


(4) Depositions.


(b) For the purpose of this section and § 185.123, the term documents includes information, documents, reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data and documentary evidence. Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted to require the creation of a document.


(c) Unless mutually agreed to by the parties, discovery is available only as ordered by the ALJ. The ALJ shall regulate the timing of discovery.


(d) Motions for discovery are to be handled according to the following procedures:


(1) A party seeking discovery may file a motion with the ALJ. Such a motion shall be accompanied by a copy of the requested discovery, or in the case of depositions, a summary of the scope of the proposed deposition.


(2) Within 10 days of service, a party may file an opposition to the motion and/or a motion for protective order as provided in § 185.125.


(3) The ALJ may grant a motion for discovery only if he or she finds that the discovery sought:


(i) Is necessary for the expeditious, fair, and reasonable consideration of the issues;


(ii) Is not unduly costly or burdensome;


(iii) Will not unduly delay the proceeding; and


(iv) Does not seek privileged information.


(4) The burden of showing that discovery should be allowed is on the party seeking discovery.


(5) The ALJ may grant discovery subject to a protective order under § 185.125.


(e) Depositions are to be handled in the following manner:


(1) If a motion for deposition is granted, the ALJ shall issue a subpoena for the deponent, which may require the deponent to produce documents. The subpoena shall specify the time and place at which the deposition will be held.


(2) The party seeking to depose shall serve the subpoena in the manner prescribed in § 185.108.


(3) The deponent may file with the ALJ within 10 days of service a motion to quash the subpoena or a motion for a protective order.


(4) The party seeking to depose shall provide for the taking of a verbatim transcript of the deposition, which it shall make available to all other parties for inspection and copying.


(f) Each party shall bear its own costs of discovery.


§ 185.123 Exchange of witness lists, statements and exhibits.

(a) At least 15 days before the hearing or at such other time as may be ordered by the ALJ, the parties shall exchange witness lists, copies of prior statements of proposed witnesses, and copies of proposed hearing exhibits, including copies of any written statements that the party intends to offer in lieu of live testimony in accordance with § 185.133(b). At the time the above documents are exchanged, any party that intends to rely on the transcript or deposition testimony in lieu of live testimony at the hearing, if permitted by the ALJ, shall provide each party with a copy of the specific pages of the transcript it intends to introduce into evidence.


(b) If a party objects, the ALJ may not admit into evidence the testimony of any witness whose name does not appear on the witness list or any exhibit not provided to the opposing party as provided above unless the ALJ finds good cause for the failure or that there is no prejudice to the objecting party.


(c) Unless another party objects within the time set by the ALJ, documents exchanged in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section shall be deemed to be authentic for the purpose of admissibility at the hearing.


§ 185.124 Subpoenas for attendance at hearing.

(a) A party wishing to procure the appearance and testimony of any individual at the hearing may request that the ALJ issue a subpoena.


(b) A subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of an individual may also require the individual to produce documents at the hearing.


(c) A party seeking a subpoena shall file a written request therefor not less than 15 days before the date fixed for the hearing unless otherwise allowed by the ALJ upon a showing of good cause. Such request shall specify any documents to be produced and shall designate the witnesses and describe the address and location thereof with sufficient particularity to permit such witnesses to be found.


(d) The subpoena shall specify the time and place at which the witness is to appear and any documents the witness is to produce.


(e) The party seeking the subpoena shall serve it in the manner prescribed in § 185.108. A subpoena on a party or upon an individual under the control of a party may be served by first class mail.


(f) A party or the individual to whom the subpoena is directed may file with the ALJ a motion to quash the subpoena within 10 days after service or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if it is less than 10 days after service.


§ 185.125 Protective order.

(a) A party or a prospective witness or deponent may file a motion for a protective order with respect to discovery sought by an opposing party or with respect to the hearing, seeking to limit the availability or disclosure of evidence.


(b) In issuing a protective order, the ALJ may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:


(1) That the discovery not be had;


(2) That the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place;


(3) That the discovery may be had only through a method of discovery other than that requested;


(4) That certain matters not be the subject of inquiry, or that the scope of discovery be limited to certain matters;


(5) That discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the ALJ;


(6) That the contents of discovery or evidence be sealed;


(7) That a sealed deposition be opened only by order of the ALJ;


(8) That a trade secret or other confidential research, development, commercial information, or facts pertaining to any criminal investigation, proceeding, or other administrative investigation not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; or


(9) That the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the ALJ.


§ 185.126 Evidence.

(a) The ALJ shall determine the admissibility of evidence.


(b) Except as provided in this part, the ALJ shall not be bound by the Federal Rules of Evidence. However, the ALJ may apply the Federal Rules of Evidence where appropriate, e.g. to exclude unreliable evidence.


(c) The ALJ shall exclude irrelevant and immaterial evidence.


(d) Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or by considerations of undue delay or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.


(e) Although relevant, evidence may be excluded if it is privileged under Federal law.


(f) Evidence concerning offers of compromise or settlement shall be inadmissible to the extent provided in Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.


(g) The ALJ shall permit the parties to introduce rebuttal witnesses and evidence.


(h) All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record shall be open to examination by all parties, unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ pursuant to § 185.125.


§ 185.127 Fees.

The party requesting a subpoena shall pay the cost of the fees and mileage of any witness subpoenaed in the amounts that would be payable to a witness in a proceeding in United States District Court. A check for witness fees and mileage shall accompany the subpoena when served, except that when a subpoena is issued on behalf of the authority, a check for witness fees and mileage need not accompany the subpoena.


§ 185.128 Form, filing and service of papers.

(a) Form. Documents filed with the ALJ shall include an original and two copies. Every pleading and paper filed in the proceeding shall contain a caption setting forth the title of the action, the case number assigned by the ALJ, and a designation of the paper (e.g., motion to quash subpoena). Every pleading and paper shall be signed by, and shall contain the address and telephone number of the party or the person on whose behalf the paper was filed, or his or her representative.


(b) Filing. Papers are considered filed when they are mailed. Date of mailing may be established by a certificate from the party or its representative or by proof that the document was sent by certified or registered mail.


(c) Service. A party filing a document with the ALJ shall, at the time of filing, serve a copy of such document on every other party. Service upon any party of any document other than those required to be served as prescribed in § 185.108 shall be made by delivering a copy or by placing a copy of the document in the United States mail, postage prepaid and addressed, to the party’s last known address. When a party is represented by a representative, service shall be made upon such representative in lieu of the actual party.


(d) Proof of service. A certificate of the individual serving the document by personal delivery or by mail, setting forth the manner of service, shall be proof of service.


§ 185.129 Computation of time.

(a) In computing any period of time under this part or in an order issued thereunder, the time begins with the day following the act, event, or default, and includes the last day of the period, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday observed by the Federal Government, in which event it includes the next business day.


(b) When the period of time allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays observed by the Federal Government shall be excluded from the computation.


(c) Where a document has been served or issued by placing it in the mail, an additional 5 days will be added to the time permitted for any response.


§ 185.130 Motions.

(a) Any application to the ALJ for an order or ruling shall be by motion. Motions shall state the relief sought, the authority relied upon, and the facts alleged, and shall be filed with the ALJ and served on all other parties.


(b) Except for motions made during a prehearing conference or at the hearing, all motions shall be in writing. The ALJ may require that oral motions be reduced to writing.


(c) Within 15 days after a written motion is served, or such other time as may be fixed by the ALJ, any party may file a response to such motion.


(d) The ALJ may not grant a written motion before the time for filing responses thereto has expired, except upon consent of the parties or following a hearing on the motion, but may overrule or deny such motion without awaiting a response.


(e) The ALJ shall make a reasonable effort to dispose or all outstanding motions prior to the beginning of the hearing.


§ 185.131 Sanctions.

(a) The ALJ may sanction a person including any party or representative for the following reasons:


(1) Failure to comply with an order, rule, or procedure governing the proceeding;


(2) Failure to prosecute or defend an action; or


(3) Engaging in other misconduct that interferes with the speedy, orderly, or fair conduct of the proceeding.


(b) Any such sanction, including but not limited to those listed in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of this section, shall reasonably relate to the severity and nature of the failure or misconduct.


(c) When a party fails to comply with an order, including an order for taking a deposition, the production of evidence within the party’s control, or a request for admission, the ALJ may


(1) Draw an inference in favor of the requesting party with regard to the information sought;


(2) In the case of requests for admission, deem each matter of which an admission is requested to be admitted;


(3) Prohibit the party failing to comply with such order from introducing evidence concerning, or otherwise relying upon, testimony relating to the information sought; and


(4) Strike any part of the pleadings or other submissions of the party failing to comply with such request.


(d) If a party fails to prosecute or defend an action under this part commenced by service of a notice of hearing, the ALJ may dismiss the action or may issue an initial decision imposing penalties and assessments.


(e) The ALJ may refuse to consider any motion, request, response, brief or other document which is not filed in a timely fashion.


§ 185.132 The hearing and burden of proof.

(a) Where requested in accordance with § 185.109 the ALJ shall conduct a hearing on the record in order to determine whether the defendant is liable for a civil penalty or assessment under § 185.103 and, if so, the appropriate amount of any such civil penalty or assessment considering any aggravating or mitigating factors.


(b) The authority shall prove defendant’s liability and any aggravating factors by a preponderance of the evidence.


(c) The defendant shall prove any affirmative defenses and any mitigating factors by a preponderance of the evidence.


(d) The hearing shall be open to the public unless otherwise closed by the ALJ for good cause shown.


§ 185.133 Determining the amount of penalties and assessments.

(a) In determining an appropriate amount of civil penalties and assessments, the ALJ and the authority head, upon appeal, should evaluate any circumstances that mitigate or aggravate the violation and should articulate in their opinions the reasons that support the penalties and assessments they impose. Because of the intangible costs of fraud, the expense of investigating such conduct, and the need to deter others who might be similarly tempted, double damages and a significant civil penalty ordinarily should be imposed.


(b) Although not exhaustive, the following factors are among those that may influence the ALJ and the authority head in determining the amount of penalties and assessments to impose with respect to the misconduct (i.e., the false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims or statements) charged in the complaint;


(1) The number of false, fictitious or fraudulent claims or statements;


(2) The time period over which such claims or statements were made;


(3) The degree of the defendant’s culpability with respect to the misconduct;


(4) The amount of money or the value of the property, services, or benefit falsely claimed;


(5) The value of the Government’s actual loss as a result of the misconduct, including foreseeable consequential damages and the costs of investigation;


(6) The relationship of the amount imposed as civil penalties to the amount of the Government’s loss;


(7) The potential or actual impact of the misconduct upon public confidence in the management of Government programs and operations;


(8) Whether the defendant has engaged in a pattern of the same or similar misconduct;


(9) Whether the defendant attempted to conceal the misconduct;


(10) The degree to which the defendant has involved others in the misconduct or in concealing it;


(11) Where the misconduct of employees or agents is imputed to the defendant, the extent to which the defendant’s practices fostered or attempted to preclude such misconduct;


(12) Whether the defendant cooperated in or obstructed an investigation of the misconduct;


(13) Whether the defendant assisted in identifying and prosecuting other wrongdoers;


(14) The complexity of the program or transaction, and the degree of the defendant’s sophistication with respect to it, including the extent of the defendant’s prior participation in the program or in similar transactions;


(15) Whether the defendant has been found, in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding to have engaged in similar misconduct or to have dealt dishonestly with the Government of the United States or of a State, directly or indirectly;


(16) The need to deter the defendant and others from engaging in the same or similar misconduct; and


(17) The potential impact of the misconduct on the rights of others.


(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ALJ or the authority head from considering any other factors that in any given case may mitigate or aggravate the offense for which penalties and assessments are imposed.


§ 185.134 Witnesses.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, testimony at the hearing shall be given orally by witnesses under oath or affirmation.


(b) At the discretion of the ALJ, testimony may be admitted in the form of a written statement or deposition. Any such written statement must be provided to all others parties along with the last known address of such witness, in a manner which allows sufficient time for other parties to subpoena such witness for cross-examination at the hearing. Prior written statements of witnesses proposed to testify at the hearing and deposition transcripts shall be exchanged as provided in § 185.123(a).


(c) The ALJ shall exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to –


(1) Make the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment of the truth,


(2) Avoid needless consumption of time, and


(3) Protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment.


(d) The ALJ shall permit the parties to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.


(e) At the discretion of the ALJ, a witness may be cross-examined on matters relevant to the proceedings without regard to the scope of his or her direct examination. To the extent permitted by the ALJ, cross-examination on matters outside the scope of direct examination shall be conducted in the manner of direct examination and may proceed by leading questions only if the witness is a hostile witness, an adverse party, or a witness identified with an adverse party.


(f) Upon motion of any party, the ALJ shall order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear the testimony of other witnesses. This rule does not authorize exclusion of the following:


(1) A party who is an individual;


(2) In the case of a party that is not an individual, an officer or employee of the party designated by the party’s representative; or


(3) An individual whose presence is shown by a party to be essential to the presentation of its case, including an individual employed by the Government engaged in assisting the representative for the Government.


§ 185.135 The record.

(a) The hearing shall be recorded and transcribed. Transcripts may be obtained following the hearing from the ALJ at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of duplication.


(b) The transcript of testimony, exhibits and other evidence admitted at the hearing, and all papers and requests filed in the proceeding constitute the record for the decision by the ALJ and the authority head.


(c) The record may be inspected and copied (upon payment of a reasonable fee) by anyone, unless otherwise ordered by the ALJ pursuant to § 185.125.


§ 185.136 Post-hearing briefs.

The ALJ may require the parties to file post-hearing briefs. In any event, any party may file a post-hearing brief. The ALJ shall fix the time for filing such briefs, not to exceed 60 days from the date the parties receive the transcript of the hearing or, if applicable, the stipulated record. Such briefs may be accompanied by proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. The ALJ may permit the parties to file reply briefs.


§ 185.137 Initial decision.

(a) The ALJ shall issue an initial decision based only on the record, which shall contain findings of fact, conclusions of law, and the amount of any penalties and assessments imposed.


(b) The findings of fact shall include a finding on each of the following issues:


(1) Whether the claims or statements identified in the complaint, or any portions thereof, violate § 185.103.


(2) If the person is liable for penalties or assessments, the appropriate amount of any such penalties or assessments considering any mitigating or aggravating factors that he or she finds in the case, such as those described in § 185.133.


(c) The ALJ shall promptly serve the initial decision on all parties within 90 days after the time for submission of post-hearing briefs and reply briefs (if permitted) has expired. The ALJ shall at the same time serve all parties with a statement describing the right of any defendant determined to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment to file a motion for reconsideration with the ALJ or a notice of appeal with the authority head. If the ALJ fails to meet the deadline contained in this paragraph, he or she shall notify the parties of the reason for the delay and shall set a new deadline.


(d) Unless the initial decision of the ALJ is timely appealed to the authority head, or a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision is timely filed, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the authority head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued by the ALJ.


§ 185.138 Reconsideration of initial decision.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, any party may file a motion for reconsideration of the initial decision within 20 days of receipt of the initial decision. If service was made by mail, receipt will be presumed to be 5 days from the date of mailing in the absence of contrary proof.


(b) Every such motion must set forth the matters claimed to have been erroneously decided and the nature of the alleged errors. Such motion shall be accompanied by a supporting brief.


(c) Responses to such motions shall be allowed only upon request of the ALJ.


(d) No party may file a motion for reconsideration of an initial decision that has been revised in response to a previous motion for reconsideration.


(e) The ALJ may dispose of a motion for reconsideration by denying it or by issuing a revised initial decision.


(f) If the ALJ denies a motion for reconsideration, the initial decision shall constitute the final decision of the authority head and shall be final and binding on all parties 30 days after the ALJ denies the motion, unless the initial decision is timely appealed to the authority head in accordance with § 185.139.


(g) If the ALJ issues a revised initial decision, that decision shall constitute the final decision of the authority head and shall be final and binding on the parties 30 days after it is issued, unless it is timely appealed to the authority head in accordance with § 185.139.


§ 185.139 Appeal to authority head.

(a) Any defendant who has filed a timely answer and who is determined in an initial decision to be liable for a civil penalty or assessment may appeal such decision to the authority head by filing a notice of appeal with the authority head in accordance with this section.


(1) A notice of appeal may be filed at any time within 30 days after the ALJ issues an initial decision. However, if another party files a motion for reconsideration under § 185.138, consideration of the appeal shall be stayed automatically pending resolution of the motion for reconsideration.


(2) If a motion for reconsideration is timely filed, a notice of appeal shall be filed within 30 days after the ALJ denies the motion or issues a revised initial decision, whichever applies.


(3) If no motion for reconsideration is timely filed, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the ALJ issues the initial decision.


(4) The authority head may extend the initial 30-day period for an additional 30 days if the defendant files with the authority head a request for an extension within the initial 30-day period and shows good cause.


(b) If the defendant files a timely notice of appeal with the authority head and the time for filing motions for reconsideration under § 185.138 has expired, the ALJ shall forward the record of the proceeding to the authority head.


(c) A notice of appeal shall be accompanied by a written brief specifying exceptions to the initial decision and reasons supporting the exceptions.


(d) The representative for OPM may file a brief in opposition to exceptions within 30 days of receiving the notice of appeal and accompanying brief.


(e) There is no right to appear personally before the authority head.


(f) There is no right to appeal an interlocutory ruling by the ALJ.


(g) In reviewing the initial decision, the authority head shall not consider any objection that was not raised before the ALJ unless the objecting party can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances causing the failure to raise the objection.


(h) If any party demonstrates to the satisfaction of the authority head that additional evidence not presented at such hearing is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to present such evidence at such hearing, the authority head shall remand the matter to the ALJ for consideration of such additional evidence.


(i) The authority head may affirm, reduce, reverse, compromise, remand or settle any penalty or assessment determined by the ALJ in any initial decision.


(j) The authority head shall promptly serve each party to the appeal with a copy of the decision of the authority head and a statement describing the right of any person determined to be liable for a penalty or assessment to seek judicial review.


(k) Unless a petition for review is filed as provided in section 3805 of title 31, United States Code, after a defendant has exhausted all administrative remedies under this part and within 60 days after the date on which the authority head serves the defendant with a copy of the authority head’s decision, a determination that a defendant is liable under § 185.103 is final and not subject to judicial review.


[60 FR 7891, Feb. 10, 1995; 60 FR 22249, May 5, 1995]


§ 185.140 Stays ordered by the Department of Justice.

If, at any time, the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General designated by the Attorney General transmits to the authority head a written finding that continuation of the administrative process described in this part with respect to a claim or statement may adversely affect any pending or potential criminal or civil action related to such claim or statement, the authority head shall stay the process immediately. The authority head may order the process resumed only upon receipt of the written authorization of the Attorney General or of the Assistant Attorney General who ordered the stay.


§ 185.141 Stay pending appeal.

(a) An initial decision is stayed automatically pending disposition of a motion for reconsideration or of an appeal to the authority head.


(b) No administrative stay is available following a final decision of the authority head.


§ 185.142 Judicial review.

Section 3805 of title 31, United States Code, authorizes judicial review by an appropriate United States District Court of a final decision of the authority head imposing penalties and/or assessments under this part and specifies the procedures for such review.


§ 185.143 Collection of civil penalties and assessments.

Sections 3806 and 3808(b) of title 31, United States Code, authorize actions for collection of civil penalties and assessments imposed under this part and specify the procedures for such actions.


§ 185.144 Right to administrative offset.

The amount of any penalty or assessment which has become final, or for which a judgment has been entered under § 185.142 or § 185.143, or any amount agreed upon in a compromise or settlement under § 185.146, may be collected by administrative offset under section 3716 of title 31, United States Code, except that an administrative offset may not be made under section 3716 against a refund of an overpayment of Federal taxes, then or later owing by the United States to the defendant.


§ 185.145 Deposit in Treasury of the United States.

All amounts collected pursuant to this part shall be deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States, except as provided in section 3806(g) of title 31, United States Code.


§ 185.146 Compromise or settlement.

(a) Parties may make offers of compromise or settlement at any time.


(b) The reviewing official has the exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part at any time after the date on which the reviewing official is permitted to issue a complaint and before the date on which the ALJ issues an initial decision.


(c) The authority head has exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part at any time after the date on which the ALJ issues an initial decision, except during the pendency of any review under § 185.142 or during the pendency of any action to collect penalties and assessments under § 185.143.


(d) The Attorney General has exclusive authority to compromise or settle a case under this part during the pendency of any review under § 185.142 or of any action to recover penalties and assessments under section 3806 to title 31, United States Code.


(e) The investigating official may recommend settlement terms to the reviewing official, the authority head, or the Attorney General, as appropriate. The reviewing official may recommend settlement terms to the authority head, or the Attorney General, as appropriate.


(f) Any compromise or settlement must be in writing.


§ 185.147 Limitations.

(a) The notice of hearing with respect to a claim or statement must be served in the manner specified in § 185.108 within 6 years after the date on which such a claim or statement is made.


(b) If the defendant fails to file a timely answer, service of a notice under § 185.110(b) shall be deemed a notice of hearing for purposes of this section.


(c) the statute of limitations may be executed by written agreement of the parties.


PART 210 – BASIC CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS (GENERAL)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp. p. 218.

Subpart A – Applicability of Regulations; Definitions

§ 210.101 Applicability of various parts of regulations.

(a) General. In most parts, the applicability of the part is stated specifically in the part or is otherwise apparent from the substance of the part.


(b) Parts 315 through 339. Parts 315 through 339 of this chapter apply to all positions in the competitive service and to all incumbents of those positions; and, except as specified by or in an individual part, these parts do not apply to positions in the excepted service or to incumbents of those positions.


[33 FR 12407, Sept. 4, 1968, as amended at 44 FR 45587, Aug. 3, 1979]


§ 210.102 Definitions.

(a) The definitions in paragraph (b) of this section apply throughout this chapter, except when a defined term is specifically modified in or specifically defined for the purpose of a particular part.


(b) In this chapter:


(1) Appointing officer means a person having power by law, or by lawfully delegated authority, to make appointments to positions in the service of the Federal Government or the government of the District of Columbia.


(2) OPM means the Office of Personnel Management.


(3) Days, unless otherwise defined or limited, means calendar days and not workdays. In computing a period of time prescribed in this chapter, the day of the action or event after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, a Sunday, nor a legal holiday.


(4) Demotion means a change of an employee, while serving continuously within the same agency:


(i) To a lower grade when both the old and the new positions are under the General Schedule or under the same type graded wage schedule; or


(ii) To a position with a lower rate of pay when both the old and the new positions are under the same type ungraded wage schedule, or are in different pay method categories.


(5) Eligible means an applicant who meets the minimum requirements for entrance to an examination and is rated 70 or more in the examination by OPM.


(6) Employee means a civilian officer or employee.


(7) Metropolitan area of Washington, DC., means the District of Columbia; Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church Cities, Va.; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties, Va.; and Charles, Montgomery, and Prince Georges Counties, Md.


(8) Noncompetitive action means a promotion, demotion, reassignment, transfer, reinstatement, or an appointment based on prior service.


(9) Overseas means outside the continental United States, but does not include Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, the Isthmus of Panama, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands.


(10) Position change means a promotion, demotion, or reassignment.


(11) Promotion means a change of an employee, while serving continuously within the same agency:


(i) To a higher grade when both the old and the new positions are under the General Schedule or under the same type graded wage schedule; or


(ii) To a position with a higher rate of pay when both the old and the new positions are under the same type ungraded wage schedule, or are in different pay method categories.


(12) Reassignment means a change of an employee, while serving continuously within the same agency, from one position to another without promotion or demotion.


(13) Reemployed annuitant means an employee whose annuity under subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code, was continued on reemployment in an appointive position on or after October 1, 1956.


(14) Register means a list of qualified applicants compiled in order of relative standing for certification.


(15) Reinstatement means the noncompetitive reemployment for service as a career or career-conditional employee of a person formerly employed in the competitive service who had a competitive status or was serving probation when he was separated from the service.


(16) Status quo employee means an employee who failed to acquire a competitive status when the position in which he was serving was placed in the competitive service by a statute, Executive order, or Civil Service rule, which permitted his retention without the acquisition of status.


(17) Tenure means the period of time an employee may reasonably expect to serve under his current appointment. It is granted and governed by the type of appointment under which an employee is currently serving without regard to whether he has a competitive status or whether his appointment is in a competitive position or in an excepted position.


(18) Transfer means a change of an employee, without a break in service of 1 full workday, from a position in one agency to a position in another agency.


[33 FR 12407, Sept. 4, 1968, as amended at 34 FR 19495, Dec. 10, 1969; 38 FR 22535, Aug. 22, 1973]


PART 211 – VETERAN PREFERENCE


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1302, 2108, 2108a.


Source:81 FR 83109, Nov. 21, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

§ 211.101 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to define veterans’ preference and the administration of preference in Federal employment. (5 U.S.C. 2108, 2108a)


§ 211.102 Definitions.

For the purposes of preference in Federal employment, the following definitions apply:


(a) Veteran means a person who has been discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions, or who has a certification as defined in paragraph (h) of this section, if the active duty service was performed:


(1) In a war;


(2) In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;


(3) During the period beginning April 28, 1952, and ending July 1, 1955;


(4) For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning February 1, 1955, and ending October 14, 1976;


(5) During the period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January 2, 1992; or


(6) For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom.


(b) Disabled veteran means a person who has been discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions performed at any time, or who has a certification as defined in paragraph (h) of this section, and who has established the present existence of a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or a pension because of a statute administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a military department.


(c) Sole survivor veteran means a person who was discharged or released from a period of active duty after August 29, 2008, by reason of a sole survivorship discharge (as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. 1174(i)), and who meets the definition of a “veteran” in paragraph (a) of this section, with the exception that he or she is not required to meet any of the length of service requirements prescribed by paragraph (a).


(d) Preference eligible means a veteran, disabled veteran, sole survivor veteran, spouse, widow, widower, or parent who meets the definition of “preference eligible” in 5 U.S.C. 2108.


(1) Preference eligibles other than sole survivor veterans are entitled to have 5 or 10 points added to their earned score on a civil service examination in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3309.


(2) Under numerical ranking and selection procedures for competitive service hiring, preference eligibles are entered on registers in the order prescribed by § 332.401 of this chapter.


(3) Under excepted service examining procedures in part 302 of this chapter, preference eligibles are listed ahead of persons with the same ratings who are not preference eligibles, or listed ahead of non-preference eligibles if numerical scores have not been assigned.


(4) Under alternative ranking and selection procedures, i.e., category rating, preference eligibles are listed ahead of individuals who are not preference eligibles in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3319.


(5) Preference eligibles, other than those who have not yet been discharged or released from active duty, are accorded a higher retention standing than non-preference eligibles in the event of a reduction in force in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3502.


(6) Veterans’ preference does not apply, however, to inservice placement actions such as promotions.


(e) Armed forces means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.


(f) Active duty or active military duty:


(1) For veterans defined in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) and disabled veterans defined in paragraph (b) of this section, means active duty with military pay and allowances in the armed forces, and includes training, determining physical fitness, and service in the Reserves or National Guard; and


(2) For veterans defined in paragraphs (a)(4) through (6) of this section, means full-time duty with military pay and allowances in the armed forces, and does not include training, determining physical fitness, or service in the Reserves or National Guard.


(g) Discharged or released from active duty means with either an honorable or general discharge from active duty in the armed forces. The Department of Defense is responsible for administering and defining military discharges.


(h) Certification means any written document from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted for consideration in the hiring process, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the applicable job opportunity announcement. Prior to appointment, the service member’s character of service and qualifying discharge or release must be verified through a DD form 214 or equivalent documentation.


[81 FR 83109, Nov. 21, 2016, as amended at 81 FR 94909, Dec. 27, 2016; 83 FR 63042, Dec. 7, 2018]


§ 211.103 Administration of preference.

Agencies are responsible for making all preference determinations except for preference based on a common law marriage. Such a claim must be referred to OPM’s General Counsel for decision.


PART 212 – COMPETITIVE SERVICE AND COMPETITIVE STATUS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218.


Source:33 FR 12408, Sept. 4, 1968, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Competitive Service

§ 212.101 Definitions.

In this chapter:


(a) Competitive service has the meaning given that term by section 2102 of title 5, United States Code, and includes:


(1) All civilian positions in the executive branch of the Federal Government not specifically excepted from the civil service laws by or pursuant to statute, by the President, or by the Office of Personnel Management, and not in the Senior Executive Service; and


(2) All positions in the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government and in the government of the District of Columbia specifically made subject to the civil service laws by statute.


(b) Competitive position means a position in the competitive service.


(5 U.S.C. 2102)

[33 FR 12408, Sept. 4, 1968, as amended at 45 FR 62413, Sept. 19, 1980]


§ 212.102 Authority to make determinations.

OPM determines finally whether a position is in the competitive service.


Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C – Competitive Status

§ 212.301 Competitive status defined.

In this chapter, competitive status means an individual’s basic eligibility for noncompetitive assignment to a competitive position. Competitive status is acquired by completion of a probationary period under a career-conditional or career appointment, or under a career executive assignment in the former executive assignment system, following open competitive examination, or by statute, Executive order, or the Civil Service rules, without open competitive examination. An individual with competitive status may be, without open competitive examination, reinstated, transferred, promoted, reassigned, or demoted, subject to conditions prescribed by the Civil Service rules and regulations.


[33 FR 12408, Sept. 4, 1968, as amended at 57 FR 10123, Mar. 24, 1992]


Subpart D – Effect of Competitive Status on Position

§ 212.401 Effect of competitive status on position.

(a) An employee is in the competitive service when he has competitive status and is in a competitive position under a nontemporary appointment.


(b) An employee in the competitive service at the time his position is first listed under Schedule A, B, or C remains in the competitive service while he occupies that position.


PART 213 – EXCEPTED SERVICE


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3161, 3301 and 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; Sec. 213.101 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 2103. Sec. 213.3102 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302, 3307, 8337(h), and 8456; E.O. 13318, 3 CFR 1982 Comp., p. 185; 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.; Pub. L. 105-339, 112 Stat 3182-83; E.O. 13162; E.O. 12125, 3 CFR 1979 Comp., p. 16879; and E.O. 13124, 3 CFR 1999 Comp., p. 31103; and Presidential Memorandum – Improving the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process (May 11, 2010).

Sec. 213.101 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 2103.

Sec. 213.3102 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302, 3307, 8337(h), and 8456; 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.; and Pub. L. 105-339, 112 Stat. 3182-83.



Source:46 FR 20147, Apr. 3, 1981, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 213.101 Definitions.

In this chapter:


(a) Excepted service has the meaning given that term by section 2103 of title 5, United States Code, and includes all positions in the executive branch of the Federal Government which are specifically excepted from the competitive service by or pursuant to statute, by the President, or by the Office of Personnel Management, and which are not in the Senior Executive Service.


(b) Excepted position means a position in the excepted service.


(5 U.S.C. 2103)


§ 213.102 Identification of positions in Schedule A, B, C, or D.

(a) As provided in 5 U.S.C. 3302, the President may prescribe rules governing the competitive service. The rules shall provide, as nearly as conditions of good administration warrant, for –


(1) Necessary exceptions of positions from the competitive service; and


(2) Necessary exceptions from the provisions of sections 2951, 3304(a), 3321, 7202, and 7203 of title 5, U.S. Code.


(b) The President delegated authority to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Civil Service Rule VI to except positions from the competitive service when OPM determines that:


(1) Appointments thereto through competitive examination are not practicable; or


(2) Recruitment from among students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs can better be achieved by devising additional means for recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the processes generally applicable to the competitive service.


(3)(i) Upon determining that any position or group of positions, as defined in § 302.101(c), should be excepted indefinitely or temporarily from the competitive service, the Office of Personnel Management will authorize placement of the position or group of positions into Schedule A, B, C, or D, as applicable. Unless otherwise specified in a particular appointing authority, an agency may make Schedule A, B, C, or D appointments on either a permanent or nonpermanent basis, with any appropriate work schedule (i.e., full-time, part-time, seasonal, on-call, or intermittent).


(ii) When OPM establishes eligibility requirements (e.g., residence, family income) for appointment under particular Schedule A, B, or D exceptions, an individual’s eligibility for appointment must be determined before appointment and without regard to any conditions that will result from the appointment.


(c) For purposes of making any such determinations, positions includes:


(1) Those that are intended to be removed indefinitely from the competitive service because the nature of the position itself precludes it from being in the competitive service (e.g., because it is impracticable to examine for the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the job); and


(2) Those that are intended to be removed temporarily from the competitive service to allow for targeted recruiting and hiring from among a particular class of persons, as defined by the Office of Personnel Management, with the opportunity for the persons selected for those positions to convert to the competitive service at a later date.


[77 FR 28213, May 11, 2012]


§ 213.103 Publication of excepted appointing authorities in Schedules A, B, C, and D.

(a) Schedule A, B, C, and D appointing authorities available for use by all agencies will be published as regulations in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.


(b) Establishment and revocation of Schedule A, B, and C appointing authorities applicable to a single agency shall be published monthly in the Notices section of the Federal Register.


(c) A consolidated listing of all Schedule A, B, and C authorities current as of June 30 of each year, with assigned authority numbers, shall be published annually as a notice in the Federal Register.


[47 FR 28902, July 2, 1982, as amended at 62 FR 18505, Apr. 16, 1997; 77 FR 28213, May 11, 2012]


§ 213.104 Special provisions for temporary, time-limited, intermittent, or seasonal appointments in Schedule A, B, C, or D.

(a) When OPM specifies that appointments under a particular Schedule A, B, C, or D authority must be temporary, intermittent, or seasonal, or when agencies elect to make temporary, intermittent, or seasonal appointments in Schedule A, B, C, or D, those terms have the following meaning:


(1) Temporary appointments, unless otherwise specified in a particular Schedule A, B, C, or D exception, are made for a specified period not to exceed 1 year and are subject to the time limits in paragraph (b) of this section. Time-limited appointments made for more than 1 year are not considered to be temporary appointments, and are not subject to these time limits.


(2) Intermittent positions are positions in which work recurs at sporadic or irregular intervals so that an employee’s tour of duty cannot be scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek.


(3) Seasonal positions involve annually recurring periods of employment lasting less than 12 months each year.


(b) Temporary appointments, as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, are subject to the following limits:


(1) Service limits. Agencies may make temporary appointments for a period not to exceed 1 year, unless the applicable Schedule A, B, C, or D authority specifies a shorter period. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, agencies may extend temporary appointments for no more than 1 additional year (24 months of total service). Appointment to a successor position (i.e., a position that replaces and absorbs the original position) is considered to be an extension of the original appointment. Appointment to a position involving the same basic duties, in the same major subdivision of the agency, and in the same local commuting area is also considered to be an extension of the original appointment.


(2) Restrictions on refilling positions under temporary appointments. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, an agency may not fill any position (or its successor) by a temporary appointment in Schedule A, B, C, or D if that position had previously been filled by temporary appointment(s) in either the competitive or excepted service for an aggregate of 2 years, or 24 months, within the preceding 3-year period. This limitation does not apply to programs established to provide for systematic exchange between a Federal agency and non-Federal organizations.


(3) Exceptions to the general limits. The service limits and restrictions on refilling positions set out in this section do not apply when:


(i) Positions involve intermittent or seasonal work, and employment in the same or a successor position under one or more appointing authorities totals less than 6 months (1,040 hours), excluding overtime, in a service year. The service year is the calendar year that begins on the date of the employee’s initial appointment in the agency. Should employment in a position filled under this exception total 6 months or more in any service year, the general limits set out in this section will apply to subsequent extension or reappointment unless OPM approves continued exception under this section. An individual may be employed for training for up to 120 days following initial appointment and up to 2 weeks a year thereafter without regard to the service year limitation.


(ii) Positions are filled under an authority established for the purpose of enabling the appointees to continue or enhance their education, or to meet academic or professional qualification requirements. These include the authorities set out in paragraphs (r) and (s) of § 213.3102 and paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of § 213.3402, and authorities granted to individual agencies for use in connection with internship, fellowship, residency, or student programs.


(iii) OPM approves extension of specific temporary appointments beyond 2 years (24 months total service) when necessitated by major reorganizations or base closings or other rare and unusual circumstances. Requests based on major reorganization, base closing, restructuring, or other unusual circumstances that apply agencywide must be made by an official at the headquarters level of the Department or agency. Requests involving extension of appointments to a specific position or project based on other unusual circumstances may be submitted by the employing office to the appropriate OPM service center.


[59 FR 46897, Sept. 13, 1994, as amended at 59 FR 64841, Dec. 16, 1994; 62 FR 18505, Apr. 16, 1997; 62 FR 55725, Oct. 28, 1997; 62 FR 63628, Dec. 2, 1997; 77 FR 28213, May 11, 2012]


Subpart B [Reserved]

Subpart C – Excepted Schedules

Schedule A

§ 213.3101 Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is impracticable to examine.

Upon specific authorization by OPM, agencies may make appointments under this section to positions which are not of a confidential or policy-determining character, and which are not in the Senior Executive Service, for which it is not practicable to examine. Examining for this purpose means application of the qualification standards and requirements established for the competitive service. Positions filled under this authority are excepted from the competitive service and constitute Schedule A. For each authorization under this section, OPM shall assign an identifying number from 213.3102 through 213.3199 to be used by the appointing agency in recording appointments made under that authorization.


[46 FR 20147, Apr. 3, 1981, as amended at 46 FR 45323, Sept. 11, 1981, 59 FR 64841, Dec. 16, 1994; 62 FR 19900, Apr. 24, 1997]


§ 213.3102 Entire executive civil service.

(a) Positions of Chaplain and Chaplain’s Assistant.


(b) [Reserved]


(c) Positions to which appointments are made by the President without confirmation by the Senate.


(d) Attorneys.


(e) Law clerk trainee positions. Appointments under this paragraph shall be confined to graduates of recognized law schools or persons having equivalent experience and shall be for periods not to exceed 14 months pending admission to the bar. No person shall be given more than one appointment under this paragraph. However, an appointment which was initially made for less than 14 months may be extended for not to exceed 14 months in total duration.


(f)-(h) [Reserved]


(i) Temporary and less-than-full time positions for which examining is impracticable. These are:


(1) Positions in remote/isolated locations where examination is impracticable. A remote/isolated location is outside the local commuting area of a population center from which an employee can reasonably be expected to travel on short notice under adverse weather and/or road conditions which are normal for the area. For this purpose, a population center is a town with housing, schools, health care, stores and other businesses in which the servicing examining office can schedule tests and/or reasonably expect to attract applicants. An individual appointed under this authority may not be employed in the same agency under a combination of this and any other appointment to positions involving related duties and requiring the same qualifications for more than 1,040 workings hour in a service year. Temporary appointments under this authority may be extended in 1-year increments, with no limit on the number of such extensions, as an exception to the service limits in § 213.104.


(2) Positions for which a critical hiring need exists. This includes both short-term positions and continuing positions that an agency must fill on an interim basis pending completion of competitive examining, clearances, or other procedures required for a longer appointment. Appointments under this authority may not exceed 30 days and may be extended for up to an additional 30 days if continued employment is essential to the agency’s operations. The appointments may not be used to extend the service limit of any other appointing authority. An agency may not employ the same individual under this authority for more than 60 days in any 12-month period.


(3) Other positions for which OPM determines that examining is impracticable.


(j) Positions filled by current or former Federal employees eligible for placement under special statutory provisions. Appointments under this authority are subject to the following conditions.


(1) Eligible employees. (i) Persons previously employed as National Guard Technicians under 32 U.S.C. 709(a) who are entitled to placement under § 353.110 of this chapter, or who are applying for or receiving an annuity under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456 by reason of a disability that disqualifies them from membership in the National Guard or from holding the military grade required as a condition of their National Guard employment.


(ii) Executive branch employees (other than employees of intelligence agencies) who are entitled to placement under § 353.110 but who are not eligible for reinstatement or noncompetitive appointment under the provisions of part 315 of this chapter.


(iii) Legislative and judicial branch employees and employees of the intelligence agencies defined in 5 U.S.C. 2302(a)(2)(C)(ii) who are entitled to placement under § 353.110.


(2) Employees excluded. Employees who were last employed in Schedule C or under a statutory authority that specified the employee served at the discretion, will, or pleasure of the agency are not eligible for appointment under this authority.


(3) Position to which appointed. Employees who are entitled to placement under § 353.110 will be appointed to a position that OPM determines is equivalent in pay and grade to the one the individual left, unless the individual elects to be placed in a position of lower grade or pay. National Guard Technicians whose eligibility is based upon a disability may be appointed at the same grade, or equivalent, as their National Guard Technician position or at any lower grade for which they are available.


(4) Conditions of appointment. (i) Individuals whose placement eligibility is based on an appointment without time limit will receive appointments without time limit under this authority. These appointees may be reassigned, promoted, or demoted to any position within the same agency for which they qualify.


(ii) Individuals who are eligible for placement under § 353.110 based on a time-limited appointment will be given appointments for a time period equal to the unexpired portion of their previous appointment.


(k) Positions without compensation provided appointments thereto meet the requirements of applicable laws relating to compensation.


(l) Positions requiring the temporary or intermittent employment of professional, scientific, or technical experts for consultation purposes.


(m) [Reserved]


(n) Any local physician, surgeon, or dentist employed under contract or on a part-time or fee basis.


(o) Positions of a scientific, professional, or analytical nature when filled by bona fide members of the faculty of an accredited college or university who have special qualifications for the positions to which appointed. Employment under this provision shall not exceed 130 working days a year.


(p)-(q) [Reserved]


(r) Positions established in support of fellowship and similar programs that are filled from limited applicant pools and operate under specific criteria developed by the employing agency and/or a non-Federal organization. These programs may include: internship or fellowship programs that provide developmental or professional experiences to individuals who have completed their formal education; training and associateship programs designed to increase the pool of qualified candidates in a particular occupational specialty; professional/industry exchange programs that provide for a cross-fertilization between the agency and the private sector to foster mutual understanding, an exchange of ideas, or to bring experienced practitioners to the agency; residency programs through which participants gain experience in a Federal clinical environment; and programs that require a period of Government service in exchange for educational, financial or other assistance. Appointments under this authority may not exceed 4 years.


(s) Positions with compensation fixed under 5 U.S.C. 5351-5356 when filled by student-employees assigned or attached to Government hospitals, clinics or medical or dental laboratories. Employment under this authority may not exceed 4 years.


(t) [Reserved]


(u) Appointment of persons with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities – (1) Purpose. An agency may appoint, on a permanent, time-limited, or temporary basis, a person with an intellectual disability, a severe physical disability, or a psychiatric disability according to the provisions described below.


(2) Definition. “Intellectual disabilities” means only those disabilities that would have been encompassed by the term “mental retardation” in previous iterations of this regulation and the associated Executive order, Executive Order 12125, dated March 15, 1979.


(3) Proof of disability. (i) An agency must require proof of an applicant’s intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability prior to making an appointment under this section.


(ii) An agency may accept, as proof of disability, appropriate documentation (e.g., records, statements, or other appropriate information) issued by a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional duly certified by a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (State or private); or any Federal agency, State agency, or an agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits.


(4) Permanent or time-limited employment options. An agency may make permanent or time-limited appointments under this paragraph (u)(4) where an applicant supplies proof of disability as described in paragraph (u)(3) of this section and the agency determines that the individual is likely to succeed in the performance of the duties of the position for which he or she is applying. In determining whether the individual is likely to succeed in performing the duties of the position, the agency may rely upon the applicant’s employment, educational, or other relevant experience, including but not limited to service under another type of appointment in the competitive or excepted services.


(5) Temporary employment options. An agency may make a temporary appointment when:


(i) The agency determines that it is necessary to observe the applicant on the job to determine whether the applicant is able or ready to perform the duties of the position. When an agency uses this option to determine an individual’s job readiness, the hiring agency may convert the individual to a permanent appointment in the excepted service whenever the agency determines the individual is able to perform the duties of the position; or


(ii) The work is of a temporary nature.


(6) Noncompetitive conversion to the competitive service. (i) An agency may noncompetitively convert to the competitive service an employee who has completed 2 years of satisfactory service under this authority in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12125, as amended by Executive Order 13124, and § 315.709 of this chapter, except as provided in paragraph (u)(6)(ii) of this section.


(ii) Time spent on a temporary appointment specified in paragraph (u)(5)(ii) of this section does not count towards the 2-year requirement.


(v)-(w) [Reserved]


(x) Positions for which a local recruiting shortage exists when filled by inmates of Federal, District of Columbia and State (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands) penal and correctional institutions under work-release programs authorized by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Act of 1965, the District of Columbia Work Release Act, or under work-release programs authorized by the States. Initial appointments under the authority may not exceed 1 year. An initial appointment may be extended for one or more periods not to exceed 1 additional year each upon a finding that the inmate is still in a work-release status and that a local recruiting shortage still exists. No person may serve under this authority longer than 1-year beyond the date of that person’s release from custody.


(y) [Reserved]


(z) Not to exceed 30 positions of assistants to top-level Federal officials when filled by persons designated by the President as White House Fellows.


(aa) Scientific and professional research associate positions at GS-11 and above when filled on a temporary basis by persons having a doctoral degree in an appropriate field of study for research activities of mutual interest to appointees and their agencies. Appointments are limited to persons referred by the National Research Council under its post-doctoral research associate program, may not exceed 2 years, and are subject to satisfactory outcome of evaluation of the associate’s research during the first year.


(bb) Positions when filled by aliens in the absence of qualified citizens. Appointments under this authority are subject to prior approval of the Office except when the authority is specifically included in a delegated examining agreement with the Office.


(cc)-(ee) [Reserved]


(ff) Not to exceed 24 positions when filled in accordance with an agreement between OPM and the Department of Justice by persons in programs administered by the Attorney General of the United States under Public Law 91-452 and related statutes. A person appointed under this authority may continue to be employed under it after he ceases to be in a qualifying program only as long as he remains in the same agency without a break in service.


(gg)-(kk) [Reserved]


(ll) Positions as needed of readers for blind employees, interpreters for deaf employees and personal assistants for handicapped employees, filled on a full time, part-time, or intermittent basis.


(5 U.S.C. 3301, 3307, 8337(h); 5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302; E.O. 12364, 47 FR 22931)

[47 FR 28902, July 2, 1982]


Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 213.3102, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§ 213.3199 Temporary organizations.

Positions on the staffs of temporary organizations, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3161(a). Appointments may not exceed 3 years, but temporary organizations may extend the appointments for 2 additional years if the conditions for extension are related to the completion of the study or project.


[68 FR 24605, May 8, 2003]


Schedule B

§ 213.3201 Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to hold a competitive examination.

(a) Upon specific authorization by OPM, agencies may make appointments under this section to positions which are not of a confidential or policy-determining character, and which are not in the Senior Executive Service, for which it is impracticable to hold open competition or to apply usual competitive examining procedures. Appointments under this authority are subject to the basic qualification standards established by the Office of Personnel Management for the occupation and grade level. Positions filled under this authority are excepted from the competitive service and constitute Schedule B. For each authorization under this section, OPM shall assign a number from 213.3202 through 213.3299 to be used by the appointing agency in recording appointments made under that authorization.


(b) [Reserved]


[46 FR 20147, Apr. 3, 1981, as amended at 47 FR 57655, Dec. 28, 1982; 53 FR 15353, Apr. 29, 1988]


§ 213.3202 Entire executive civil service.

(a)-(i) [Reserved]


(j) Special executive development positions established in connection with Senior Executive Service candidate development programs which have been approved by OPM. A Federal agency may make new appointments under this authority for any period of employment not exceeding 3 years for one individual.


(k)-(l) [Reserved]


(m) Positions when filed under any of the following conditions:


(1) Appointment at grades GS-15 and above, or equivalent, in the same or a different agency without a break in service from a career appointment in the Senior Executive Service (SES) of an individual who:


(i) Has completed the SES probationary period;


(ii) Has been removed from the SES because of less than fully successful executive performance, failure to be recertified, or a reduction in force; and


(iii) Is entitled to be placed in another civil service position under 5 U.S.C. 3594(b).


(2) Appointment in a different agency without a break in service of an individual originally appointed under paragraph (m)(l).


(3) Reassignment, promotion, or demotion within the same agency of an individual appointed under this authority.


(n) Positions when filled by preference eligibles or veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active military service and who, in accordance with the provisions of Pub.L. 105-339, applied for these positions under merit promotion procedures when applications were being accepted from individuals outside its own workforce. These veterans may be promoted, demoted, or reassigned, as appropriate, to other positions within the agency but would remain employed under this excepted authority as long as there is no break in service. No new appointments may be made under this authority after November 30, 1999.


(o) [Reserved]


[47 FR 28904, July 2, 1982]


Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 213.3202, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

Schedule C

§ 213.3301 Positions of a confidential or policy-determining nature.

(a) Upon specific authorization by OPM, agencies may make appointments under this section to positions which are policy-determining or which involve a close and confidential working relationship with the head of an agency or other key appointed officials. Positions filled under this authority are excepted from the competitive service and constitute Schedule C. Each position will be assigned a number from § 213.3302 to § 213.3999, or other appropriate number, to be used by the agency in recording appointments made under that authorization.


(b) When requesting Schedule C exception, agencies must submit to OPM a statement signed by the agency head certifying that the position was not created solely or primarily for the purpose of detailing the incumbent to the White House.


(c) The exception from the competitive service for each position listed in Schedule C by OPM is revoked immediately upon the position becoming vacant. An agency shall notify OPM within 3 working days after a Schedule C position has been vacated.


[60 FR 35120, July 6, 1995]


§ 213.3302 Temporary transitional Schedule C positions.

(a) An agency may establish temporary transitional Schedule C positions necessary to assist a department or agency head during the 1-year period immediately following a change in presidential administration, when a new department or agency head has entered on duty, or when a new department or agency is created. These positions may be established only to meet legitimate needs of the agency in carrying out its mission during the period of transition associated with such changeovers. They must be of a confidential or policy-determining character and are subject to instructions issued by OPM.


(b) The number of temporary transitional Schedule C positions established by an agency cannot exceed either 50 percent of the highest number of permanent Schedule C positions filled by that agency at any time over the previous 5 years, or three positions, whichever is higher. In the event a new department or agency is created, the number of temporary transitional positions should reasonable in light of the size and program responsibility of that department or agency. OPM may approve an increase in an agency’s quota to meet a critical need or in unusual circumstances.


(c) Individual appointments under this authority may be made for 120 days, with one extension of an additional 120 days. They may be deemed provisional appointments for purposes of the regulations set out in parts 351, 831, 842, 870, and 890 of this chapter if they meet the criteria set out in §§ 316.401 and 316.403 of this chapter.


(d) An agency shall notify OPM within 5 working days after a temporary transitional Schedule C position has been encumbered and within 3 working days when it has been vacated. The agency must also submit to OPM a statement signed by the agency head certifying that the position was not created solely or primarily for the purpose of detailing the incumbent to the White House.


[60 FR 35120, July 6, 1995]


Schedule D


Source:77 FR 28213, May 11, 2012, unless otherwise noted.

§ 213.3401 Positions other than those of a confidential or policy determining character for which the competitive service requirements make impracticable the adequate recruitment of sufficient numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs.

As authorized by OPM, agencies may make appointments under this section to positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which the competitive service requirements make impracticable the adequate recruitment and selection of sufficient numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs. These positions, which may be filled in the excepted service to enable more effective recruitment from all segments of society by using means of recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the rules generally applicable to the competitive service, constitute Schedule D Pathways Programs. Appointments under this authority are subject to the basic qualification standards established by the Office of Personnel Management for the occupation and grade level unless otherwise stated.


§ 213.3402 Entire executive civil service; Pathways Programs.

(a) Internship Program; Positions in the Internship Program. Agencies may make initial appointments of Interns under this authority at any grade level, depending on the candidates’ qualifications. Appointments must be made in accordance with the provisions of subpart B of part 362 of this chapter.


(b) Recent Graduates Program; Positions in the Recent Graduates Program. (1) Agencies may make initial appointments of Recent Graduates at any grade level, not to exceed GS-09 (or equivalent level under another pay and classification system, including the Federal Wage System (FWS)), depending on the candidates’ qualifications, and the position’s requirements except that:


(i) Initial appointments to positions for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) occupations may be made at the GS-11 level, if the candidate possesses a Ph.D. or equivalent degree directly related to the STEM position the agency is seeking to fill.


(ii) Initial appointments to scientific and professional research positions at the GS-11 level for which the classification and qualification criteria for research positions apply, if the candidate possesses a master’s degree or equivalent graduate degree directly related to the position the agency is seeking to fill.


(iii) Initial appointments to scientific and professional research positions at the GS-12 level for which the classification and qualification criteria for research positions apply, if the candidate possesses a Ph.D. or equivalent degree directly related to the position the agency is seeking to fill.


(2) Appointments must be made in accordance with the provisions of subpart C of part 362 of this chapter.


(c) Presidential Management Fellows Program. Positions in the Presidential Management Fellows Program. Appointments under this authority may not exceed 2 years except as provided in subpart D of part 362 of this chapter. Agencies may make initial appointments of Fellows at the GS-09, GS-11, or GS-12 level (or equivalent under another pay and classification system such as the FWS), depending on the candidates’ qualifications and the positions’ requirements. Appointments must be made in accordance with the provisions of subpart D of part 362 of this chapter.


PART 214 – SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3132.


Source:45 FR 62414, Sept. 19, 1980, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A [Reserved]

Subpart B – General Provisions

§ 214.201 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:


Agency, Senior Executive Service position, career appointee, limited term appointee, limited emergency appointee, and noncareer appointee have the meanings set forth in section 3132(a) of title 5, United States Code.


Equivalent position as used in section 3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code, means a position under any pay system where the level of the duties and responsibilities of the position and the rate of pay are comparable to that of a position above GS-15 or at Executive Level IV or V.


Senior Executive Service has the meaning given that term by section 2101a of title 5, United States Code, and includes all positions which meet the definition in section 3132(a)(2) of title 5.


[45 FR 62414, Sept. 19, 1980, as amended at 56 FR 18661, Apr. 23, 1991]


§ 214.202 Authority to make determinations.

(a) Each agency is responsible for determining, in accordance with Office of Personnel Management guidelines, which of its positions should be included in the Senior Executive Service.


(b) Agency determinations may be reviewed by the Office of Personnel Management to ensure adherence with law and regulation.


§ 214.203 Reporting requirements.

Agencies shall report such information as may be requested by OPM relating to positions and employees in the Senior Executive Service.


[60 FR 6385, Feb. 2, 1995]


§ 214.204 Interchange agreements.

(a) In accordance with 5 CFR 6.7, OPM and any agency with an executive personnel system essentially equivalent to the Senior Executive Service (SES) may, pursuant to legislative and regulatory authorities, enter into an agreement providing for the movement of persons between the SES and the other system. The agreement shall define the status and tenure that the persons affected shall acquire upon the movement.


(b) Persons eligible for movement must be serving in permanent, continuing positions with career or career-type appointments. They must meet the qualifications requirements of any position to which moved.


(c) An interchange agreement may be discontinued by either party under such conditions as provided in the agreement.


[60 FR 6385, Feb. 2, 1995]


Subpart C – Exclusions

§ 214.301 Exclusions.

If not excluded from the Senior Executive Service by section 3132(a) (1) or (2) of title 5, United States Code, an agency, or unit thereof, may be excluded only under the provisions of section 3132 (c) through (f) of title 5.


Subpart D – Types of Positions

§ 214.401 Types of positions.

There are two types of positions in the Senior Executive Service:


(a) General positions, which may be filled by a career, noncareer, limited emergency, or limited term appointee.


(b) Career reserved positions, which may be filled only by a career appointee.


§ 214.402 Career reserved positions.

(a) The head of each agency is responsible for designating career reserved positions in accordance with the regulations in this section.


(b) A position shall be designated as a career reserved position if:


(1) The position (except a position in the Executive Office of the President):


(i) Was under the Executive Schedule, or the rate of basic pay was determined by reference to the Executive Schedule, on October 12, 1978;


(ii) Was specifically required under section 2102 of title 5, United States Code, or otherwise required by law to be in the competitive service; and


(iii) Entailed direct responsibility to the public for the management or operation of particular government programs or functions; or


(2) The position must be filled by a career appointee to ensure impartiality, or the public’s confidence in the impartiality, of the Government.


(c) The head of an agency shall use the following criteria in determining whether paragraph (b)(2) of this section is applicable to an individual position:


(1) Career reserved positions include positions the principal duties of which involve day-to-day operations, without responsibility for or substantial involvement in the determination or public advocacy of the major controversial policies of the Administration or agency, in the following occupational disciplines:


(i) Adjudication and appeals;


(ii) Audit and inspection;


(iii) Civil or criminal law enforcement and compliance;


(iv) Contract administration and procurement;


(v) Grants administration;


(vi) Investigation and security matters; and


(vii) Tax liability, including the assessment or collection of taxes and the preparation or review of interpretative opinions.


(2) Career reserved positions also include:


(i) Scientific or other highly technical or professional positions where the duties and responsibilities of the specific position are such that it must be filled by a career appointee to insure impartiality, of the Government.


(ii) Other positions requiring impartiality, or the public’s confidence in impartiality, as determined by an agency in light of its mission.


(d) The Office of Personnel Management may review agency designations of general and career reserved positions. If the Office finds that an agency has designated any position as general that should be career reserved, it shall direct the agency to make the career reserved designation.


(e) The minimum number of positions in the Senior Executive Service Governmentwide that must be career reserved is 3,571 as determined by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management under section 3133(e) of 5 U.S.C. To assure that this figure is met, the Office may establish a minimum number of career reserved positions for individual agencies. An agency must maintain or exceed this number unless it is adjusted by the Office.


[45 FR 62414, Sept. 19, 1980; 45 FR 83471, Dec. 19, 1980]


§ 214.403 Change of position type.

An agency may not change the designation of an established position from career reserved to general, or from general to career reserved, without the prior approval of the Office of Personnel Management.


PART 230 – ORGANIZATION OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577; 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; sec. 230.402 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1104.

Subparts A-C [Reserved]

Subpart D – Agency Authority To Take Personnel Actions in a National Emergency

§ 230.401 Agency authority to take personnel actions in a national emergency disaster.

(a) Upon an attack on the United States, agencies are authorized to carry out whatever personnel activities may be necessary to the effective functioning of their organizations during a period of disaster without regard to any regulation or instruction of OPM, except those which become effective upon or following an attack on the United States. This authority applies only to actions under OPM jurisdiction.


(b) Actions taken under this section shall be consistent with affected regulations and instructions as far as possible under the circumstances and shall be discontinued as soon as conditions permit the reapplication of the affected regulations and instructions.


(c) An employee may not acquire a competitive civil service status by virtue of any action taken under this section.


(d) Actions taken, and authority to take actions, under this section may be adjusted or terminated in whole or in part by OPM.


(e) Agencies shall maintain records of the actions taken under this section.


[35 FR 5173, Mar. 27, 1970]


§ 230.402 Agency authority to make emergency-indefinite appointments in a national emergency.

(a) When a national emergency exists – (1) Definition. A national emergency must meet all of the following conditions:


(i) It was declared by the President or Congress.


(ii) It involves a danger to the United States’ safety, security, or stability that results from specified circumstances or conditions and that is national in scope.


(iii) It requires a national program specifically intended to combat the threat to national safety, security, or stability.


(2) Termination of a national emergency. A national emergency no longer exists if it is officially terminated by the President or Congress, or if the specific circumstances, conditions, or program cited in the original declaration are terminated or corrected.


(b) Basic authority. Agencies may make emergency-indefinite appointments without OPM approval during any national emergency as defined in paragraph (a) of this section. The head of an agency with a defense-related mission may request OPM’s approval to make emergency-indefinite appointments without a declared national emergency when the President has authorized the call-up of some portion of the military reserves for some military purpose. The request must demonstrate that normal hiring procedures cannot meet surge employment requirements and that use of emergency-indefinite appointments is necessary for economy and efficiency. Except as provided by paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, agencies must make emergency-indefinite appointments from appropriate registers of eligibles as long as there are available eligibles.


(c) Appointment under direct-hire authority. An agency may make emergency-indefinite appointments under this section using the direct-hire procedures in part 337 of this chapter.


(d) Appointment noncompetitively. An agency may give emergency-indefinite appointments under this section to the following classes of persons without regard to registers of eligibles and the provisions in § 332.102 of this chapter:


(1) Persons who were recruited on a standby basis prior to the national emergency;


(2) Members of the National Defense Executive Reserve, designated in accordance with section 710(e) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, Executive Order 11179 of September 22, 1964, and applications issued by the agency authorized to implement the law and Executive Order; and


(3) Former Federal employees eligible for reinstatement.


(e) Tenure of emergency-indefinite employees. (1) Emergency-indefinite employees do not acquire a competitive status on the basis of their emergency-indefinite appointments.


(2) An emergency-indefinite appointment may be continued for the duration of the emergency for which it is made.


(f) Trial period. (1) The first year of service of an emergency-indefinite employee is a trial period.


(2) The agency may terminate the appointment of an emergency-indefinite employee at any time during the trial period. The employee is entitled to the procedures set forth in § 315.804 or § 315.805 of this chapter as appropriate.


(g) Eligibility for within-grade increases. An emergency-indefinite employee serving in a position subject to the General Schedule is eligible for within-grade increases in accordance with subpart D of part 531 of this chapter.


(h) Applications of other regulations. (1) The term indefinite employee includes an emergency-indefinite employee or an employee under an emergency appointment as used in the following: parts 351, 353 of this chapter, subpart G of part 550 of this chapter, and part 752 of this chapter.


(2) The selection procedures of part 337 of this chapter apply to emergency-indefinite appointments that use the direct-hire authority under paragraph (c) of this section.


(3) Despite the provisions in § 831.201(a)(11) of this chapter, an employee serving under an emergency-indefinite appointment under authority of this section is excluded from retirement coverage, except as provided in paragraph (b) of § 831.201 of this chapter.


(i) Promotion, demotion, or reassignment. An agency may promote, demote, or reassign an emergency-indefinite employee to any position for which it is making emergency-indefinite appointments.


(5 U.S.C. 1104; Pub. L. 95-454, sec. 3(5))

[44 FR 54691, Sept. 21, 1979, as amended at 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995; 68 FR 35268, June 13, 2003; 69 FR 33275, June 15, 2004]


PART 250 – PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT IN AGENCIES


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1101 note, 1103(a)(5), 1103(c), 1104, 1302, 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577, 12 FR 1259, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; E.O. 13197, 66 FR 7853, 3 CFR 748 (2002).

Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1401, 1401 note, 1402.



Source:58 FR 36119, July 6, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Authority for Personnel Actions in Agencies


Source:73 FR 23013, Apr. 28, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§ 250.101 Standards and requirements for agency personnel actions.

When taking a personnel action authorized by this chapter, an agency must comply with qualification standards and regulations issued by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the instructions OPM has published in the Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, and the provisions of any delegation agreement OPM has made with the agency. When taking a personnel action that results from a decision or order of OPM, the Merit Systems Protection Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or Federal Labor Relations Authority, as authorized by the rules and regulations of those agencies, or as the result of a court order, a judicial or administrative settlement agreement, or an arbitral award under a negotiated agreement, the agency must follow the instructions in the Guide to Processing Personnel Actions and comply with all other relevant substantive and documentary requirements, including those applicable to retirement, life insurance, health benefits, and other benefits provided under this chapter.


§ 250.102 Delegated authorities.

OPM may delegate its authority, including authority for competitive examinations, to agencies, under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2), through a delegation agreement. The delegation agreement developed with the agency must specify the conditions for applying the delegated authorities. The agreement must also set minimum standards of performance and describe the system of oversight by which the agency and OPM will monitor the use of each delegated authority.


§ 250.103 Consequences of improper agency actions.

If OPM finds that an agency has taken an action contrary to a law, rule, regulation, or standard that OPM administers, OPM may require the agency to take corrective action. OPM may suspend or revoke a delegation agreement established under § 250.102 at any time if it determines that the agency is not adhering to the provisions of the agreement. OPM may suspend or withdraw any authority granted under this chapter to an agency, including any authority granted by delegation agreement, when OPM finds that the agency has not complied with qualification standards OPM has issued, instructions OPM has published, or the regulations in this chapter. OPM also may suspend or withdraw these authorities when it determines that doing so is in the interest of the civil service for any other reason.


Subpart B – Strategic Human Capital Management


Source:81 FR 89364, Dec. 12, 2016, unless otherwise noted.


Authority:5 U.S.C. 105; 5 U.S.C. 1103(a)(7), (c)(1), and (c)(2); 5 U.S.C. 1401; 5 U.S.C. 1402(a); 31 U.S.C. 901(b)(1); 31 U.S.C. 1115(a)(3); 31 U.S.C. 1115(f); 31 U.S.C. 1116(c)(5); Public Law 103-62; Public Law 107-296; Public Law 108-136, 1128; Public Law 111-352; 5 CFR 10.2; FR Doc No: 2011 – 19844; E.O. 13583; E.O. 13583, Sec 2(b)(ii).

§ 250.201 Coverage and purpose.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 1103(c), this subpart defines a set of systems, including standards and metrics, for assessing the management of human capital by Federal agencies. These regulations apply to agencies covered by 31 U.S.C. 901(b) of the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-576), as well as 5 U.S.C. 1401 and support the performance planning and reporting that is required by sections 1115(a)(3) and (f) and 1116(d)(5) of title 31, United States Code.


[83 FR 55931, Nov. 9, 2018]


§ 250.202 Definitions.

Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) is the agency’s senior leader whose primary duty is to:


(1) Advise and assist the head of the agency and other agency officials in carrying out the agency’s responsibilities for selecting, developing, training, and managing a high-quality, productive workforce in accordance with merit system principles; and


(2) Implement the rules and regulations of the President, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the laws governing the civil service within the agency.


CHCO agency is an Executive agency, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 105, which is required by 5 U.S.C. 1401 and 31 U.S.C. 901(b)(1) to appoint a CHCO.


Director of OPM is, among other things, the President’s advisor on actions that may be taken to promote an efficient civil service and a systematic application of the merit system principles, including recommending policies relating to the selection, promotion, transfer, performance, pay, conditions of service, tenure, and separation of employees. The Director of OPM provides governmentwide leadership and direction in the strategic management of the Federal workforce.


Evaluation system is an agency’s overarching system for evaluating the results of all human capital planning and implementation of human capital strategies to inform the agency’s continuous process improvement efforts. This system is also used for ensuring compliance with all applicable statutes, rules, regulations, and agency policies.


Federal Workforce Priorities Report (FWPR) is a strategic human capital report, published by OPM by the first Monday in February of any year in which the term of the President commences. OPM may extend the date of publication if needed. The report communicates key Governmentwide human capital priorities and suggested strategies. The report also informs agency strategic and human capital planning.


Focus areas are areas that agencies and human capital practitioners must focus on to achieve a system’s standard.


HRStat is a strategic human capital performance evaluation process that identifies, measures, and analyzes human capital data to inform the impact of an agency’s human capital management on organizational results with the intent to improve human capital outcomes. HRStat, which is a quarterly review process, is a component of an agency’s strategic planning and alignment and evaluation systems that are part of the Human Capital Framework.


Human Capital Evaluation Framework underlies the three human capital evaluation mechanisms (i.e., HRStat, Audits, and Human Capital Reviews) to create a central evaluation framework that integrates the outcomes from each to provide OPM and agencies with an understanding of how human capital policies and programs are supporting missions.


Human Capital Framework (HCF) provides comprehensive guidance on the principles of strategic human capital management in the Federal Government. The framework, as described in § 250.203 below, provides direction on human capital planning, implementation, and evaluation in the Federal environment.


Human Capital Operating Plan (HCOP) is an agency’s human capital implementation document, which describes how an agency will execute the human capital elements stated within Agency Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP). Program specific workforce investments and strategies (e.g., hiring, closing skill gaps, etc.) should be incorporated into the APPs as appropriate. The HCOP should clearly execute each of the four systems of the HCF. The HCOP should align with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010, annual performance plans and timelines.


Human Capital Review (HCR) is OPM’s annual, evidence-based review of an agency’s design and implementation of its HCOP, independent audit, and HRStat programs to support mission accomplishment and human capital outcomes.


Independent audit program is a component of an agency’s evaluation system designed to review all human capital management systems and select human resources transactions to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and legal and regulatory compliance.


Skill gap is a variance between the current and projected workforce size and skills needed to ensure an agency has a cadre of talent available to meet its mission and make progress towards achieving its goals and objectives now and into the future.


Standard is a consistent practice within human capital management in which agencies strive towards in each of the four HCF systems. The standards ensure that an agency’s human capital management strategies, plans, and practices:


(1) Are integrated with strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals, and other relevant budget, finance, and acquisition plans;


(2) Contain measurable and observable performance targets;


(3) Are communicated in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives; and


(4) Inform the development of human capital management priority goals for the Federal Government.


§ 250.203 Strategic human capital management systems and standards.

Strategic human capital management systems, standards, and focus areas are defined within the Human Capital Framework (HCF). The four systems described below provide definitions and standards for human capital planning, implementation, and evaluation. The HCF systems and standards are:


(a) Strategic planning and alignment. A system that ensures agency human capital programs are aligned with agency mission, goals, and objectives through analysis, planning, investment, and measurement. The standards for the strategic planning and alignment system require an agency to ensure their human capital management strategies, plans, and practices –


(1) Integrate strategic plans, annual performance plans and goals, and other relevant budget, finance, and acquisition plans;


(2) Contain measurable and observable performance targets; and


(3) Communicate in an open and transparent manner to facilitate cross-agency collaboration to achieve mission objectives.


(b) Talent management. A system that promotes a high-performing workforce, identifies and closes skill gaps, and implements and maintains programs to attract, acquire, develop, promote, and retain quality and diverse talent. The standards for the talent management system require an agency to –


(1) Plan for and manage current and future workforce needs;


(2) Design, develop, and implement proven strategies and techniques and practices to attract, hire, develop, and retain talent; and


(3) Make progress toward closing any knowledge, skill, and competency gaps throughout the agency.


(c) Performance culture. A system that engages, develops, and inspires a diverse, high-performing workforce by creating, implementing, and maintaining effective performance management strategies, practices, and activities that support mission objectives. The standards for the performance culture system require an agency to have –


(1) Strategies and processes to foster a culture of engagement and collaboration;


(2) A diverse, results-oriented, high-performing workforce; and


(3) A performance management system that differentiates levels of performance of staff, provides regular feedback, and links individual performance to organizational goals.


(d) Evaluation. A system that contributes to agency performance by monitoring and evaluating outcomes of its human capital management strategies, policies, programs, and activities by meeting the following standards –


(1) Ensuring compliance with merit system principles; and


(2) Identifying, implementing, and monitoring process improvements.


§ 250.204 Agency roles and responsibilities.

(a) An agency must use the systems and standards established in this part, and any metrics that OPM subsequently provides in guidance, to plan, implement, evaluate and improve human capital policies and programs. These policies and programs must –


(1) Align with Executive branch policies and priorities, as well as with individual agency missions, goals, and strategic objectives. Agencies must align their human capital management strategies to support the Federal Workforce Priorities Report, agency strategic plan, agency performance plan, and agency budget;


(2) Be based on comprehensive workforce planning and analysis;


(3) Monitor and address skill gaps within governmentwide and agency-specific mission-critical occupations by using comprehensive data analytic methods and gap closure strategies;


(4) Recruit, hire, develop, and retain an effective workforce, especially in the agency’s mission-critical occupations;


(5) Ensure leadership continuity by implementing and evaluating recruitment, development, and succession plans for leadership positions;


(6) Implement a knowledge management process to ensure continuity in knowledge sharing among employees at all levels within the organization;


(7) Sustain an agency culture that engages employees by defining, valuing, eliciting, and rewarding high performance; and


(8) Hold the agency head, executives, managers, human capital officers, and human capital staff accountable for efficient and effective strategic human capital management, in accordance with merit system principles.


(b) Each agency must meet the statutory requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010, by including within the Annual Performance Plan (APP) human capital practices that are aligned to the agency strategic plan. The human capital portion of the APP must include performance goals and indicators.


(c) An agency’s Deputy Secretary, equivalent, or designee is responsible for ensuring that the agency’s strategic plan includes a description of the operational processes, skills and technology, and human capital information required to achieve the agency’s goals and objectives. Specifically, the Deputy Secretary, equivalent, or designee will –


(1) Allocate resources;


(2) Ensure the agency incorporates applicable priorities identified within the Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report and is working to close governmentwide and agency-specific skill gaps; and


(3) Remain informed about the progress of their agency’s quarterly HRStat reviews, which are led by the CHCO, in collaboration with the PIO.


(d) The Chief Human Capital Officer must design, implement and monitor agency human capital policies and programs that –


(1) Ensure human capital activities support merit system principles;


(2) Use the OPM designated method to identify governmentwide and agency-specific skill gaps;


(3) Demonstrate how the agency is using the principles within the HCF to address strategic human capital priorities and goals;


(4) Establish and maintain an Evaluation System to evaluate human capital outcomes that is –


(i) Formal and documented; and


(ii) Approved by OPM;


(5) Maintain an independent audit program, subject to full OPM participation and evaluation, to review periodically all human capital management systems and the agency’s human resources transactions to ensure legal and regulatory compliance. An agency must –


(i) Take corrective action to eliminate deficiencies identified by OPM, or through the independent audit, and to improve its human capital management programs and its human resources processes and practices; and


(ii) Based on OPM or independent audit findings, issue a report to its leadership and OPM containing the analysis, results, and corrective actions taken; and


(6) Improve strategic human capital management by adjusting strategies and practices, as appropriate, after assessing the results of performance goals, indicators, and business analytics.


(7) The agency’s human capital policies and programs must support the implementation and monitoring of the Federal Workforce Priorities Report, which is published by OPM every four years, and –


(i) Improve strategic human capital management by using performance goals, indicators, and business analytics to assess results of the human capital management strategies planned and implemented;


(ii) Ensure human capital activities support merit system principles;


(iii) Adjust human capital management strategies and practices in response to outcomes identified during HRStat quarterly data-driven reviews of human capital performance to improve organizational processes; and


(iv) Use the governmentwide and agency-specific human capital strategies to inform resource requests (e.g., staff full-time equivalents, training, analytical software, etc.) into the agency’s annual budget process.


§ 250.205 Human Capital Operating Plan (HCOP).

Each agency must develop a Human Capital Operating Plan (HCOP) that aligns with an agency’s Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan. The HCOP is to be reviewed and approved annually, and updated as needed. The HCOP must demonstrate how an agency’s human capital implementation strategies follow the principles and standards of the HCF while including an explanation of how human capital policies, initiatives, objectives, and resources will be used to achieve agencies’ human capital goals. The HCOP will be made available to OPM upon request. The HCOP must –


(a) Be established by the CHCO, in collaboration with the agency’s senior management team;


(b) Be used to support the execution of an agency’s strategic plan, as an agency’s human capital can affect whether or not a strategy or strategic goal is achieved;


(c) Explicitly describe the agency-specific skill and competency gaps that must be closed through the use of agency selected human capital strategies;


(d) Include annual human capital performance goals and measures that will support the evaluation of the agency’s human capital strategies, through HRStat quarterly reviews, and that are aligned to support mission accomplishment;


(e) Reflect the systems and standards defined in § 250.203 above, consistent with their agency strategic plan and annual performance plan, to address strategic human capital priorities and goals; and


(f) Address the governmentwide priorities identified in the Federal Workforce Strategic Priorities Report.


§ 250.206 Human Capital Reviews.

Each agency must participate with OPM in a Human Capital Review (HCR). The HCR will be conducted during the evaluation phase and OPM will issue guidance about the HCR requirements.


§ 250.207 HRStat.

The Chief Human Capital Officer must design, implement and monitor agency human capital policies and programs that –


(a) Use the HRStat quarterly reviews, in coordination with the agency Performance Improvement Officer (PIO), to assess the agency’s progress toward meeting its strategic and performance goals;


(b) Implement the HRStat Maturity guidelines specified by OPM; and


(c) Use HRStat quarterly reviews to evaluate their agency’s progress.


§ 250.208 System metrics.

OPM reserves the right to provide additional guidance regarding metrics.


§ 250.209 Consequences of improper agency actions.

If OPM finds that an agency has taken an action contrary to a law, rule, regulation, or standard that OPM administers, OPM may require the agency to take corrective action. OPM may suspend or revoke a delegation agreement established under 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2) at any time if it determines that the agency is not adhering to the provisions of the agreement. OPM may suspend or withdraw any authority granted under this chapter to an agency, including any authority granted by delegation agreement, when OPM finds that the agency has not complied with qualification standards OPM has issued, instructions OPM has published, or the regulations in this chapter of the regulation. OPM also may suspend or withdraw these authorities when it determines that doing so is in the interest of the civil service for any other reason.


Subpart C – Employee Surveys


Source:81 FR 89367, Dec. 12, 2016, unless otherwise noted.



Authority:5 U.S.C. 105; 5 U.S.C. 7101 note; Public Law 108-136

§ 250.301 Definitions.

Agency means an Executive agency, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105.


§ 250.302 Survey requirements.

(a) Each executive agency must conduct an annual survey of its employees to assess topics outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, Public Law 108-136, sec. 1128, codified at 5 U.S.C. 7101.


(1) Each executive agency may include additional survey questions unique to the agency in addition to the employee survey questions prescribed by OPM under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.


(2) The 16 prescribed survey questions are listed in the following table:




(i) Leadership and Management practices that contribute to agency performance
My work unit has the job-relevant skills necessary to accomplish organizational goals.
Managers communicate the goals of the organization.
I believe the results of this survey will be used to make my agency a better place to work.
(ii) Employee Satisfaction with
(A)Leadership Policies and Practices:
How satisfied are you with your involvement in decisions that affect your work?
How satisfied are you with the information you receive from management on what is going on in your organization?
Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?
(B)Work Environment:
The people I work with cooperate to get the job done.
My workload is reasonable.
Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?
I can disclose a suspected violation of any law, rule or regulation without fear of reprisal.
(C)Rewards and Recognition:
In my work unit, differences in performance are recognized in a meaningful way.
How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job?
(D)Opportunities for professional development and growth:
I am given a real opportunity to improve my skills in my organization.
My talents are used well in the workplace.
(E)Opportunity to contribute to achieving organizational mission:
I know how my work relates to the agency’s goals.
I recommend my organization as a good place to work.

§ 250.303 Availability of results.

(a) Each agency will make the results of its annual survey available to the public and post the results on its Web site unless the agency head determines that doing so would jeopardize or negatively impact national security. The posted survey results will include the following:


(1) The agency’s evaluation of its survey results;


(2) How the survey was conducted;


(3) Description of the employee sample, unless all employees are surveyed;


(4) The survey questions and response choices with the prescribed questions identified;


(5) The number of employees surveyed and number of employees who completed the survey; and


(6) The number of respondents for each survey question and each response choice.


(b) Data must be collected by December 31 of each calendar year. Each agency must post the beginning and ending dates of its employee survey and either the survey results described in paragraph (a) of this section, or a statement noting the decision not to post, no later than 120 days after the agency completes survey administration. OPM may extend this date under unusual circumstances.


PART 251 – AGENCY RELATIONSHIPS WITH ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 1104; 5 U.S.C. Chap 7; 5 U.S.C. 7135; 5 U.S.C. 7301; and E.O. 11491.


Source:61 FR 32915, June 26, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 251.101 Introduction.

(a) The regulations in this part apply to all Federal executive branch departments and agencies and their officers and employees.


(b) This part provides a framework for consulting and communicating with non-labor organizations representing Federal employees and with other organizations on matters related to agency operations and personnel management.


(c) The purposes of consultation and communication are: the improvement of agency operations, personnel management, and employee effectiveness; the exchange of information (e.g., ideas, opinions, and proposals); and the establishment of policies that best serve the public interest in accomplishing the mission of the agency.


(d) An agency’s consultation and communication with organizations representing Federal employees and with other organizations under this part may not take on the character of negotiations or consultations regarding conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees, which is reserved exclusively to labor organizations as provided for in Chapter 71 of title 5 of the U.S. Code or comparable provisions of other laws. The regulations in this part do not authorize any actions inconsistent with Chapter 71 of the U.S. Code or comparable provisions of other laws.


(e) The head of a Federal agency may determine that it is in the interest of the agency to consult, from time to time, with organizations other than labor organizations and associations of management officials and/or supervisors to the extent permitted by law. Under section 7(d)(2) and (3) of Executive Order 11491, as amended, recognition of a labor organization does not preclude an agency from consulting or dealing with a veterans organization, or with a religious, social, fraternal, professional, or other lawful association, not qualified as a labor organization, with respect to matters or policies which involve individual members of the organization or association or are of particular applicability to it or its members.


(f) Federal employees, including management officials and supervisors, may communicate with any Federal agency, officer, or other Federal entity on the employee’s own behalf. However, Federal employees should be aware that 18 U.S.C. 205, in pertinent part, restricts Federal employees from acting, other than in the proper discharge of their official duties, as agents or attorneys for any person or organization other than a labor organization, before any Federal agency or other Federal entity in connection with any matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest. An exception to the prohibition found in 18 U.S.C. 205 permits Federal employees to represent certain nonprofit organizations before the Government except in connection with specified matters. Agency officials and employees are therefore advised to consult with their designated agency ethics officials for guidance regarding any conflicts of interest that may arise.


[61 FR 32915, June 26, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 2306, Jan. 15, 1998]


§ 251.102 Coverage.

To be covered by this part, an association or organization:


(a) Must be a lawful, nonprofit organization whose constitution and bylaws indicate that it subscribes to minimum standards of fiscal responsibility and employs democratic principles in the nomination and election of officers;


(b) Must not discriminate in terms of membership or treatment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicapping condition;


(c) Must not assist or participate in a strike, work stoppage, or slowdown against the Government of the United States or any agency thereof or impose a duty or obligation to conduct, assist, or participate in such strike, work stoppage, or slowdown; and


(d) Must not advocate the overthrow of the constitutional form of Government of the United States.


§ 251.103 Definitions.

(a) Organization representing Federal employees and other organizations means an organization other than a labor organization that can provide information, views, and services which will contribute to improved agency operations, personnel management, and employee effectiveness. Such an organization may be an association of Federal management officials and/or supervisors, a group representing minorities, women or persons with disabilities in connection with the agencies’ EEO programs and action plans, a professional association, a civic or consumer group, and organization concerned with special social interests, and the like.


(b) Association of management officials and/or supervisors means an association comprised primarily of Federal management officials and/or supervisors, which is not eligible for recognition under Chapter 71 of title 5 of the U.S. Code or comparable provisions of other laws, and which is not affiliated with a labor organization or federation of labor organizations.


(c) Labor organization means an organization as defined in 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(4), which is in compliance with 5 U.S.C. 7120, or as defined in comparable provisions of other laws.


Subpart B – Relationships With Organizations Representing Federal Employees and Other Organizations

§ 251.201 Associations of management officials and/or supervisors.

(a) As part of agency management, supervisors and managers should be included in the decision-making process and notified of executive-level decisions on a timely basis. Each agency must establish and maintain a system for intra-management communication and consultation with its supervisors and managers. Agencies must also establish consultative relationships with associations whose membership is primarily composed of Federal supervisory and/or managerial personnel, provided that such associations are not affiliated with any labor organization and that they have sufficient agency membership to assure a worthwhile dialogue with executive management. Consultative relationships with other non-labor organizations representing Federal employees are discretionary.


(b) Consultations should have as their objectives the improvement of managerial effectiveness and the working conditions of supervisors and managers, as well as the identification and resolution of problems affecting agency operations and employees, including supervisors and managers.


(c) The system of communication and consultation should be designed so that individual supervisors and managers are able to participate if they are not affiliated with an association of management officials and/or supervisors. At the same time, the voluntary joining together of supervisory and management personnel in groups of associations shall not be precluded or discouraged.


§ 251.202 Agency support to organizations representing Federal employees and other organizations.

(a) An agency may provide support services to an organization when the agency determines that such action would benefit the agency’s programs or would be warranted as a service to employees who are members of the organization and complies with applicable statutes and regulations. Examples of such support services are as follows:


(1) Permitting employees, in appropriate cases, to use agency equipment or administrative support services for preparing papers to be presented at conferences or symposia or published in journals;


(2) Using the authority under 5 U.S.C. 4109 and 4110, as implemented by 5 CFR part 410, to pay expenses of employees to attend professional organization meetings when such attendance is for the purpose of employee development or directly concerned with agency functions or activities and the agency can derive benefits from employee attendance at such meetings; and


(3) Following a liberal policy in authorizing excused absence for other employees who are willing to pay their own expenses to attend a meeting of a professional association or other organization from which an agency could derive some benefits.


(b) Agencies may provide Government resources support to organizations (such as space in Government facilities for meeting purposes and the use of agency bulletin boards, internal agency mail distribution systems, electronic bulletin boards and other means of informing agency employees about meetings and activities) in accordance with appropriate General Services Administration regulations contained in title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The mere provision of such support to any organization is not to be construed as Federal sponsorship, sanction, or endorsement of the organization or its activities.


Subpart C – Dues Withholding

§ 251.301 Associations of management officials and/or supervisors.

Dues withholding for associations of management officials and/or supervisors is covered in 5 CFR 550.331.


§ 251.302 All other organizations.

Under 5 CFR 550.311(b), an agency may permit an employee to make an allotment for any legal purpose deemed appropriate by the head of the agency. Agencies may provide for the allotment of dues for organizations representing Federal employees under that section.


PART 293 – PERSONNEL RECORDS


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552 and 4315; E.O. 12107 (December 28, 1978), 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp.; 5 U.S.C. 1103, 1104, and 1302; 5 CFR 7.2; E.O. 9830; 3 CFR 1943-1948 Comp.; 5 U.S.C. 2951(2) and 3301; and E.O. 12107.


Source:44 FR 65033, Nov. 9, 1979, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Basic Policies on Maintenance of Personnel Records

§ 293.101 Purpose and scope.

(a) This subpart sets forth basic policies governing the creation, development, maintenance, processing, use, dissemination, and safeguarding of personnel records which the Office of Personnel Management requires agencies to maintain in the personnel management or personnel policy setting process.


(b) Agencies in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government are subject to specific Office of Personnel Management recordkeeping requirements to varying degrees, pursuant to statute, Office regulation, or formal agreements between the Office and agencies. This subpart applies to any department or independent establishment in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, including a government corporation or Government controlled corporation, except those specifically excluded from Office recordkeeping requirements by statute, Office regulation, or formal agreement between the Office and that agency.


§ 293.102 Definitions.

In this part:


Agency means any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the Executive Branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency;


Data subject means the individual about whom the Office or agency is maintaining information in a system of records;


Individual means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;


Information means papers, records, photographs, magnetic storage media, micro storage media, and other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, containing data about an individual and required by the Office in pursuance of law or in connection with the discharge of official business, as defined by statute, regulation, or administrative procedure;


Maintain includes collect, use, or disseminate;


Office means the Office of Personnel Management;


Personnel record means any record concerning an individual which is maintained an used in the personnel management or personnel policysetting process. (For purposes of this part, this term is not limited just to those personnel records in a system of records and subject to the Privacy Act);


Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his or her education, financial transactions, medical history, criminal history, or employment history;


System of records means a group of records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual.


§ 293.103 Recordkeeping standards.

(a) The head of each agency shall ensure that persons having access to or involved in the creation, development, processing, use, or maintenance of personnel records are informed of pertinent recordkeeping regulations and requirements of the Office of Personnel Management and the agency. Authority to maintain personnel records does not constitute authority to maintain information in the record merely because it may be useful; both Government-wide and internal agency personnel records shall contain only information concerning an individual that is relevant and necessary to accomplish the Federal personnel management purposes required by statute, Executive order, or Office regulation.


(b) The Office is responsible for establishing minimum standards of accuracy, relevancy, necessity, timeliness, and completeness for personnel records it requires agencies to maintain. These standards are discussed in appropriate chapters of the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping. Before approval of any agency requests for changes in recordkeeping practices governed by the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping, the Office will examine the proposal or request in the context of such standards set forth by the agency in support of the proposal and in light of the personnel program area that requires these records.


[44 FR 65033, Nov. 9, 1979, as amended at 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.104 Collection of information.

(a) Any information in personnel records whether or not those records are in a system of records, used in whole or in part in making a determination about an individual’s rights, benefits, or privileges under Federal personnel programs should, to the greatest extent practicable, be collected directly from the individual concerned. Factors to be considered in determining whether to collect the data from the individual concerned or a third party are when:


(1) The nature of the information is such that it can only be obtained from another party;


(2) The cost of collecting the information directly from the individual is unreasonable when compared with the cost of collecting it from another party;


(3) There is virtually no risk that information collected from other parties, if inaccurate, could result in a determination adverse to the individual concerned;


(4) The information supplied by an individual must be verified by another party; or


(5) There are provisions made, to the greatest extent practicable, to vertify information collected from another party with the individual concerned.


§ 293.105 Restrictions on collection and use of information.

(a) First Amendment. Personnel records describing how individuals exercise rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are prohibited unless expressly authorized by statute, or by the individual concerned, or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity. These rights include, but are not limited to, free exercise of religious and political beliefs, freedom of speech and the press, and freedom to assemble and to petition the government.


(b) Social Security Number.


(1) Agencies may not require individuals to disclose their Social Security Number unless disclosure would be required;


(i) Under Federal statute; or


(ii) Under any statute, Executive order, or regulation that authorizes any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records that was in existence and operating prior to January 1, 1975, to request the Social Security Number as a necessary means of verifying the identity of an individual.


(2) Individuals asked to voluntarily (circumstances not covered by paragraph (b)(1) of this section) provide their Social Security Number shall suffer no penalty or denial of benefits for refusing to provide it.


§ 293.106 Safeguarding information about individuals.

(a) To ensure the security and confidentiality of personnel records, in whatever form, each agency shall establish administrative, technical, and physical controls to protect information in personnel records from unauthorized access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. As a minimum, these controls shall require that all persons whose official duties require access to and use of personnel records be responsible and accountable for safeguarding those records and for ensuring that the records are secured whenever they are not in use or under the direct control of authorized persons. Generally, personnel records should be held, processed, or stored only where facilities and conditions are adequate to prevent unauthorized access.


(b) Personnel records must be stored in metal filing cabinets which are locked when the records are not in use, or in a secured room. Alternative storage facilities may be employed provided they furnish an equivalent or greater degree of security than these methods. Except for access by the data subject, only employees whose official duties require access shall be allowed to handle and use personnel records, in whatever form or media the records might appear. To the extent feasible, entry into personnel record storage areas shall be similarly limited. Documentation of the removal of records from storage areas must be kept so that adequate control procedures can be established to assure that removed records are returned on a timely basis.


(c) Disposal and destruction of personnel records shall be in accordance with the General Record Schedule issued by the General Services Administration for the records or, alternatively, with Office or agency records control schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration.


§ 293.107 Special safeguards for automated records.

(a) In addition to following the security requirements of § 293.106 of this part, managers of automated personnel records shall establish administrative, technical, physical, and security safeguards for data about individuals in automated records, including input and output documents, reports, punched cards, magnetic tapes, disks, and on-line computer storage. The safeguards must be in writing to comply with the standards on automated data processing physical security issued by the National Bureau of Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce, and, as a minimum, must be sufficient to:


(1) Prevent careless, accidental, or unintentional disclosure, modification, or destruction of identifiable personal data;


(2) Minimize the risk that skilled technicians or knowledgeable persons could improperly obtain access to, modify, or destroy identifiable personnel data;


(3) Prevent casual entry by unskilled persons who have no official reason for access to such data;


(4) Minimize the risk of an unauthorized disclosure where use is made of identifiable personal data in testing of computer programs;


(5) Control the flow of data into, through, and from agency computer operations;


(6) Adequately protect identifiable data from environmental hazards and unneccessary exposure; and


(7) Assure adequate internal audit procedures to comply with these procedures.


(b) The disposal of identifiable personal data in automated files is to be accomplished in such a manner as to make the data unobtainable to unauthorized personnel. Unneeded personal data stored on reusable media such as magnetic tapes and disks must be erased prior to release of the media for reuse.


§ 293.108 Rules of conduct.

(a) Scope. These rules of conduct apply to all Office and agency employees responsible for creation, development, maintenance, processing, use, dissemination, and safeguarding of personnel records. The Office and agencies shall require that such employees are familiar with these and appropriate supplemental agency internal regulations.


(b) Standards of conduct. Office and agency employees whose official duties involve personnel records shall be sensitive to individual rights to personal privacy and shall not disclose information from any personnel record unless disclosure is part of their official duties or required by executive order, regulation, or statute (e.g., required by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552).


(c) Improper uses of personnel information. Any Office or agency employee who makes a disclosure of personnel records knowing that such disclosure is unauthorized, or otherwise knowingly violates these regulations, shall be subject to disciplinary action and may also be subject to criminal penalties where the records are subject to the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a). Employees are prohibited from using personnel information not available to the public, gained through official duties, for commercial solicitation or sale, or for personal gain.


Subpart B – Personnel Records Subject to the Privacy Act

§ 293.201 Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to set forth the criteria to be used to determine when personnel records on individuals are subject both to the regulations contained in this part and to Office or agency regulations implementing the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. When personnel records are maintained within a system of records, the records are deemed to be within the scope of both the regulations in this part and Office or agency regulations implementing the Privacy Act.


§ 293.202 Records subject to Office or agency Privacy Act regulations.

When the Office of Personnel Management publishes in the Federal Register a notice of system of records for personnel records which are maintained by the agencies or by the Office, that system of records will be subject to the regulations in this part and also to the regulations in part 297 of this chapter. When agencies publish a notice of system of records for personnel records required by the Office that are not included in the Office’s notices, those agency systems of records will be subject both to the regulations contained in this part and to agency promulgated regulations that implement the Privacy Act.


§ 293.203 Review of Office or agency practices.

Reviews of agency personnel management policies and practices will be conducted to insure compliance with Office regulations. The Office may direct agencies to take whatever corrective action is necessary. Office or agency officials who have knowledge of violations of these regulations shall take whatever corrective action is necessary. Agencies shall list officials of the Office of Personnel Management as a routine user for personnel records to assist the Office in its oversight responsibilities.


Subpart C – Official Personnel Folder


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 5 U.S.C. 1103; 5 U.S.C. 1104; 5 U.S.C. 1302, 5 U.S.C. 2951(2), 5 U.S.C. 3301; 5 U.S.C. 4315; E.O. 12107 (December 28, 1978), 3 CFR 1954-1958 Compilation; E.O. 9830 (February 24, 1947); 3 CFR 1943-1948 Compilation.


Source:50 FR 3309, Jan. 24, 1985, unless otherwise noted.

§ 293.301 Applicability of regulations.

Except for those agencies specifically excluded from Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recordkeeping requirements by statute, OPM regulation, or formal agreement between OPM and the agency, this subpart applies to – and within this subpart agency means – each executive department and independent establishment of the Federal Government; each corporation wholly owned or controlled by the United States; and, with respect to positions subject to civil service rules and regulations, the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government. OPM will list agencies to which this subpart does not apply in the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping, and will amend the Guide from time to time to update that list.


[76 FR 52537, Aug. 23, 2011]


§ 293.302 Establishment of Official Personnel Folder.

Each agency shall establish an Official Personnel Folder (OPF) for each employee occupying a position subject to this part, except as provided in § 293.306. Except as provided in the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping, there will be only one OPF maintained for each employee regardless of service in various agencies.


[50 FR 3309, Jan. 24, 1985, as amended at 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.303 The roles and responsibilities of the Office, agencies, and custodians.

(a) The Official Personnel Folder (OPF) of each employee in a position subject to civil service rules and regulations and of each former employee who held such a position is part of the records of the Office of Personnel Management (Office).


(b) The Office has Government-wide responsibility for developing regulations, practices and procedures for the establishment, maintenance, and transfer of OPFs.


(c) Agencies shall be responsible for the following:


(1) The establishment of the OPF for a new appointee or a new employee for whom no OPF has previously been established; and


(2) The maintenance of a previously existing OPF during the period any new appointee or employee remains an agency’s employee.


(d)(1) Custodian means the agency in physical possession of an OPF. In the case of an electronic OPF (eOPF), the custodian is the agency that has primary access to an eOPF contained within a document management system approved by the Office.


(2) A custodian shall be responsible for the maintenance and transfer of the OPF or eOPF, and the costs associated with these activities.


(3) An agency is the custodian of an OPF it requests from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), for any temporary use, from the date that the OPF is transmitted by the NPRC to the agency until the date that the NPRC receives the OPF back from the agency.


(4) An agency is no longer the custodian of an OPF once the OPF has been transferred to and accepted by the NPRC.


(5) Once NPRC has approved the transfer, the Office is the custodian of the OPF until the destruction date established for the file pursuant to the National Archive and Records Administration’s General Records Schedule, unless another agency requests the OPF from the NPRC in the interim.


(e) Agencies and custodians shall carry out their responsibilities with respect to the OPF or eOPF in accordance with this subpart and the Office’s Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.


[76 FR 52537, Aug. 23, 2011]


§ 293.304 Maintenance and content of folder.

The head of each agency shall maintain in the Official Personnel Folder the reports of selection and other personnel actions named in section 2951 of title 5, United States Code. The folder shall contain long-term records affecting the employee’s status and service as required by OPM’s instructions and as designated in the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.


[58 FR 65533, Dec. 15, 1993]


§ 293.305 Type of folder to be used.

Each agency shall use only OPFs from Office of Federal Supply and Services stock (Standard Form 66) for the folders required by this part.


§ 293.306 Use of existing folders upon transfer or reemployment.

When an agency hires a person who has served on or after April 1, 1947, in a position subject to this part, it shall request the transfer of the OPF pertaining to the person’s employment. The folder so obtained shall be used in lieu of establishing a new OPF. In the event that the prior service occurred wholly before April 1, 1947, the agency shall request any files or records that may be located in the Federal records storage center. The request shall note that because of the dates of service there will likely be no OPF. Any such file or record found for this individual shall be incorporated into the OPF being established for the employee.


(a) When a person for whom an OPF has been established transfers from one agency to another, the last employing (losing) agency shall, on request, transfer the OPF to the new employing agency.


(b) Before transferring the Official Personnel Folder, the losing agency shall:


(1) Remove those records of a temporary nature filed on the left side of the folder, except for PMRS employees’ performance ratings of record including the performance plan on which the most recent rating was based;


(2) Transfer performance ratings of record and the performance plan on which the most recent rating was based from the Employee Performance File of PMRS employees to their Official Personnel Folder, if the ratings and plans are not maintained by the agency in the Official Personnel Folder; and


(3) Ensure that all permanent documents of the folder are complete, correct, and present in the folder in accordance with the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.


[50 FR 3309, Jan. 24, 1985, as amended at 50 FR 35494, Aug. 30, 1985; 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.307 Disposition of folders of former Federal employees.

(a) Folders of persons separated from Federal employment must be retained by the losing agency for 30 working days after separation, and may be retained for additional 60 days (90 days where administratively necessary, e.g., where an appeal or an allegation of discrimination is made or where an employee retires or dies in service). Thereafter, the OPF must be transferred to the General Services Administration, National Personnel Records Center (Civilian Personnel Records), 111 Winnebago Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63118.


(b) When a former Federal employee is reappointed in the Federal service, the National Personnel Records Center (Civilian Personnel Records) shall, upon request, transfer the OPF to the new employing agency.


(c) Agencies are responsible for all costs associated with the establishment and maintenance of OPFs and the transfer of OPFs to the National Personnel Records Center.


(d) Agencies are responsible for all costs associated with agency-initiated requests for OPFs or services from the National Personnel Records Center.


[50 FR 3309, Jan. 24, 1985; 50 FR 8993, Mar. 6, 1985, as amended at 76 FR 52537, Aug. 23, 2011]


§ 293.308 Removal of temporary records from OPFs.

The employing agency having possession of an OPF shall remove temporary records from the OPF before it is transferred to another agency. For these and also for temporary records of their current employees, maintenance of the records shall be in accordance with General Records Schedule 1, promulgated by the General Services Administration.


§ 293.309 Reconstruction of lost OPFs.

Agencies will take necessary precautions to safeguard all OPFs. In the event of a lost or destroyed OPF, the current (or last, in the case of a former Federal employee) employing agency shall take the necessary action to reconstruct the essential portions of the OPF as specified in the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping or other Office instructions.


[50 FR 3309, Jan. 24, 1985, as amended at 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.310 Response to requests for information.

The Office, or an agency in physical possession of an OPF in response to a third party Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request may disclose information as provided in this subpart. A current employee’s request for access to his/her own OPF (also included are employee performance file system folders and files) that cites the FOIA, as with all stated Privacy Act requests made by current employees, shall be processed in accordance with agency Privacy Act procedures consistent with Office regulations in part 297 of this chapter. All requests for their OPFs from former employees, and FOIA requests for former employee OPFs, shall be referred to the Office’s regional or area office nearest to the location of the requester.


§ 293.311 Availability of information.

(a) The following information from both the OPF and employee performance file system folders, their automated equivalent records, and from other personnel record files that constitute an agency record within the meaning of the FOIA and which are under the control of the Office, about most present and former Federal employees, is available to the public:


(1) Name;


(2) Present and past position titles and occupational series;


(3) Present and past grades;


(4) Present and past annual salary rates (including performance awards or bonuses, incentive awards, merit pay amount, Meritorious or Distinguished Executive Ranks, and allowances and differentials);


(5) Present and past duty stations (includes room numbers, shop designations, or other identifying information regarding buildings or places of employment); and


(6) Position descriptions, identification of job elements, and those performance standards (but not actual performance appraisals) that the release of which would not interfere with law enforcement programs or severely inhibit agency effectiveness. Performance elements and standards (or work expectations) may be withheld when they are so interwined with performance appraisals that their disclosure would reveal an individual’s performance appraisal.


(b) The Office or agency will generally not disclose information where the data sought is a list of names, present or past position titles, grades, salaries, performance standards, and/or duty stations of Federal employees which, as determined by the official responsible for custody of the information:


(1) Is selected in such a way that would reveal more about the employee on whom information is sought than the six enumerated items, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; or


(2) Would otherwise be protected from mandatory disclosure under an exemption of the FOIA.


(c) In addition to the information described in paragraph (a) of this section, a Government official may provide other information from these records (or automated equivalents) of an employee, to others outside of the agency, under a summons, warrant, subpoena, or other legal process; as provided by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(4) through (b)(11)), under those Privacy Act routine uses promulgated by the Office, and as required by the FOIA.


Subpart D – Employee Performance File System Records


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552a and 5 U.S.C. 4305 and 4315; E.O. 12107 (December 28, 1978); 5 U.S.C. 1103, 1104, and 1302; 3 CFR 1954-1958 Compilation; 5 CFR 7.2; E.O. 9830, 3 CFR 1943-1948 Compilation.


Source:47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

§ 293.401 Applicability of regulations.

This subpart applies to Executive agencies as defined in sections 105, 3132(a)(1) and 4301(1) of title 5, U.S. Code, including Military Departments (but not non-appropriated fund employees) as defined in section 102 of title 5, U.S. Code, and independent establishments as defined in section 104 of title 5, U.S. Code. Within those agencies, the requirements of this subpart apply to all employees occupying positions subject to civil service rules and regulations, including Senior Executive Service positions as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3132(a)(2).


§ 293.402 Establishment of separate employee performance record system.

(a) Copies of employees’ performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which the ratings are based, must be placed in either the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (OPF) or in the Employee Performance File (EPF). However, other performance-related documents may be retained in the OPF only when the agency prescribes the use of a separate envelope, temporarily located in the OPF, and removed whenever the OPF (except as required in § 293.404(b)) is transferred to another agency. Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which the ratings are based, shall be retained on the left (temporary) side of the OPF. No other performance-related record shall be retained on the left (temporary) or right (long term) side of the OPF or shall be transferred to the National Personnel Records Center (except as required by § 293.404(b)).


(b) Except for performance records maintained in the OPF consistent with paragraph (a) of this section, each agency having employees occupying a position described in § 293.401 shall provide for maintenance of performance-related records for such employees in this EPF system. The agency may elect to retain records in a separate file that is located in the same office with the OPF, or in an envelope kept in the OPF itself. If the agency determines that a separate EPF is cost-effective, such a file may be located in another designated agency office (as specified in the agency’s performance appraisal plan) including with supervisors or managers (hereinafter referred to as rating officials) or with Performance Review Boards. Any supporting documents that the agency may prescribe as necessary for agency officials in performance of their duties shall be kept in these files.


(c)(1) Agencies shall provide their employees access to their performance files (automated and manual). Such a request for access shall be processed in accordance with established agency procedures, consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding access to records contained in part 297 of this chapter. Such access shall be provided to the employee or to the employee’s designated representative, and such records may also be disclosed to other officials of the agency who have a need for the documents in the performance of their duties.


(2) All other requests for performance documents made to agency officials (e.g., Freedom of Information Act requests or requests made under the “routine use” provisions of the Privacy Act) shall be processed by the responsible agency official in accordance with agency procedures consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding disclosures of such records contained in parts 293 and 297 of this chapter.


(3) Privacy Act requests for amendment of records maintained in this system shall be processed by the responsible agency official in accordance with agency procedures consistent with Office of Personnel Management regulations regarding amendment of records contained in part 297 of this chapter.


(d) Agencies maintaining the EPF in an automated or microform system shall issue instructions that contain necessary procedures to ensure that the same requirements as in paragraph (c) of this section, relating to all manual records, are met.


[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8410, Mar. 11, 1986]


§ 293.403 Contents of employee performance files.

(a) A decision on what constitutes a performance-related document within the meaning of this subpart rests with the agency. Agency implementing instructions, for both incumbents of the Senior Executive Service and other positions, shall provide specific written guidance of the description of what constitutes the agency’s official performance-related forms and documents.


(b) Agency implementing instructions describing such records shall indicate where and for how long they are retained and how and when they are to be destroyed. Such instructions shall also describe what records are considered to be performance-related (as specifically as is feasible) and shall include all performance-related records maintained as a system of records within the meaning of the Privacy Act. Such records would generally include:


(1) Any form or other document which records the performance appraisal, including appraisals leading to merit pay determinations.


(2) Any form or other document used by rating officials to recommend a personnel action affecting an employee (including a request for personnel action document, but only when the action is not effected) when the basis for the action (e.g., removal, reassignment, demotion, promotion, or merit pay or other performance award) is performance-related.


(3) Recommendations for training that are performance-related.


(4) Any form or other document furnished in support of recommended actions such as those listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and the agency’s final decision on the matter (e.g., a recommendation for merit pay or an agency decision to grant only one-half the comparability pay adjustment).


(5) Any form or other document which the rating official is required by the agency to keep during an appraisal period (e.g., quality control records, production records, or similar records used to track employee performance during the appraisal period.)


(6) Any form or other document regarding Performance Review Board decisions, including supporting documentation and any transcript of hearings or testimony from witnesses.


(7) Any form or other document regarding decisions or recommendations of agency Executive Resources Boards related to performance appraisal or actions resulting from performance appraisals.


(8) Appraisals of potential (e.g., in connection with an agency’s merit promotion procedures) if agency implementing instructions specifically require or permit retention of a copy.


(9) Individual development plans.


(10) Copies of licenses, certificates of proficiency, or similar documents required of the position.


(c) General information about the employee, i.e., identification data, information concerning Federal and non-Federal employment experience, and information about any training programs the employee participated in may, if an agency deems it appropriate, be retained in this system.


[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 63 FR 43867, Aug. 17, 1998]


§ 293.404 Retention schedule.

(a)(1) Except as provided in § 293.405(a), performance ratings or documents supporting them are generally not permanent records and shall, except for appointees to the SES and including incumbents of executive positions not covered by SES, be retained as prescribed below:


(i) Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which they are based, shall be retained for 4 years;


(ii) Supporting documents shall be retained for as long as the agency deems appropriate (up to 4 years);


(iii) Performance records superseded (e.g., through an administrative or judicial procedure) and performance-related records pertaining to a former employee (except as prescribed in § 293.405(a)) need not be retained for a minimum of 4 years. Rather, in the former case they are to be destroyed and in the latter case agencies shall determine the retention schedule; and


(iv) Except where prohibited by law, retention of automated records longer than the maximum prescribed here is permitted for purposes of statistical analysis so long as the data are not used in any action affecting the employee when the manual record has been or should have been destroyed.


(2) When an employee is reassigned within the employing agency, disposition of records in this system, including transfer with the employee who changes positions, shall be as agencies prescribe and consistent with § 293.405(a).


(3) Appraisals of unacceptable performance, where a notice of proposed demotion or removal is issued but not effected, and all documents related thereto, manual and automated, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4303(d) must be destroyed after the employee completes one year of acceptable performance from the date of the written advance notice of the proposed removal or reduction in grade notice. Under conditions specified by an agency, and earlier destruction date is permitted and destruction must be no later than 30 days after the year is up.


(b) Performance records for Senior Executive Service appointees, including those serving under a Presidential appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), are to be retained as follows:


(1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4314(b) (3) and (4), Senior Executive Service appointees shall have their performance-related records maintained for five consecutive years (from the date the appraisal is issued) beginning with the effective date of appointment, including individuals receiving appointments pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3593(b).


(2) When an appointee of the Senior Executive Service moves to another position in the Service, either with the same or a different agency, all appropriate performance-related documents five years old or less shall be forwarded in the Employee Performance File along with the individual’s OPF.


(3) When an employee in the Senior Executive Service accepts a Presidential appointment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), the employee’s performance file shall be retained as long as the employee remains employed under that Presidential appointment. When the appointment ends, and the individual does not return to the Senior Executive Service, the employee’s performance file shall be destroyed in accordance with agency procedures.


(c) Where any performance-related document is needed in connection with an ongoing administrative, negotiated, quasi-judicial, or judicial proceeding, and it continues to be retained in this system rather than another system, it may be retained for as long as necessary beyond the retention schedules identified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.


(d) Screening and purging of folders/envelopes and rating official’s work files for the purpose of compliance with these retention schedules shall be through any agency process insuring consistency with the requirements.


[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8411, Mar. 11, 1986; 56 FR 65416, Dec. 17, 1991]


§ 293.405 Disposition of records.

(a) When the OPF of a non-SES employee is sent to another servicing office in the employing agency, to another agency, or to the National Personnel Records Center, the “losing” servicing office shall include in the OPF all performance ratings of record that are 4 years old or less, including the performance plan on which the most recent rating was based, and the summary rating prepared when the employee changes positions, as prescribed in part 430 of this chapter. Also, the “losing” office will purge from the OPF all performance ratings and performance plans that are more than 4 years old, and other performance-related records, according to agency policy established under § 293.404(a)(2) and in accordance with the Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping.


(b) Consistent with transfer instructions pertaining to SES positions contained in this part, employee performance files shall be forwarded to gaining agencies at the same time as the OPF (5 CFR 293.207).


(c) Consistent with retention schedules promulgated in § 293.404, destruction of performance-related records shall be in accordance with agency procedures (e.g., by shredding or burning).


(d) If a former employee returns to an agency, a new employee performance file will be created unless the prior file for this employee is still available. The original file may be reactivated provided that, consistent with the retention schedules and destruction requirements promulgated in this subpart, the contents are properly disposed of.


(e)(1) It is the responsibility of the agency Personnel Director to insure the maintenance of employee performance files in accordance with this subpart and subparts A and B of this part, part 297 of this title, and with Office of Personnel Management guidance.


(2) This responsibility may be delegated in writing to other agency officials as appropriate. Implementing guidelines for agency performance appraisal systems shall provide written instructions for compliance with Office rules and procedures as well as descriptions of the documents and where they are retained, and shall ensure that records are retained in accordance with the provisions of § 293.402.


[47 FR 3080, Jan. 22, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 8411, Mar. 11, 1986; 56 FR 65416, Dec. 17, 1991; 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.406 Disclosure of records.

Disclosure as used here means the furnishing of the record to someone other than the individual to whom the record pertains, his/her designated representative, or to an agency official who needs the information in the performance of official duties. Disclosure of information from this file system shall be made only as permitted by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)) and, with regard to the routine use provisions of that section, only under a routine use published by the Office for the system of records covering these records. However, to the extent that this system contains the data identified as being available to the public in § 293.311, for most Federal employees and under the same restrictions listed in that section, that information shall also be made available to the public from this system.


Subpart E – Employee Medical File System Records


Source:51 FR 33235, Sept. 19, 1986, unless otherwise noted.

§ 293.501 Applicability of regulations.

The applicability of this subpart is identical to that described in § 293.301.


§ 293.502 Definitions.

For the purpose of this Subpart –


Employee is defined at 5 U.S.C. 2105 and excludes student volunteers and contractor employees.


Employee Assistance and Counseling Record means the record created when an employee participates in an agency assistance/counseling program (e.g., drug or alcohol abuse or personal counseling programs under Pub. L. 91-616, 92-255, and 79-658, respectively).


Employee Exposure Record (which is to be interpreted consistent with the term as it is defined at 29 CFR 1910.20(c)(8)) means a record containing any of the following kinds of information concerning employee exposure to toxic substances or harmful physical agents (as defined at 29 CFR 1910.20(c)(11)):


(a) Environmental (workplace) monitoring or measuring, including personal, area, grab, wipe, or other form of sampling, as well as related collection and analytical methodologies, calculations, and other background data relevant to interpretation of the results obtained;


(b) Biological monitoring results which directly assess the absorption of a substance or agent by body systems (e.g., the level of a chemical in the blood, urine, breath, hair, fingernails, etc.) but not including results which assess the biological effect of a substance or agent;


(c) Material safety data sheets; or


(d) Any other record, in the absence of the above, which reveals the identity (e.g., chemical, common, or trade name) of a toxic substance of harmful physical agent.


Employee Medical File System (EMFS) means the agency’s complete system (automated, microformed, and paper records) for employee occupational medical records.


Employee Medical Folder (EMF) means a separate file folder (normally SF 66-D) established to contain all of the occupational medical records (both long-tern and short-term records) designated for retention, which will be maintained by the employing agency during the employee’s Federal service.


Epidemiological Record means a record maintained by an agency or subelement thereof as a result of an official medical research study conducted under the authority of the agency.


Implementing instructions means any form of internal agency issuance that provides the guidance required in § 293.503 and any other guidance the agency deems appropriate.


Occupational Medical Record means an occupation-related, chronological, cumulative record, regardless of the form or process by which it is maintained (e.g., paper document, microfiche, microfilm, or automatic data processing media), of information about health status developed on an employee, including personal and occupational health histories and the opinions and written evaluations generated in the course of diagnosis and/or employment-related treatment/examination by medical health care professionals and technicians. This definition includes the definition of medical records at 29 CFR 1910.20(c)(6); when the term “Occupational Medical Record” is used in these regulations, it includes “Employee Exposure Records” (as that term is defined in this section) and occupational illness, accident, and injury records.


Non-occupational/Patient Record means a record of treatment or examination, created and maintained by a health care facility, when the person is admitted to or voluntarily seeks treatment at the health care facility for non-job-related reasons. Records maintained by an agency dispensary are patient records for the purposes of these regulations except when such records result as a condition of employment or relate to an on-the-job occurrence. In these cases, the records are “Occupational Medical Records” as defined herein.


Non-personal Record means any agency aggregate or statistical record or report resulting from studies covering employees or resulting from studies or the work-site environment.


§ 293.503 Implementing instructions.

Agencies must issue written internal instructions describing how their EMFS is to be implemented. These instructions must –


(a) Describe overall operation of the system within the agency including the designation of the agency official who will be responsible for overall system management. When the agency has a medical officer, that individual must be named the system manager. The system manager may then designate others within the agency to handle the day-to-day management of the records, e.g., the custodian of the records at the site where they are maintained;


(b) Be prepared with joint participation by agency medical, health, and safety, and personnel officers;


(c) Describe where and under whose custody employee occupational medical records will be physically maintained;


(d) Designate which agency office(s) will be responsible for deciding when and what occupational medical records are to be disclosed either to other agency officials or outside the agency;


(e) Ensure proper records retention and security, and preserve confidentiality of doctor/patient relationships;


(f) Provide that when the agency is requesting an EMF from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), the request form will show the name, title, and address of that agency’s system manager or designee, who is the only official authorized to receive the EMF;


(g) Be consistent with Office regulations relating to personnel actions when medical evidence is a factor (5 CFR parts 339, 432, 630, 752, and 831);


(h) Provide guidance on how an accounting of any record disclosure, as required by the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(c)), will be done in a way that ensures that the accounting will be available for the life of the EMF;


(i) When long-term occupational medical records exist, provide for the creation of an EMF for an employee transferring to another agency or leaving Government service, and whether an EMF is to be established at the time an employee is being reassigned within the agency;


(j) Ensure a right of access (consistent with any special Privacy Act handling procedures invoked) to the records, in whatever format they are maintained, by the employee or a designated representative;


(k) Ensure that a knowledgeable official determines that all appropriate long-term occupational medical records are in an EMF prior to its transfer to another agency, to the NPRC, or to another office within the same employing agency;


(l) Ensure that all long-term occupational medical records an agency receives in an EMF are maintained, whether in that same EMF or by some other agency procedure, and forwarded to a subsequent employing agency or to NPRC;


(m) Ensure that, if occupational medical records are to be physically located in the same office as the Official Personnel Folder (OPF), the records are maintained physically apart from each other;


(n) Sets forth a policy that distinguishes, particularly for purposes of records disclosure, records in the nature of physician treatment records (which are generally not appropriate for disclosure to non-medical officials) from other medical reports properly available to officials making management decisions concerning the employee;


(o) Provide guidance that distinguishes records properly subject to this part from those (e.g., Postal Service or Foreign Service employee medical records) subject to different rules, particularly in Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act matters;


(p) Ensure that guidance regarding the processing of Privacy Act matters is consistent with Office regulations implementing the Privacy Act at 5 CFR parts 293 and 297; and


(q) Ensure that no security classification is assigned to an EMF by including therein any occupational medical record that has such a classification. In this regard, the agency creating the classified medical record is required to retain it separately from the EMF while placing a notice in the EMF of its existence and describing where requests for this record are to be submitted.


§ 293.504 Composition of, and access to, the Employee Medical File System.

(a) All employee occupational medical records (which exclude employee assistance/counseling, patient, non-personal, and epidemiological records) whether they are maintained in an automated, microform, or paper mode, and wherever located in the agency, are part of the EMFS. The records maintained in the EMFS are part of a Governmentwide Privacy Act system of records established by the Office. Agencies have the responsibility to ensure that such documents are maintained in accordance with the Office’s Privacy Act regulations in part 297 of this chapter, with the agency’s instructions implementing those regulations, and with the retention schedule for employee medical records stipulated in § 293.511. While non-occupational/patient records pertaining to an employee are not required to be included as a record within the EMFS, under certain conditions to be discussed in subsequent OPM guidance, copies of such records are occupationally-related and, in those cases, may be included in the system.


(b) Agencies must provide employees access to their own EMFS records consistent with Office regulations contained in § 297.204(c) of this chapter. When unexcepted access can be provided directly to the employee, such unexcepted access must also be provided to any representative specifically designated in writing by the employee to receive the record. Disclosure of an employee’s occupational medical records to agency officials (both medical and non-medical) will be granted only when the specific information sought is needed for the performance of official duties.


(c) Other agencies for employee occupational medical records made to the custodian of the records must be processed in accordance with the disclosure provisions of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)) and the Office’s regulations at part 297 of this chapter.


(d) Processing of a Privacy Act request for amendment of any EMFS record must be consistent with the Office’s regulations contained in part 297 of this chapter regarding amendment of records.


[51 FR 33235, Sept. 19, 1986, as amended at 66 FR 66709, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 293.505 Establishment and protection of Employee Medical Folder.

(a) As required by these rules, agencies must establish an EMF when the employee leaves the employing agency and occupational medical records for that employee exist; agencies may also establish an EMF (if none presently exists) for active employees if the agency chooses. An agency must request the transfer of an existing EMF (and maintain that EMF as received) at the same time it requests the transfer of an employee’s OPF using the procedures contained in § 293.306.


(b) Neither the original occupational medical record nor duplicates are to be retained in the OPF. Prior to the establishment of an EMF for a separating employee, when such records are created, they must be maintained physically apart from the OPF, although they may be kept in the same office.


(c) Records in an EMF, whether or not located in an office other than where the OPF is maintained, must be properly safeguarded using procedures ensuring equal or greater levels of protection as those in § 293.106. Disclosures must be made only to those authorized to receive them, as described in § 293.504(b), and employees must be able to ascertain from agency implementing instructions the location of all of their medical records. An EMF must be under the control of a specifically designated medical, health, safety, or personnel officer as prescribed in the agency’s implementing internal procedures.


§ 293.506 Ownership of the Employee Medical Folder.

The EMF of each employee in a position subject to civil service rules and regulations is part of the records of the Office. When the EMF also contains occupational medical records created during employment in a position not subject to the civil service (e.g., with the Postal Service), the EMF is then part of the records of both the Office and the employing agency.


§ 293.507 Maintenance and content of the Employee Medical Folder.

The agency head must maintain all appropriate employee occupational medical records in the EMFS. When an EMF is established for an employee, as required in § 293.504, the agency’s EMFS must be searched to obtain all records designated for retention in the EMF.


§ 293.508 Type of folder to be used.

Each agency must use a folder that (a) has been specifically identified as the EMF and issued through Federal Supply Service contracts (Standard Form 66 D); (b) has been authorized as an exception to this form by the Office for use by a specific agency; or (c) in the case of an EMF containing records under joint control of the Office and another agency, an exception to the use of this form that has been jointly authorized.


§ 293.509 Use of existing Employee Medical Folders upon transfer or reemployment.

The requirements of § 293.306, regarding the use of existing OPFs, apply to the use of existing EMFs upon the employee’s transfer to or reemployment in a new employing agency.


§ 293.510 Disposition of Employee Medical Folders.

(a) When an employee transfers to another Federal agency, the EMF must be transferred to the gaining agency at the same time as the employee’s OPF. The EMF is to be addressed only to the gaining agency’s designated manager (medical, health, safety, or personnel officer, or other designee) of the EMFS.


(b) When an employee is separated from the Federal service, the EMF must be forwarded to the NPRC with the OPF, using the instructions in § 293.307 of this part.


(c) When a former Federal employee is re-employed by an agency, and that agency believes that an EMF exists, either at the last employing agency or at the NPRC, the agency will request the EMF, but no sooner than 30 days after the date of the new appointment. No EMFs will be routinely retrieved during the initial review process (as is done with the OPF) except when authority exists for the agency to require a medical evaluation prior to reaching a decision on employability. EMFs are to be transferred by the NPRC only to the agency-designated manager (medical, health, safety, or personnel, or other designee) shown on the request form.


§ 293.511 Retention schedule.

(a) Temporary EMFS records must not be placed in a newly-created EMF for a separating employee and must be removed from an already existing EMF before its transfer to another agency or to the NPRC. Such records must be disposed of in accordance with General Records Schedule (GRS) 1, item 21, issued by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).


(b) Occupational Medical Records considered to be long-term records must be maintained for the duration of employment, plus 30 years or for as long as the OPF is maintained, whichever is longer. Therefore, upon separation, the records must be provided to the employee’s new agency, or they must be transferred to the NPRC, which will dispose of them in accordance with GRS 1, item 21, issued by NARA.


PART 294 – AVAILABILITY OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552, Freedom of Information Act, Pub. L. 92-502, as amended by the Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-570, and E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235.

Subpart A – Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of Information Act


Source:54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

§ 294.101 Purpose.

This subpart contains the regulations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. Except as provided by § 294.105, OPM will use the provisions of this subpart to process all requests for records.


§ 294.102 General definitions.

All of the terms defined in the Freedom of Information Act, and the definitions included in the “Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines” issued by the Office of Management and Budget apply, regardless of whether they are defined in this subpart.


Direct costs means the expenditures that an agency actually incurs in searching for, duplicating, and reviewing documents to respond to an FOIA request. Overhead expenses (such as the cost of space, and heating or lighting the facility in which the records are stored), are not included in direct costs.


Disclose or disclosure means making records available, on request, for examination and copying, or furnishing a copy of records.


Duplication means the process of making a copy of a document necessary to respond to an FOIA request. Among the forms that such copies can take are paper, microform, audiovisual materials, or machine readable documentation (e.g., magnetic tape or disk).


Records, information, document, and material have the same meaning as the term agency records in section 552 of title 5, United States Code.


Review means the process of initially examining documents located in response to a request to determine whether any portion of any document located may be withheld. It also includes processing documents for disclosure; e.g., doing all that is necessary to excise them and otherwise prepare them for release. Review does not include time spent resolving general legal and policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.


Search means the time spent looking for material that is responsive to a request, including page-by-page or line-by-line identification of material within documents.


[54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 32043, June 8, 1993]


§ 294.103 Definitions of categories and assignment of requests and requesters to categories.

OPM will apply the definitions and procedures contained in this section to assign requesters to categories. The four categories established by 5 U.S.C. 552(a) are requests for commercial use, requests for non-commercial use made by educational or non-commercial scientific institutions, requests for non-commercial use made by representatives of the news media, and all others.


(a) Request for commercial use. A “commercial use request” is from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person or institution on whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a request properly belongs in this category, OPM will look first to the intended use of the documents being requested.


(b) Request for non-commercial use made by an educational or non-commercial scientific institution. OPM will include requesters in one of the two categories described in paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section when the request is being made as authorized by, and under the auspices of, a qualifying institution; and the records are sought, not for a commercial use, but in furtherance of scholarly or scientific research.


(1) Educational institution refers to any public or private, preschool, elementary, or secondary school, institution of undergraduate or graduate higher education, or institution of professional or vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly or scientific research.


(2) A non-commercial scientific institution refers to an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis as that term is referenced in paragraph (a) of this section, and which is operated solely to conduct scientific or scholarly research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.


(c) Request from a representative of the news media. “Representative of the news media” refers to any person actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate news to the public. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large, and publishers of periodicals who make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public. Free-lance journalists may be regarded as representatives of the news media if they demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication, or some other form of dissemination, through a particular organization even though they are not actually employed by it. OPM will assign news media officials to this category only when a request is not for commercial use. If a person meets the other qualifications for inclusion, OPM will not apply the term “commercial use” to his or her request for records in support of a news dissemination function.


(d) Requests from others. The category “all others,” consists of any requesters not covered by paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section. However, as provided by § 294.105, OPM will use its Privacy Act regulations, rather than this subpart, when individuals ask for records about themselves that may be filed in OPM systems of records.


§ 294.104 Clarifying a requester’s category.

(a) Seeking clarification of a requester’s category. OPM may seek additional clarification before assigning a person to a specific category if –


(1) There is reasonable cause to doubt the requester’s intended use of records; or


(2) The intended use is not clear from the request itself; or


(3) There is any other reasonable doubt about qualifications that may affect the fees applicable or the services rendered under § 294.109.


(b) Prompt notification to requester. When OPM seeks clarification as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, it will provide prompt notification either by telephone or in writing of the information or materials needed.


(c) Effect of seeking clarification on time limits for responding. When applying the time limits in section 552 of title 5, United States Code, OPM will not officially consider any request for records as being received until the official who is assigned responsibility for making a decision on releasing the records has received any additional clarification sought under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section; and has determined that the clarifying information is sufficient to correctly place the requester in one of the categories prescribed in this section. If the requested clarifying information is not received within a reasonable time, OPM will, based on the information available, determine a final category for the request and calculate applicable fees.


[54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 32043, June 8, 1993]


§ 294.105 Access to the requester’s own records.

When the subject of a record, or a duly authorized representative of the subject, requests his or her own records from a Privacy Act system of records, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 552a (a)(5), and the record is maintained so that it is retrieved by the subject’s name or other personal identifier, OPM will process the request under the Privacy Act procedures in part 297 of this chapter.


§ 294.106 Handbook of Publications, Periodicals, and OPM Issuances.

(a)(1) Annually, OPM publishes OPM-AG-PSD-01, “Handbook of Publications, Periodicals, and Issuances,” and accompanying addendum. This handbook and addendum lists material published and offered for sale are available for public inspection or copying. Unless the material is published and offered for sale, OPM makes available for public inspection and copying:


(i) Final opinions made by OPM in the adjudication of cases;


(ii) OPM policy statements and interpretations adopted by OPM but not published in the Federal Register; and


(iii) OPM administrative staff manuals and instructions that affect a member of the public.


(2) To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, OPM may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction.


(b) A copy of this handbook and addendum is available at no cost from the – Publishing Management Branch, Office of Personnel Management, room B464, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415-0001.


(c) OPM indexes material in this handbook and addendum format for the convenience of the public. Indexing does not constitute a determination that all of the material listed is within the category that is required to be indexed by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). Most of OPM’s publications may be found in OPM’s Library in room 5H27 at the address listed in paragraph (b) of this section.


(d) As provided by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), OPM has determined that it is unnecessary and impractical to publish the “Handbook of Publications, Periodicals, and Issuances” and addendum more frequently than annually because of the small number of revisions that occur.


[57 FR 32150, July 21, 1992, as amended at 66 FR 66710, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 294.107 Places to obtain records.

(a) Address requests for OPM records to the officials listed in paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section.


(b) The following is a list of key Washington, DC, officials of OPM and their principal areas of responsibility. Address requests for records to the appropriate official using the official’s title and the following address: Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415.


Send to –
For subject-matter about –
Associate Director for AdministrationAdministrative services; information management, including automated data processing; equal employment opportunity; procurement; and personnel.
Associate Director for Retirement and InsuranceRetirement; life and health insurance.
Associate Director for Personnel Systems and OversightPersonnel management in agencies; pay; position classification; wage grade jobs; performance management; and employee and labor relations.
Assistant Director for Workforce InformationGovernmentwide personnel statistics; official personnel and employee medical folders.
Associate Director for InvestigationsBackground investigations and related records on individuals.
Associate Director for Career EntryNationwide examining and testing for employment; promotions; administrative law judges; affirmative employment programs for minorities, women, veterans, and the handicapped; recruiting and employment; and staffing policy.
Chief Financial OfficerFinancial management.
Director for Human Resources DevelopmentTraining, education, and development; senior executive service.
Director, Washington Area Service CenterExamining, testing, and training operations in Washington, DC.

(c) Direct requests for records on subjects not specifically referred to in this section or in the handbook or addendum, to Plans and Policies Division (CHP-500), Office of Information Resources Management, Administration Group, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(d) The following is a list of OPM regional offices. Address requests for regional records to the Regional Director, Office of Personnel Management in the appropriate region:



• Atlanta Region – Richard B. Russell Federal Building, Suite 904, 75 Spring Street, SW., Atlanta, GA 30303-3019.


• Chicago Region – John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, 30th Floor, 230 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604.


• Dallas Region – 1100 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75242.


• Philadelphia Region – William J. Green, Jr., Federal Building, 600 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1596.


• San Francisco Region – 211 Main Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.


(e) When an organization does not have records in its custody. When an OPM organization receives a Freedom of Information Act request for OPM records that it does not have in its possession, it will normally either –


(1) Retrieve the records from the organization that has possession of them; or


(2) Promptly forward the request to the appropriate organization. If a person has asked to be kept apprised of anything that will delay the official receipt of a request, OPM will provide notice of this forwarding action. Otherwise, OPM may, at its option, provide such notice.


(f) Applying the time limits. When applying the time limits in section 552 of title 5, United States Code, OPM will not officially consider any request to be received until it arrives in the OPM organization that has responsibility for the records sought.


(g) Records from other Government agencies. When a person seeks records that originated in another Government agency, OPM may refer the request to the other agency for response. Ordinarily, OPM will provide notice of this type of referral.


(h) Creating records. If a person seeks information from OPM in a format that does not currently exist, OPM will not ordinarily compile the information for the purpose of creating a record to respond to the request. OPM will advise the individual that it does not have records in the format sought. If other existing records would reasonably respond to the request or portions of it, OPM may provide these. If fees as provided in § 294.109 apply to any alternative records, OPM will advise the requester before providing the records.


[54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 32150, July 21, 1992; 58 FR 32044, June 8, 1993]


§ 294.108 Procedures for obtaining records.

(a) Mailing or delivering a request. Any person may ask for records under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, by directing a letter to one of the organizations listed in § 294.107, or by delivering a request in person at the addresses listed in that section during business hours on a regular business day.


(b) Proper marking. Each request for records should have a clear and prominent notation on the first page, such as “Freedom of Information Act Request.” In addition, if sent by mail or otherwise submitted in an envelope or other cover, mark the outside clearly and prominently with “FOIA Request” or “Freedom of Information Act Request.”


(c) Contents of request letter. A request must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable OPM personnel to locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort.


(1) OPM will regard a request for a specific category of records as fulfilling the requirements of this paragraph, if it enables responsive records to be identified by a technique or process that is not unreasonably burdensome or disruptive to OPM operations.


(2) Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, number, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the record.


(3) If an OPM organization determines that a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, it will either provide notice of any additional information needed or otherwise state why the request is insufficient. OPM will also offer the record seeker an opportunity to confer, with the objective of reformulating the request so that it meets the requirements of this section.


(d) Medical records. OPM or another Government agency may disclose the medical records of an applicant, employee, or annuitant to the subject of the record, or to a representative designated in writing. However, medical records may contain information about an individual’s mental or physical condition that a prudent physician would hesitate to give to the individual. Under such circumstances, OPM may disclose the records, including the exact nature and probable outcome of the condition, only to a licensed physician designated in writing for that purpose by the individual or his or her designated representative.


(e) Publications. If the subject matter of a request includes material published and offered for sale (e.g., by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office), OPM will explain where a person may review and/or purchase the publications.


(f) Responses within 10 working days. Except in unusual circumstances (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)), OPM will determine whether to disclose or deny records within 10 working days after receipt of the request (excluding weekends and holidays) and will provide notice immediately of its determination and the reasons therefor, and of the right to appeal any adverse determination.


[54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 32044, June 8, 1993]


§ 294.109 Fees.

(a) Applicability of fees. (1) OPM will furnish, without charge, reasonable quantities of material that it has available for free distribution to the public.


(2) OPM may furnish other materials, subject to payment of fees intended to recoup the full allowable direct costs of providing services. Fees for these materials may be waived if the request meets the requirements specified in paragraph (f) of this section.


(3) If a request does not include an acceptable agreement to pay fees and does not otherwise convey a willingness to pay fees, OPM will promptly provide notification of the estimated fees. This notice will offer an opportunity to confer with OPM staff to reformulate the request to meet the requester’s needs at a lower cost. Upon agreement to pay the required fees, OPM will further process the request.


(4) As described in § 294.107, OPM ordinarily responds to FOIA requests in a decentralized manner. Because of this, OPM may at times refer a single request to two or more OPM entities to make separate direct responses. In such cases, each responding entity may assess fees as provided by this section, but only for direct costs associated with any response it has prepared.


(5) If fees for document search are authorized as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, OPM may assess charges for employee time spent searching for documents and other direct costs of a search, even if a search fails to locate records or if records located are determined to be exempt from disclosure. Searches should be conducted in the most efficient and least expensive manner so as to minimize the cost for both the agency and the requester, e.g., personnel should not engage in line-by-line search when photocopying an entire document would be a less expensive and quicker way to comply with a request.


(6) Services requested and performed but not required under the FOIA, such as formal certification of records as true copies, will be subject to charges under the Federal User Charge Statute (31 U.S.C. 483a) or other applicable statutes.


(b) Rates used to compute fees. The following rates form the basis for assessing reasonable, standard charges for document search, duplication, and review as required by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4). The listing of rates below should be used in conjunction with the fee components listed in paragraph (c) of this section:


Service
Rate
Employee timeSalary rate plus 16% to cover benefits.
Photocopies (up to 8
1/2″ × 14″)
$.013 per page.
Printed materials, per 25 pages or fraction thereof$.025.
Computer timeActual direct cost.
Supplies and other materialsActual direct cost.
Other costs not identified aboveActual direct cost.

(c) Assessing fees based on requester’s category. Rates are assessed differently for the different categories of requesters as defined in § 294.103. Requests have three cost components for the purpose of assessing fees: the cost of document search, the cost of duplication, and the cost of review. OPM will apply the rates in paragraph (b) of this section to the cost components that apply to the requester’s category as follows:


Requester’s category
Search
Review
Duplication
CommercialActual direct costsActual direct costsActual direct costs.
Non-commercial (educational or scientific institution) or news mediaNo chargeNo chargeActual direct costs.
1
All othersActual direct costs
2
No chargeActual direct costs.
1


1 First 100 pages of paper copies or reasonable equivalent, such as a microfiche containing the equivalent of 100 pages, are copied free.


2 First 2 hours of manual search time are free. If requested records are maintained in a computerized data base, OPM will use the following formula, suggested by OMB, to provide the equivalent of 2 hours manual search time free before charging for computer search time: The operator’s hourly salary plus 16% will be added to the hourly cost of operating the central processing unit that contains the record information.


(d) Payment of fees. Fees are payable by check or money order to the Office of Personnel Management.


(1) If the total charge for fulfilling the request will be less than $25, no fee will be assessed (except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section).


(2) If a request may reasonably result in a fee assessment of more than $25, OPM will not release the records unless the requester agrees in advance to pay the anticipated charges.


(3) OPM may aggregate requests and charge fees accordingly, when there is a reasonable belief that a requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, is attempting to break down a request into a series of requests to evade the assessment of fees.


(i) If multiple requests of this type occur within a 30-day period, OPM may provide notice that it is aggregating the requests and that it will apply the fee provisions of this section, including any required agreement to pay fees and any advance payment.


(ii) Before aggregating requests of this type made over a period longer than 30 days, OPM will assure that it has a solid basis on which to conclude that the requesters are acting in concert and are acting specifically to avoid payment of fees.


(iii) OPM will not aggregate multiple requests on unrelated subjects from one person.


(e) Payment of fees in advance. If OPM estimates or determines that fees are likely to exceed $250, OPM may require the payment of applicable fees in advance.


(1) If an OPM official, who is authorized to make a decision on a particular request, determines that the requester has a history of prompt payment of FOIA fees, OPM will provide notice of the likely cost and obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment.


(2) When a person, or an organization that a person represents, has previously failed to pay assessed fees in a timely manner (i.e., payment was not made within 30 days of the billing date), OPM will require full payment of all fees in advance.


(3) If a person, or an organization that a person represents, has not paid fees previously assessed, OPM will not begin to process any new request for records until the requester has paid the full amount owed plus any applicable interest, and made a full advance payment for the new request.


(f) Waiver or reduction of fees. OPM will furnish documents without any charge, or at a reduced charge, if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Government, and release of the material is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.


(1) In determining whether disclosure is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Government, OPM shall consider the following factors:


(i) The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns “the operations or activities of the Government”;


(ii) The information value of the information to be disclosed: Whether the disclosure is “likely to contribute” to an understanding of Government operations or activities;


(iii) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to “public understanding”; and


(iv) The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute “significantly” to public understanding of Government operations or activities.


(2) In determining whether disclosure of the information is or is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, OPM shall consider the following factors:


(i) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest. Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so –


(ii) The primary interest in disclosure. Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is “primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”


(3) In all cases the burden of proof shall be on the requester to present evidence or information in support of a request for a waiver or reduction of fees.


(g) Denial of waiver request. (1) An OPM official may deny a request for a full or partial waiver of fees without further consideration if the request does not include:


(i) A clear statement of the requester’s interest in the requested information;


(ii) A clear statement of the use proposed for the information and whether the requester will derive income or other benefit from such use;


(iii) A clear statement of how the public will benefit from OPM’s release of the requested information; and


(iv) If specialized use of the documents is contemplated, a clear statement of the requester’s qualifications that are relevant to the specialized use.


(2) A requester may appeal the denial of a waiver request as provided by § 294.110 of this part.


(h) Fees not paid; penalties; debt collection. (1) If a request, which requires the advance payment of fees under the criteria specified in this section, is not accompanied by the required payment, OPM will promptly notify the requester that the required fee must be paid within 30 days, and that OPM will not further process the request until it receives payment.


(2) OPM may begin assessing interest charges on an unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the date on which the bill was sent. Interest will be charged at the rate prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717, and will accrue from the date of the billing.


(3) To encourage the repayment of debts incurred under this subpart, OPM may use the procedures authorized by Public Law 97-365, the Debt Collection Act of 1982. This may include disclosure to consumer reporting agencies and the use of collection agencies.


[58 FR 32044, June 8, 1993]


§ 294.110 Appeals.

(a) When an OPM official denies records or a waiver of fees under the Freedom of Information Act, the requester may appeal to the –



Office of the General Counsel, Office of Personnel Management, Washington, DC 20415

(b) A person may appeal denial of a Freedom of Information Act request for information maintained by OPM’s Office of the General Counsel to the –



Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management Washington, DC 20415

(c) If an official of another agency denies a Freedom of Information Act request for records in one of OPM’s Government-wide systems of records, the requester should consult that agency’s regulations for any appeal rights that may apply. An agency may, at its discretion, direct these appeals to OPM’s Office of the General Counsel.


(d) An appeal should include a copy of the initial request, a copy of the letter denying the request, and a statement explaining why the appellant believes the denying official erred.


(e) The appeals provided for in this section constitute the final levels of administrative review that are available. If a denial of information or a denial of a fee waiver is affirmed, the requester may seek judicial review in the district court of the United States in the district in which he or she resides, or has his or her principal place of business, or in which the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia.


§ 294.111 Custody of records; subpoenas.

(a) The Chief, Plans and Policies Division, Administration Group, OPM, has official custody of OPM records. A subpoena or other judicial order for an official record from OPM should be served on the –



Chief, Plans and Policies Division, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415

(b) See 5 CFR part 297, subpart D – Disclosure of Records, of this title, for the steps other officials should take on receipt of a subpoena or other judicial order for an Office record.


[54 FR 25094, June 13, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 32150, July 21, 1992]


§ 294.112 Confidential commercial information.

(a) In general, OPM will not disclose confidential commercial information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request except in accordance with this section.


(b) The following definitions from Executive Order 12600, apply to this section:


(1) Confidential commercial information means records provided to the Government by a submitter that arguably contain material exempt from release under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), because disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause substantial competitive harm.


(2) Submitter means any person or entity who provides confidential commercial information, directly or indirectly, to OPM. The term includes, but is not limited to, corporations, state governments, and foreign governments.


(c) Submitters of information shall designate by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of their submissions that they consider to be confidential commercial information. Such designations shall expire 10 years after the date of submission unless the submitter requests, and provides reasonable justification for, a designation period of greater duration.


(d) OPM shall, to the extent permitted by law, provide prompt written notice to an information submitter of Freedom of Information requests or administrative appeals if:


(1) The submitter has made a good faith designation that the requested material is confidential commercial information, or


(2) OPM has reason to believe that the requested material may be confidential commercial information.


(e) The written notice required in paragraph (d) of this section shall either describe the confidential commercial material requested or include as an attachment, copies or pertinent portions of the records.


(f) Whenever OPM provides the notification and opportunity to object required by paragraphs (d) and (h) of this section, it will advise the requester that notice and an opportunity to object are being provided to the submitter.


(g) The notice requirements of paragraph (d) of this section shall not apply if:


(1) OPM determines that the information should not be disclosed;


(2) The information has been lawfully published or officially made available to the public;


(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 U.S.C. 552);


(4) The information was submitted on or after August 20, 1992, and has not been designated by the submitter as exempt from disclosure in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, unless OPM has substantial reason to believe that disclosure of the information would result in competitive harm; or


(5) The designation made by the submitter in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section appears obviously frivolous; except that, in such a case, OPM shall, within a reasonable number of days prior to a specified disclosure date, notify the submitter in writing of any final administrative decision to disclose the information.


(h) The notice described in paragraph (d) of this section shall give a submitter a reasonable period from the date of the notice to provide OPM with a detailed written statement of any objection to disclosure. The statement shall specify all grounds for withholding any of the material under any exemption of the Freedom of Information Act. When Exemption 4 of the FOIA is cited as the grounds for withholding, the specification shall demonstrate the basis for any contention that the material is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. It must also include a specification of any claim of competitive harm, including the degree of such harm, that would result from disclosure. Information provided in response to this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA. Information provided in response to this paragraph shall also be subject to the designation requirements of paragraph (c) of this section. Failure to object in a timely manner shall be considered a statement of no objection by OPM, unless OPM extends the time for objection upon timely request from the submitter and for good cause shown. The provisions of this paragraph concerning opportunity to object shall not apply to notices of administrative appeals, when the submitter has been previously provided an opportunity to object at the time the request was initially considered.


(i) OPM shall consider carefully a submitter’s objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure, when received within the period of time described in paragraph (h) of this section, prior to determining whether to disclose the information. Whenever OPM decides to disclose the information over the objection of a submitter, OPM shall forward to the submitter a written notice, which shall include:


(1) A statement of the reasons why the submitter’s disclosure objections were not sustained;


(2) A description of the information to be disclosed; and


(3) A specified disclosure date.


(j) OPM will notify both the submitter and the requester of its intent to disclose material a reasonable number of days prior to the specified disclosure date.


(k) Whenever a requester brings suit seeking to compel disclosure of confidential commercial information, OPM shall promptly notify the submitter.


[57 FR 32150, July 21, 1992]


Subpart B – The Public Information Function

§ 294.201 Public information policy.

(a) In addition to the basic policies of the Office relative to the disclosure of information when requested by a member of the public, the Office has an independent public information policy for bringing to the attention of the public through news releases, publications of the Office, or other methods, information concerning the functions of the Office as a Federal agency, and the programs administered by the Office.


(b) The Assistant Director for Public Affairs carries out the public information policy of the Office. In addition, each employee of the Office shall cooperate in carrying out this policy.


[50 FR 3310, Jan. 24, 1985]


Subpart C – Office Operations

§ 294.301 Policy and interpretations.

(a) Statements of Office policy and interpretations of the laws and regulations administered by the Office which the Office has adopted, whether or not published in the Federal Register, are available to the public.


(b) Generally, memoranda, correspondence, opinions, data, staff studies, information received in confidence, and similar documentary material, when prepared for the purpose of internal communication within the Office or between the Office and other agencies, organizations, or persons, are not available to the public.


[50 FR 3310, Jan. 24, 1985, as amended at 66 FR 66710, Dec. 27, 2001]


Subpart D – Cross References

§ 294.401 References.

The table below provides assistance in locating other OPM regulations in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations that have provisions on the disclosure of records:


Type of information
Location
Classification appeal records511.616.
Classification information175.101.
Employee performance folders293.311.
Examination and related subjects records300.201.
Grade and pay retention records536.405.
Investigative records736.104.
Job grading reviews and appeals records532.707.
Medical information297.205 and 293 subpart E.
Official Personnel Folders293.311.
Privacy and personnel records297.
Retirement831.106 and 841.108.

[54 FR 25098, June 13, 1989, as amended at 58 FR 32046, June 8, 1993; 70 FR 31286, May 31, 2005]


PART 295 – TESTIMONY BY OPM EMPLOYEES RELATING TO OFFICIAL INFORMATION AND PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS


Authority:5 U.S.C. App. (Sec. 1103, Civil Service Reform Act of 1978; 31 U.S.C. 9701).


Source:73 FR 58020, Oct. 6, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 295.101 Scope and purpose.

(a) This part sets forth policies and procedures you must follow when you submit a demand or request to an employee of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to produce official records and information, or provide testimony relating to official information, in connection with a legal proceeding. You must comply with these requirements when you request the release or disclosure of official records and information.


(b) OPM intends these provisions to:


(1) Promote economy and efficiency in its programs and operations;


(2) Minimize the possibility of involving OPM in controversial issues not related to our functions;


(3) Prevent the misuse of OPM employees as involuntary expert witnesses for private interests or as inappropriate expert witnesses as to the state of the law;


(4) Maintain OPM’s impartiality among private litigants where neither OPM nor any other Federal entity is a named party; and


(5) Protect sensitive, confidential information and the deliberative processes of OPM.


(c) In providing for these requirements, OPM does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.


(d) This part provides guidance for the internal operations of OPM. It does not create any right or benefits, substantive or procedural, that a party may rely upon in any legal proceeding against the United States.


§ 295.102 Applicability.

This part applies to demands and requests to employees of OPM in legal proceedings in which OPM is not a named party, for factual or expert testimony relating to official information or for production of official records or information. However, it does not apply to:


(a) Demands upon or requests for a current OPM employee to testify as to facts or events that are unrelated to his or her official duties or that are unrelated to the functions of OPM;


(b) Demands upon or requests for a former OPM employee to testify as to matters in which the former employee was not directly or materially involved while at OPM;


(c) Requests for the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(a); and


(d) Congressional or Government Accountability Office (GAO) demands and requests for testimony or records.


§ 295.103 Definitions.

Demand means a subpoena, or an order or other command of a court or other competent authority, for the production, disclosure, or release of records or for the appearance and testimony of an OPM employee that is issued in a legal proceeding.


General Counsel means the General Counsel of OPM or a person to whom the General Counsel has delegated authority under this part.


Legal proceeding means any matter before a court of law, administrative board or tribunal, commission, administrative law judge, hearing officer, or other body that conducts a legal or administrative proceeding. Legal proceeding includes all phases of litigation.


OPM means the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.


OPM employee or employee means:


(1) Any current or former officer or employee of OPM;


(2) Any other individual hired through contractual agreement by or on behalf of the OPM or who has performed or is performing services under such an agreement for OPM; and


(3) Any individual who served or is serving in any consulting or advisory capacity to OPM, whether formal or informal.


(4) Provided, that this definition does not include persons who are no longer employed by OPM and who are retained or hired as expert witnesses or who agree to testify about general matters available to the public, or matters with which they had no specific involvement or responsibility during their employment with OPM.


Records or official records and information mean:


(1) All documents and materials which are OPM agency records under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552;


(2) All other documents and materials contained in OPM files; and


(3) All other information or materials acquired by an OPM employee in the performance of his or her official duties or because of his or her official status.


Request means any informal request, by whatever method, for the production of records and information or for testimony which has not been ordered by a court or other competent authority.


Testimony means any written or oral statements, including depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits, declarations, recorded interviews, and statements made by an individual in connection with a legal proceeding.


Subpart B – Requests for Testimony and Production of Documents

§ 295.201 General prohibition.

No employee may produce official records and information or provide any testimony relating to official information in response to a demand or request without the prior, written approval of the General Counsel.


§ 295.202 Factors OPM will consider.

The General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may grant an employee permission to testify on matters relating to official information, or produce official records and information, in response to an appropriate demand or request. Among the relevant factors that the General Counsel may consider in making this decision are whether:


(a) The purposes of this part are met;


(b) Allowing such testimony or production of records would be necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice;


(c) OPM has an interest in the decision that may be rendered in the legal proceeding;


(d) Allowing such testimony or production of records would assist or hinder OPM in performing its statutory duties or use OPM resources in a way that will interfere with the ability of OPM employees to do their regular work;


(e) Allowing such testimony or production of records would be in the best interest of OPM or the United States;


(f) The records or testimony can be obtained from other sources;


(g) The demand or request is unduly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate under the applicable rules of discovery or the rules of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand or request arose;


(h) Disclosure would violate a statute, Executive order or regulation;


(i) Disclosure would reveal confidential, sensitive, or privileged information, trade secrets or similar, confidential commercial or financial information, otherwise protected information, or would otherwise be inappropriate for release;


(j) Disclosure would impede or interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or proceedings, or compromise constitutional rights;


(k) Disclosure would result in OPM appearing to favor one private litigant over another private litigant;


(l) Disclosure relates to documents that were produced by another agency;


(m) A substantial Government interest is implicated;


(n) The demand or request is within the authority of the party making it;


(o) The demand improperly seeks to compel an OPM employee to serve as an expert witness for a private interest;


(p) The demand improperly seeks to compel an OPM employee to testify as to a matter of law;


(q) The demand or request is sufficiently specific to be answered.


§ 295.203 Filing requirements for demands or requests for documents or testimony.

You must comply with the following requirements whenever you issue demands or requests to an OPM employee for official records and information or testimony.


(a) Your request must be in writing and must be submitted to the General Counsel. If you serve a subpoena on OPM or an OPM employee before submitting a written request and receiving a final determination, OPM will oppose the subpoena on grounds that your request was not submitted in accordance with this subpart.


(b) You written request must contain the following information:


(1) The caption of the legal proceeding, docket number, and name and address of the court or other authority involved.


(2) A copy of the complaint or equivalent document setting forth the assertions in the case and any other pleading or document necessary to show relevance;


(3) A list of categories of records sought, a detailed description of how the information sought is relevant to the issues in the legal proceeding, and a specific description of the substance of the testimony or records sought;


(4) A statement as to how the need for the information outweighs the need to maintain any confidentiality of the information and outweighs the burden on OPM to produce the records or provide testimony;


(5) A statement indicating that the information sought is not available from another source, from other persons or entities, or from the testimony of someone other than an OPM employee, such as a retained expert;


(6) If testimony is requested, the intended use of the testimony, a general summary of the desired testimony, and a showing that no document could be provided and used in lieu of testimony;


(7) A description of all prior decisions, orders, or pending motions in the case that bear upon the relevance of the requested records or testimony;


(8) The name, address, and telephone number of counsel to each party in the case; and


(9) An estimate of the amount of time that the requester and other parties will require with each OPM employee for time spent by the employee to prepare for testimony, in travel, and for attendance in the legal proceeding.


(c) The Office of Personnel Management reserves the right to require additional information to complete your request where appropriate.


(d) Your request should be submitted at least 45 days before the date that records or testimony is required. Requests submitted in less than 45 days before records or testimony is required must be accompanied by a written explanation stating the reasons for the late request and the reasons for expedited processing.


(e) Failure to cooperate in good faith to enable the General Counsel to make an informed decision may serve as the basis for a determination not to comply with your request.


§ 295.204 Service of subpoenas or requests.

Subpoenas or requests for official records or information or testimony must be served on the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415.


§ 295.205 Processing demands or requests.

(a) After service of a demand or request to testify, the General Counsel will review the demand or request and, in accordance with the provisions of this subpart, determine whether, or under what conditions, to authorize the employee to testify on matters relating to official information and/or produce official records and information.


(b) OPM will process requests in the order in which they are received. Absent exigent or unusual circumstances, OPM will respond within 45 days from the date that we receive it. The time for response will depend upon the scope of the request.


(c) The General Counsel may grant a waiver of any procedure described by this subpart where a waiver is considered necessary to promote a significant interest of OPM or the United States or for other good cause.


§ 295.206 Final determination.

The General Counsel makes the final determination on demands and requests to employees for production of official records and information or testimony. All final determinations are within the sole discretion of the General Counsel. The General Counsel will notify the requester and the court or other authority of the final determination, the reasons for the grant or denial of the demand or request, and any conditions that the General Counsel may impose on the release of records or information, or on the testimony of an OPM employee.


§ 295.207 Restrictions that apply to testimony.

(a) The General Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the testimony of OPM employees including, for example, limiting the areas of testimony or requiring the requester and other parties to the legal proceeding to agree that the transcript of the testimony will be kept under seal or will only be used or made available in the particular legal proceeding for which testimony was requested. The General Counsel may also require a copy of the transcript of testimony at the requester’s expense.


(b) OPM may offer the employee’s written declaration in lieu of testimony.


(c) If authorized to testify pursuant to this part, an employee may testify as to facts within his or her personal knowledge, but, unless specifically authorized to do so by the General Counsel, the employee shall not:


(1) Disclose confidential or privileged information;


(2) Testify as to facts when the General Counsel determines such testimony would not be in the best interest of OPM or the United States; or


(3) For a current OPM employee, testify as an expert or opinion witness with regard to any matter arising out of the employee’s official duties or the functions of OPM unless testimony is being given on behalf of the United States.


§ 295.208 Restrictions that apply to released records.

(a) The General Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the release of official records and information, including the requirement that parties to the proceeding obtain a protective order or execute a confidentiality agreement to limit access and any further disclosure. The terms of the protective order or of a confidentiality agreement must be acceptable to the General Counsel. In cases where protective orders or confidentiality agreements have already been executed, OPM may condition the release of official records and information on an amendment to the existing protective order or confidentiality agreement.


(b) If the General Counsel so determines, original OPM records may be presented for examination in response to a demand or request, but they are not to be presented as evidence or otherwise used in a manner by which they could lose their identify as official OPM records, and they are not to be marked or altered. In lieu of the original records, certified copies will be presented for evidentiary purposes (see 28 U.S.C. 1733).


§ 295.209 Procedure when a decision is not made prior to the time a response is required.

If a response to a demand or request is required before the General Counsel can make the determination referred to in Sec.295.206, the General Counsel, when necessary, will provide the court or other competent authority with a copy of this part, inform the court or other competent authority that the demand or request is being reviewed, and seek a stay of the demand or request pending a final determination.


§ 295.210 Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling.

If the court or other competent authority fails to stay the demand, the employee upon whom the demand or request is made, unless otherwise advised by the General Counsel, will appear at the stated time and place, produce a copy of this part, state that the employee has been advised by counsel not to provide the requested testimony or produce documents, and respectfully decline to comply with the demand, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). A written response may be offered to a request, or to a demand, if permitted by the court or other competent authority.


Subpart C – Schedule of Fees

§ 295.301 Fees.

(a) Generally. The General Counsel may condition the production of records or appearance for testimony upon advance payment of a reasonable estimate of the costs to OPM.


(b) Fees for records. Fees for producing records will include fees for searching, reviewing, and duplicating records, costs of attorney time spent in reviewing the demand or request, and expenses generated by materials and equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the responsive information. Costs for employee time will be calculated on the basis of the hourly pay of the employee (including all pay, allowance, and benefits). Fees for duplication will be the same as those charged by OPM in its Freedom of Information Act regulations at 5 CFR part 294.


(c) Witness fees. Fees for attendance by a witness will include fees, expenses, and allowances prescribed by the court’s rules. If no such fees are prescribed, witness fees will be determined based upon the rule of the Federal district court closest to the location where the witness will appear. Such fees will include cost of time spent by the witness to prepare for testimony, in travel, and for attendance in the legal proceeding.


(d) Payment of fees. You must pay witness fees for current OPM employees and any records certification fees by submitting to the General Counsel a check or money order for the appropriate amount made payable to the Treasury of the United States. In the case of testimony by former OPM employees, you must pay applicable fees directly to the former employee in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1821 or other applicable statutes.


(e) Certification (authentication) of copies of records. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management may certify that records are true copies in order to facilitate their use as evidence. If you seek certification, you must request certified copies from OPM at least 45 days before the date they will be needed. The request should be sent to the General Counsel. You will be charged a certification fee of $15.00 for each document certified.


(f) Waiver or reduction of fees. The General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may, upon a showing of reasonable cause, waive or reduce any fees in connection with the testimony, production, or certification of records.


(g) De minimis fees. Fees will not be assessed if the total charge would be $10.00 or less.


Subpart D – Penalties

§ 295.401 Penalties.

(a) An employee who discloses official records or information or gives testimony relating to official information, except as expressly authorized by OPM or as ordered by a Federal court after OPM has had the opportunity to be heard, may face the penalties provided in 18 U.S.C. 641 and other applicable laws. Additionally, former OPM employees are subject to the restrictions and penalties of 18 U.S.C. 207 and 216.


(b) A current OPM employee who testifies or produces official records and information in violation of this part may be subject to disciplinary action.


PART 297 – PRIVACY PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL RECORDS


Authority:Sec. 3, Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a).


Source:53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 297.101 Purpose and scope.

This part sets forth the regulations of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (the Office) to govern the maintenance, protection, disclosure, and amendment of records within the systems of records as defned by the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), Public Law 93-579.


§ 297.102 Definitions.

In this part, the terms agency, individual, maintain, record, statistical records, and systems of records have the same meanings as defined in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. In addition:


Access means providing a copy of a record to, or allowing review of the original record by, the data subject or the data subject’s authorized representative, parent, or legal guardian;


Act means the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended;


Agency means any department or independent establishment in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, including a Government corporation, of Government-controlled corporation, except those specifically excluded from the Office recordkeeping requirements by statute, this title, or formal agreement between the Office and the agency.


Amendment means the correction, addition, deletion, or destruction of a record or specific portions of a record;


Data subject means the individual to whom the information pertains and by whose name or other individual identifier the information is retrieved;


Disclosure means providing personal review of a record, or a copy thereof, to someone other than the data subject or the data subject’s authorized representative, parent, or legal guardian;


Office means the U.S. Office of Personnel Management;


Personnel record means any record concerning an individual which is maintained and used in the personnel management or personnel policy-making process; and


System manager means the Office or agency official, designated by the head of the agency, who has the authority to decide Privacy Act matters relative to each system of records maintained by the Office.


§ 297.103 Designations of authority by system manager.

The responsible Office system manager having jurisdiction over a system of records may designate in writing an Office employee to evaluate and issue the Office’s decision on Privacy Act matters relating to either internal, central, or Governmentwide systems of records.


§ 297.104 Types of records.

The Office manages three generic types of personnel records systems:


(a) Internal systems of records are under the Office’s physical control and are established and maintained by the Office solely on its own employees and, when appropriate, on others in contact with the Office regarding matters within its authority.


(b) Centralized systems of personnel records are physically established and maintained by the Office with regard to most current and former Federal employees and some applicants for Federal employment.


(c) Governmentwide systems of personnel records are maintained by the Office, and through Office delegations of authority, by Federal agencies with regard to their own employees or applicants for employment. Although they are Office records, they are in the physical custody of those agencies. Though in the physical custody of agencies, the Office retains authority under its record management authority and under the Privacy Act to decide appeals of initial agency determinations regarding access to and amendment of material in these systems.


§ 297.105 Agency and Office responsibilities for systems of records and applicability of the regulations.

(a) These regulations apply to processing requests from both current and former Office employees for records contained in internal, central, and Governmentwide systems of records managed by the Office.


(b) Agencies are solely and totally responsible for processing requests regarding records maintained in their internal systems of records. Agency regulations, and not these Office regulations, govern the implementation of the Privacy Act for agency internal systems; there is no right of appeal to the Office from an agency’s determination regarding its internal agency records.


(c) For records maintained in the Office’s central systems of records, the data subject should contact the appropriate Office system manager concerning Privacy Act matters. These regulations will apply to inquiries regarding records located in the central systems of records.


(d) For records maintained within the Office’s Governmentwide systems of records, each agency is responsible, unless specifically excepted by the Office, for responding to initial Privacy Act access and amendment requests from its own current employees. For records in Office Governmentwide systems, including those in Official Personnel Folders, Employee Performance Folders, and Employee Medical Folders, the Office is responsible for responding to initial Privacy Act access and amendment requests from former Federal employees.


(e) The procedures in this part apply to all such requests. The procedures in this part also apply to appeals from an agency initial determination regarding access to or amendment of records contained in the Office’s Governmentwide systems of records.


(f) The Office follows the procedures in this part when –


(1) Processing initial requests regarding access to or amendment of records by its own employees and others that the Office is maintaining information on in its systems of records, including requests from former employees of an agency whose records properly reside in an Office Governmentwide system of records.


(2) Processing Privacy Act appeals regarding access to and amendment of records generated by another Federal agency, but which are contained in the Office’s Governmentwide systems of records, after an agency has issued the initial decision.


(3) Processing initial requests and appeals concerning access to and amendment of records contained in the central systems of records.


(g) For requests concerning records and material of another agency that are in the custody of the Office, but not under its control or ownership, the Office reserves the right to either refer the request to the agency primarily responsible for the material or to notify the individual of the proper agency that should be contacted.


§ 297.106 Contact point for Privacy Act matters.

To determine what records the Office maintains in its system of records, requesters must write to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415. Using the Office’s response, requesters can contact the particular system manager indicated in the Office’s notices of its systems published in the Federal Register for further assistance in determining if the Office maintains information pertaining to them.


Subpart B – Request for Access

§ 297.201 General provisions.

(a) Individual’s requesting access to records pertaining to them that are maintained in a system of records should submit a written request to the appropriate system manager and state that the request is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974.


(b) The Office or agency will require proof of identity from a requester. The Office or agency reserves the right to determine the adequacy of any such proof. The general identifying items the Office will require a requester to provide when a request is made to the Office are –


(1) Full name, signature, and home address;


(2) Social security number (for systems of records that include this identifier);


(3) Current or last place and dates of Federal employment, when appropriate and,


(4) Date and place of birth.


(c) An individual may be represented by another when requesting access to records.


§ 297.202 Methods of access.

(a) The methods for allowing access to records, when such access has been granted by the Office or agency, are:


(1) Inspection in person in the designated office during the hours specified by the Office or agency; or


(2) Transfer of records at the option of the Office or agency to another more convenient Federal facility.


(b) Generally, Office of Personnel Management offices will not furnish certified copies of records. When copies are to be furnished, they may be provided as determined by the Office and may require payment of any fee levied in accordance with the Office’s established fee schedule.


(c) When the requester seeks to obtain original documentation, the Office reserves the right to limit the request to copies of the original records. Original records should be made available for review only in the presence of the system manager or designee. An agency should consult with the Office when it receives a request for original documentation. Section 2701(a) of title 18 of the United States Code makes it a crime to conceal, mutilate, obliterate, or destroy any record filed in a public office, or to attempt to do so.


§ 297.203 Access by the parent of a minor or by the legal guardian of an individual declared to be incompetent.

(a) A parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a minor, upon presentation of suitable personal identification, may access on behalf of a minor any record pertaining to the minor in a system of records maintained by the Office.


(b) A legal guardian, upon presentation of documentation establishing guardianship, may access on behalf of an individual declared to be incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, any record pertaining to that individual in a system of records maintained by the Office.


(c) Minors are not precluded from exercising personally those rights provided them by the Privacy Act.


§ 297.204 Access by the representative of the data subject.

A record may be disclosed to a representative of the individual to whom the record pertains after the system manager receives written authorization from the individual who is the subject of the record.


§ 297.205 Access to medical records.

When a request for access involves medical or psychological records that the system manager believes requires special handling, the requester should be advised that the material will be provided only to a physician designated by the data subject. Upon receipt of the designation and upon verification of the physician’s identity, the records will be made available to the physician, who will have full authority to disclose those records to the data subject when appropriate.


§ 297.206 Fees charged by the Office.

(a) No fees will be charged for search and review time expended by the Office to produce a record, or for making a photostatic copy of the record, or for having it personally reviewed by the data subject, when a record is retrieved from a system of records pertaining to that data subject. Additional copies provided may be charged under the Office’s established fee schedule.


(b) When the fees chargeable under this section will amount to more than $25, the requester will be notified and payment of fees may be required before the records are provided.


(c) Remittance should be made by either a personal check, bank draft, or a money order that is made payable to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and addressed to the appropriate system manager.


§ 297.207 Denials of access and appeals with respect to such denials.

(a) If an access request is denied, the Office or agency response will be in writing and will include a statement of the reasons for the denial and the procedures available to appeal the denial, including the name, position title, and address of the Office official responsible for the review.


(b) Nothing in this part should be construed to entitle a data subject the right to access any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.


(c) For denials of access made under this subpart, the following procedures apply:


(1) For initial denials made by an agency, when the record is maintained in an Office Governmentwide system of records, a request for adminstrative review should be made only to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(2) For denials initially made by an Office official, when a record is maintained in an internal or central system of records, a request for administrative review should be made to the Information and Privacy Appeals Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(3) Any administrative review decision that either partially or fully supports the initial decision and denies access to the material the individual originally sought should state the requester’s right to seek judicial review of the final administrative decision.


§ 297.208 Judicial review.

Upon receipt of notification that the denial of access has been upheld on administrative review, the requester has the right to judicial review of the decision for up to 2 years from the date on which the cause of action arose. Judicial review may be sought in the district court of the United States in the district in which –


(a) The requester resides;


(b) The requester has his or her principal place of business; or


(c) The agency records are situated; or it may be sought in the district court of the District of Columbia.


Subpart C – Amendment of Records

§ 297.301 General provisions.

(a) Individuals may request, in writing, the amendment of their records maintained in an Office system of records by contacting the appropriate system manager. The Office or agency will require proof of identity from a requester. The Office or agency reserves the right to determine the adequacy of any such proof. The general identifying items the Office will require a requester to provide when a request is made to the Office are –


(1) Full name, signature, and home address;


(2) Social security number (for systems of records that include this identifier);


(3) Current or last place and dates of Federal employment, when appropriate; and


(4) Date and place of birth.


(b) An individual may be represented by another party when requesting amendment of records.


(c) A request for amendment should include the following:


(1) The precise identification of the records to be amended;


(2) The identification of the specific material to be deleted, added, or changed; and


(3) A statement of the reasons for the request, including all available material substantiating the request.


(d) Requests for amendment of records should include the words “PRIVACY ACT AMENDMENT REQUEST” in capital letters on both the envelope and at the top of the request letter.


(e) A request for administrative review of an agency denial to amend a record in the Office’s systems of records should be addressed to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(f) A request for administrative review of a denial to amend a record by an Office official should be addressed to the Information and Privacy Appeals Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(g) The burden of proof demonstrating the appropriateness of the requested amendment rests with the requester; and, the requester must provide relevant and convincing evidence in support of the request.


§ 297.302 Time limits.

The system manager should acknowledge receipt of an amendment request within 10 working days and issue a determination as soon as practicable. This timeframe begins when the request is received by the proper Office or agency official.


§ 297.303 Applicability of amendment provisions.

(a) The amendment procedures are not intended to allow a challenge to material that records an event that actually occurred nor are they designed to permit a collateral attack upon that which has been or could have been the subject of a judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative proceeding. The amendment procedures are also not designed to change opinions in records pertaining to the individual.


(b) The amendment procedures apply to situations when an occurrence that is documented was challenged through an established judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative procedure and found to be inaccurately described; when the document is not identical to the individual’s copy; or when the document is not created in accordance with the applicable recordkeeping requirements. (For example, the amendment provisions are not designed to allow a challenge to the merits of an agency adverse action that is documented in an individual’s Official Personnel Folder.)


§ 297.304 Approval of requests to amend records.

(a) If the system manager determines that amendment of a record is appropriate, the system manager will take the necessary steps to have the necessary changes made and will see that the individual receives a copy of the amended record.


(b) When practicable and appropriate, the system manager will advise all prior recipients of the fact that an amendment of a record has been made.


§ 297.305 Denial of requests to amend records.

(a) If the Office or agency system manager decides not to amend the record in the manner sought, the requester should be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial.


(b) The decision letter should also include the requester’s right to appeal the denial and the procedures for appealing the denial to the appropriate official.


§ 297.306 Appeal of a denial of a request to amend a record.

(a) An individual who disagrees with an initial denial to amend a record may file a written appeal of that denial to the appropriate official. In submitting an appeal, the individual should provide a copy of the original request for amendment, a copy of the initial denial decision, and a statement of the specific reasons why the initial denial is believed to be in error. Any appeal should be submitted to the official designated in the initial decision letter. The appeal should include the words “PRIVACY ACT APPEAL” in capital letters on the envelope and at the top of the letter of appeal.


(b) The reviewing official should complete the review and make a final determination in writing no later than 30 working days from the date on which the appeal is received. When circumstances warrant, this timeframe may be extended.


(c) If the Office grants the appeal, it will take the necessary steps either to amend the record itself or to require the originating agency to amend the record. When appropriate and possible, prior recipients of the record should be notified of the Office’s action.


(d) The Office reserves the right to hold in abeyance any Privacy Act appeal concerning a record when an individual is involved in challenging an action involving that record in another administrative, judicial, or quasi-judicial forum. At the conclusion of such a challenge, the individual can resubmit the appeal.


(e) If the Office denies the appeal, it will include in the decision letter notification of the appellant’s right to judicial review.


§ 297.307 Statement of disagreement.

(a) Upon receipt of a final administrative determination denying a request to amend a record, the requester may file a concise statement of disagreement. Such a statement should be filed with the appropriate system manager and should include the reasons why the requester believes the decision to be incorrect.


(b) The statement of disagreement should be maintained with the record to be amended and any disclosure of the record must include a copy of the statement of disagreement.


(c) When practicable and appropriate, the system manager should provide a copy of the statement of disagreement to any individual or agency to whom the record was previously disclosed as noted by the disclosure accounting.


§ 297.308 Judicial review.

Upon receipt of notification that the denial to amend a record has been upheld on administrative review, the requester has the right to judicial review of the decision for up to 2 years from the date the cause of action arose. Judicial review may be sought in the district court of the United States in the district in which –


(a) The requester resides;


(b) The requester has his or her principal place of business; or


(c) The agency records are situated; or it may be sought in the district court of the District of Columbia.


Subpart D – Disclosure of Records

§ 297.401 Conditions of disclosure.

An official or employee of the Office or agency should not disclose a record retrieved from a Governmentwide system of records to any person, another agency, or other entity without the express written consent of the subject individual unless disclosure is –


(a) To officers or employees of the Office who have a need for the information in the performance of their duties.


(b) Required by the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.


(c) For a routine use as published in the Federal Register.


(d) To the Bureau of the Census for uses pursuant to title 13 of the United States Code.


(e)(1) To a recipient who has provided the agency with advance adequate written assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical research or reporting record. The record will be transferred in a form that is not individually identifiable. The written statement should include as a minimum:


(i) A statement of the purpose for requesting the records; and


(ii) Certification that the records will be used only for statistical purposes.


(2) These written statements should be maintained as records. In addition to deleting personal identifying information from records released for statistical purposes, the system manager will reasonably ensure that the identity of the individual cannot be deduced by combining various statistical records.


(f) To the National Archives of the United States as a record that has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government, or for evaluation by the Archivist of the United States or his or her designee to determine whether the record has such value.


(g) To another agency or instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality or his designated representative has made a written request to the Office or agency that maintains the record specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought.


(h) To a person showing compelling circumstances affecting the health and safety of an individual, not necessarily the individual to whom the record pertains. Upon such disclosure, a notification should be sent to the last known address of the subject individual.


(i) To the Congress or to a Congressional committee, subcommittee, or joint committee to the extent that the subject matter falls within its established jurisdiction.


(j) To the Comptroller General or any authorized representatives of the Comptroller General in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office.


(k) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.


(l) To a consumer reporting agency in accordance with section 3711 (f) of title 31 of the United States Code.


§ 297.402 Disclosure pursuant to a compulsory legal process served on the Office.

For purposes of this section, the Office considers that a subpoena signed by a judge is equivalent to a court order.


(a) The Office may disclose, without prior consent of the data subject, specified information from a system of records whenever such disclosure is pursuant to an order signed by the appropriate official of a court of competent jurisdiction or quasi-judicial agency. In this subpart, a court of competent jurisdiction includes the judicial system of a state, territory, or possession of the United States.


(b) Notice of the order will be provided to the data subject by the Office as soon as practicable after service of the order. The notice should be mailed to the last known address of the individual and state the name and number of the case or proceeding, and the nature of the information sought.


(c) Before complying or refusing to comply with the order, an official with authority to disclose records under this subpart should consult legal counsel to ensure that the response is appropriate.


(d) Before responding to the order or subpoena signed by a judge, an official with authority to disclose records under this subpart in consulting with legal counsel will ensure that –


(1) The requested material is relevant to the subject matter of the related judicial or administrative proceeding;


(2) Motion is made to quash or modify an order that is unreasonable or oppressive:


(3) Motion is made for a protective order when necessary to restrict the use or disclosure of any information furnished for purposes other than those of the involved proceeding; or


(4) Request is made for an extension of time allowed for response, if necessary.


(e) If an order or subpoena signed by a judge for production of documents also requests appearance of an Office employee, the response should be to furnish certified copies of the appropriate records. In those situations where the subpoena is not signed by a judge, the Office will return the document to the sender and indicate that no action will be taken to provide records until the subpoena is signed by a judge.


(f) If oral testimony is requested by the order or subpoena signed by a judge, an explanation that sets forth the testimony desired must be furnished to the Office system manager. The individual who has been ordered or subpoenaed to testify should consult with counsel to determine the matters about which the individual may properly testify.


(g) In all situations concerning an order, subpoena signed by a judge, or other demand for an employee of the Office to produce any material or testimony concerning the records that are subject to the order, that are contained in the Office’s systems of records, and that are acquired as part of the employee’s official duties, the employee shall not provide the information without the prior approval of the appropriate Office official.


(h) If it is determined that the information should not be provided, the individual ordered or subpoenaed to do so should respectfully decline to comply with the demand based on the instructions from the appropriate Office official.


(i) Notice of the issuance of the ex parte order or subpoena signed by a judge is not required if the system of records has been exempted from the notice requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(8) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) by a Notice of Exemption published in the Federal Register.


[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, as amended at 57 FR 56732, Nov. 30, 1992]


§ 297.403 Accounting of disclosure.

(a) The Office or agency will maintain a record of disclosures in cases where records about the individual are disclosed from an Office system of records except –


(1) When the disclosure is made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552); or


(2) When the disclosure is made to those officers and employees of the Office or agency who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties.


(b) This accounting of the disclosures will be retained for at least 5 years or for the life of the record, whichever is longer, and will contain the following information:


(1) A brief description of the record disclosed;


(2) The date, nature, and purpose for the disclosure; and


(3) The name and address of the purpose, agency, or other entity to whom the disclosure is made.


(c) Except for the accounting of disclosure made to agencies, individuals, or entities in law enforcement activities or disclosures made from the Office’s exempt systems of records, the accounting of disclosures will be made available to the data subject upon request in accordance with the access procedures of this part.


[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988. Redesignated at 57 FR 56732, Nov. 30, 1992]


Subpart E – Exempt Records

§ 297.501 Exemptions.

(a) Several of the Office’s internal, central, and Governmentwide systems of records contain information for which exemptions appearing at 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) may be claimed. The systems of records for which the exemptions are claimed, the specific exemptions determined to be necessary and proper with respect to these systems of records, the records exempted, the provisions of the act from which they are exempted, and the justifications for the exemptions are set forth below.


(b) Specific exemptions – (1) Inspector General Investigations Case File Records (OPM/CENTRAL-4). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:


(i) Inspector General investigations may contain properly classified information that pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from other systems or another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of such classified information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).


(ii) Inspector General investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2); e.g., investigations into the administration of the merit system. Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to or amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) and (d).


(iii) Inspector General investigations may contain information obtained from another system or Federal agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).


(iv) Inspector General case files may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.


(v) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). This exemption is claimed because this system contains investigatory material that if disclosed may reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the source’s identity would be held in confidence or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise. The application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to or amendment of the records, or access to the accounting of disclosures of the record.


(vi) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of a case file record may relate to testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(vii) Inspector General case files may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.


(2) Administrative Law Judge Applicant Records (OPM/CENTRAL-6). (i) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552(c)(3) and (d). The exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentialty should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosures of the record, or access to or amendment of the record.


(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing and examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examing process.


(3) Litigation and Claims Records (OPM/CENTRAL-7). (i) When litigation or claim cases occur, information from other existing systems of records may be incorporated into the case file. This information may be material for which exemptions have been claimed by the Office in this section. To the extent that such exempt material is incorporated into a litigation or claim case file, the appropriate exemption (5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), or (7)) shall also apply to the material as it appears in this system. The exemptions will be only from those provisions of the Act that were claimed for the systems from which the records originated.


(ii) During the course of litigation or claims cases, it may be necessary to conduct investigations to develop information and evidence relevant to the case. These investigative records may include material meeting the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7). Such material is exempt from the requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Act relate to making accounting of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are:


(A) Such investigations may contain properly classified information that pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of suh classified information under 5 U.S.C 552a(d).


(B) Such investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes othe than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), e.g., administration of the merit system, obtained from another Federal agency. All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria of 5 U.S.C 552a(k)(2) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to or amendment of those records.


(C) Such investigations may contain information obtained from another agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria of 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(3) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to or amendment of records by the data subject. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of such records.


(D) Such investigations may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.


(E) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor such a promise should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosure, or access to or amendment of the record, that would reveal the identity of a confidential source.


(F) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment by the data subject of this information would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(G) Such investigations may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.


(4) Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Case Records (OPM/CENTRAL-8). In this subpart, the Office has claimed exemptions for its other systems of records where it felt such exemptions are appropriate and necessary. These exemptions are claimed under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7). During the processing of a Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Act request (which may include access requests, amendment requests, and requests for review for initial denials of such requests) exempt materials from those other systems may in turn become part of the case record in this system. To the extent that copies of exempt records from those other systems are entered into this system, the Office hereby claims the same exemptions for the records from those other systems that are entered into this system, as claimed for the original primary system of which they are a part.


(5) Personnel Investigations Records (OPM/CENTRAL-9). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:


(i) Personnel investigations may contain properly classified information which pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of such classified information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).


(ii) Personnel investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2); e.g., investigations into the administration of the merit system. Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to or amended of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d).


(iii) Personnel investigations may contain information obtained from another Federal agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject’s access to and amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).


(iv) Personnel investigations may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.


(v) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the applicability of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to or amendment of the record, or access to the accounting of disclosures of the record.


(vi) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(vii) Personnel Investigations may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.


(6) Presidential Management Fellows Program Records (OPM/CENTRAL-11). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service and access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(7) Recruiting, Examining, and Placement Records (OPM/GOVT-5). (i) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigative material compiled solely for determining the appropriateness of a request for approval of an objection to an eligible’s qualification for employment in the Federal service. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosures of the record, or access to or amendment of the record.


(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(K)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to an amendment of records by the subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service and access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(8) Personnel Research and Test Validation Records (OPM/GOVT-6). (i) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.


(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(4) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to or amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to records required by statute to be maintained and used solely for statistical purposes. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the confidentiality of these records and their usefulness for statistical research purposes.


(c) The Office also reserves the right to assert exemptions for records received from another agency that could be properly claimed by that agency in responding to a request. The Office may refuse access to information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.


[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, as amended at 57 FR 20956, May 18, 1992; 70 FR 28779, May 19, 2005]


PART 300 – EMPLOYMENT (GENERAL)


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552, 2301, 2302, 3301, and 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., page 218, unless otherwise noted.

Secs. 300.101 through 300.104 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 7201, 7204, and 7701; E.O. 11478, 3 CFR 1966-1970 Comp., page 803, E.O. 13087; and E.O. 13152.

Secs. 300.401 through 300.408 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1302(c).

Secs. 300.501 through 300.507 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1103(a)(5).

Sec. 300.603 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 1104.

Subpart A – Employment Practices

§ 300.101 Purpose.

The purpose of this subpart is to establish principles to govern, as nearly as is administratively feasible and practical, the employment practices of the Federal Government generally, and of individual agencies, that affect the recruitment, measurement, ranking, and selection of individuals for initial appointment and competitive promotion in the competitive service or in positions in the government of the District of Columbia required to be filled in the same manner that positions in the competitive service are filled. For the purpose of this subpart, the term “employment practices” includes the development and use of examinations, qualification standards, tests, and other measurement instruments.


[36 FR 15447, Aug. 14, 1971]


§ 300.102 Policy.

This subpart is directed to implementation of the policy that competitive employment practices:


(a) Be practical in character and as far as possible relate to matters that fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of candidates for the jobs to be filled;


(b) Result in selection from among the best qualified candidates;


(c) Be developed and used without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age (as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended), disability, genetic information (including family medical history), marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, labor organization affiliation or nonaffiliation, status as a parent, or any other non-merit-based factor, or retaliation for exercising rights with respect to the categories enumerated above, where retaliation rights are available.


(d) Insure to the candidate opportunity for appeal or administrative review, as appropriate.


[40 FR 15379, Apr. 7, 1975, as amended at 79 FR 43922, July 29, 2014]


§ 300.103 Basic requirements.

(a) Job analysis. Each employment practice of the Federal Government generally, and of individual agencies, shall be based on a job analysis to identify:


(1) The basic duties and responsibilities;


(2) The knowledges, skills, and abilities required to perform the duties and responsibilities; and


(3) The factors that are important in evaluating candidates. The job analysis may cover a single position or group of positions, or an occupation or group of occupations, having common characteristics.


(b) Relevance. (1) There shall be a rational relationship between performance in the position to be filled (or in the target position in the case of an entry position) and the employment practice used. The demonstration of rational relationship shall include a showing that the employment practice was professionally developed. A minimum educational requirement may not be established except as authorized under section 3308 of title 5, United States Code.


(2) In the case of an entry position the required relevance may be based upon the target position when –


(i) The entry position is a training position or the first of a progressive series of established training and development positions leading to a target position at a higher level; and


(ii) New employees, within a reasonable period of time and in the great majority of cases, can expect to progress to a target position at a higher level.


(c) Equal employment opportunity and prohibited forms of discrimination. An employment practice must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age (as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended), disability, genetic information (including family medical history), marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, labor organization affiliation or nonaffiliation, status as a parent, or any other non-merit-based factor, or retaliation for exercising rights with respect to the categories enumerated above, where retaliation rights are available. Employee selection procedures shall meet the standards established by the “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures,” where applicable.


[40 FR 15380, Apr. 7, 1975, as amended at 43 FR 38310, Aug. 25, 1978; 79 FR 43922, July 29, 2014]


§ 300.104 Appeals, grievances and complaints.

(a) Employment practices. A candidate who believes that an employment practice which was applied to him or her by the Office of Personnel Management violates a basic requirement in § 300.103 is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under the provisions of its regulations.


(b) Examination ratings. A candidate may file an appeal with the Office from his or her examination rating or the rejection of his or her application, except that, where the Office has delegated examining authority to an agency, the candidate should appeal directly to that agency. The appeal and supporting documents shall be filed with the agency office that determined the rating.


(c) Complaints and grievances to an agency. (1) A candidate may file a complaint with an agency when he or she believes that an employment practice that was applied to him or her and that is administered by the agency discriminates against him or her on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age (as defined by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended), disability, genetic information (including family medical history), or retaliation for exercising rights with respect to the categories enumerated above, where retaliation rights are available. The complaint must be filed and processed in accordance with the agency EEO procedures, as appropriate.


(2) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, an employee may file a grievance with an agency when he or she believes that an employment practice which was applied to him or her and which is administered or required by the agency violates a basic requirement in § 300.103. The grievance shall be filed and processed under an agency grievance system, if applicable, or a negotiated grievance system as applicable.


[40 FR 15380, Apr. 7, 1975, as amended at 41 FR 51579, Nov. 23, 1976; 44 FR 48951, Aug. 21, 1979; 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995; 60 FR 47040, Sept. 11, 1995; 79 FR 43922, July 29, 2014]


Subpart B – Examinations and Related Subjects

§ 300.201 Examinations.

(a) The Office makes available information that will assist members of the public in understanding the purpose of, and preparing for, civil service examinations. This includes the types of questions and the categories of knowledge or skill pertinent to a particular examination. The Office does not release the following: (1) Testing and examination materials used solely to determine individual qualifications, and (2) test material, including test plans, item analysis data, criterion instruments, and other material the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity of the testing process.


(b) The Office maintains control over the security and release of testing and examination materials which it has developed and made available to agencies for initial competitive appointment or inservice use unless the materials were developed specifically for an agency through a reimbursable contractual agreement. These testing and examination materials include, and are subject to the same controls as, those described in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.


(c) Each employee entrusted with test material has a positive duty to protect the confidentiality of that material and to assure release only as required to conduct an examination authorized by the Office.


(d) An applicant may review his or her own answers in a written test, but only in the presence of an employee of the Office or, for the convenience of the Office and requester, in the presence of an employee of another agency designated by OPM. The applicant may not review a test booklet in connection with this review.


(e) The Office will release information concerning the results of examinations only to the individual concerned, or to parties explicitly designated by the individual.


(f) The Office will not reveal the names of applicants for civil service positions or eligibles on civil service registers, certificates, employment lists, or other lists of eligibles, or their ratings or relative standings.


[50 FR 3312, Jan. 24, 1985, as amended at 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995]


Subpart C – Details of Employees

§ 300.301 Authority.

(a) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3341, an agency may detail an employee in the competitive service to a position in either the competitive or excepted service.


(b) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3341, an agency may detail an employee in the excepted service to a position in the excepted service and may also detail an excepted service employee serving under Schedule A, Schedule B, or a Veterans Recruitment Appointment, to a position in the competitive service.


(c) Any other detail of an employee in the excepted service to a position in the competitive service may be made only with the prior approval of the Office of Personnel Management or under a delegated agreement between the agency and OPM.


[60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995, as amended at 70 FR 72066, Dec. 1, 2005]


Subpart D – Use of Commercial Recruiting Firms and Nonprofit Employment Services


Source:53 FR 51222, Dec. 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

§ 300.401 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:


(a) A commercial recruiting firm is a profit-making entity which, by contract, supplies individual candidates for consideration for specific Federal vacancies, in accordance with the requirements set by the Federal agency.


(b) A nonprofit employment service is one legally established as nonprofit under State law. It may be operated, for example, by professional societies, organizations of college graduates, social agencies, or a State or local government. Federal agencies may not, however, use a nonprofit employment service sponsored by a partisan political organization. By contract, a nonprofit employment service supplies individual candidates for consideration for specific Federal vacancies, in accordance with the requirements set by the Federal agency.


§ 300.402 Coverage.

This part applies to filling positions in the competitive service; positions in the expected service under Schedules A, B, and C; and positions in the Senior Executive Service.


[57 FR 10124, Mar. 24, 1992]


§ 300.403 When commercial recruiting firms and nonprofit employment services may be used.

An agency may use a commercial recruiting firm and/or a nonprofit employment service in recruiting for vacancies when:


(a) The agency head or designee determines that such use is likely to provide well-qualified candidates who would otherwise not be available or that well-qualified candidates are in short supply;


(b) The agency has provided vacancy notices to appropriate State Employment Service and OPM offices; and


(c) The agency continues its own recruiting efforts.


§ 300.404 Use of fee-charging firms.

(a) Federal agencies are prohibited from using commercial recruiting firms and nonprofit employment services which charge fees to individuals referred to Federal positions. Federal agencies may not consider a candidate referred by a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service if the individual has paid or is expected to pay any fee to the firm or service.


(b) The prohibition in paragraph (a) of this section does not apply to registration fees paid by individuals to nonprofit employment services operated by professional organizations when the registration fee is imposed regardless of whether the registrant is referred for employment or placed.


§ 300.405 Requirement for contract.

(a) A written contract awarded in accordance with procedures stipulated in the Federal Acquisition Regulations is required between the Federal agency and a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service. The contract will satisfy the “written request” required by 18 U.S.C. 211. That statute prohibits the acceptance of payment for aiding an individual to obtain Federal employment except when an employment agency renders services pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency.


(b) The contract must include the qualifications requirements for the position(s) to be filled and also provide that the firm or service will:


(1) Screen candidates only against the basic qualifications requirements for the position(s) specified by the Federal agency in the contract and refer to the agency all candidates who appear to meet those requirements;


(2) Refer to the Federal agency only those applicants from whom the firm or service has not accepted fees other than those permitted under § 300.404(b) of this part;


(3) Not imply that it is the sole or primary avenue for employment with the Federal Government or a specific Federal agency; and


(4) Recruit and refer candidates in accordance with applicable merit principles and equal opportunity laws.


§ 300.406 Agency responsibilities.

(a) The purpose of a commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service is to serve as an additional source of applicants. Once recruited, applicants must be evaluated and appointed through regular civil service employment procedures.


(1) For a competitive service position, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the terms of applicable competitive service procedures.


(2) For an excepted service position, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the terms of the applicable appointing authority and the requirements set out in part 302 of this chapter.


(3) For a Senior Executive Service position filled by career appointment, an individual must be appointed in accordance with the competitive process described in 5 U.S.C. 3393.


(b) In order to use commercial recruiting firms or nonprofit employment services, agencies are required to:


(1) Make known that applicants may apply directly to the Government and thus need not apply through the commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service;


(2) Give the same consideration to candidates who have applied directly and candidates referred from the commercial recruiting firm or nonprofit employment service; and


(3) Follow all requirements for appointment, including veterans preference, where applicable.


§ 300.407 Documentation.

(a) Agencies are required to maintain records necessary to determine that using commercial recruiting firms or nonprofit employment services is cost effective and has not resulted in the violation of merit system principles or the commission of any prohibited personnel practice.


(b) When requested by OPM, agencies will provide reports on the use of commercial recruiting firms, based on the records required in paragraph (a) of this section.


[53 FR 51222, Dec. 21, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995]


§ 300.408 Corrective action.

Upon evidence of failure to comply with these regulations, OPM may, pursuant to its authority, order the agency to take appropriate corrective action.


Subpart E – Use of Private Sector Temporaries


Source:54 FR 3766, Jan. 25, 1989, unless otherwise noted.

§ 300.501 Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart:


(a) A temporary help service firm is a private sector entity which quickly provides other organizations with specific services performed by its pool of employees, possessing the appropriate work skills, for brief or intermittent periods. The firm is the legally responsible employer and maintains that relationship during the time its employees are assigned to a client. The firm, not the client organization, recruits, tests, hires, trains, assigns, pays, provides benefits and leave to, and as necessary, addresses performance problems, disciplines, and terminates its employees. Among other employer obligations, the firm is responsible for payroll deductions and payment of income taxes, social security (FICA), unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation, and shall provide required liability insurance and bonding.


(b) Private sector temporaries or outside temporaries are those employees of a temporary help service firm who are supervised and paid by that firm and whom that firm assigns to various client organizations who have contracted for the temporary use of their skills when required.


(c) Parental and family responsibilities are defined in OPM issuances and include situations such as absence for pregnancy, childbirth, child care, and care for elderly or infirm parents or other dependents.


(d) A Federal supervisor of Federal employees is defined in 5 U.S.C. 7103(a)(10) as



an individual employed by an agency having authority in the interest of the agency to hire, direct, assign, promote, reward, transfer, furlough, layoff, recall, suspend, discipline, or remove employees, to adjust their grievances, or to effectively recommend such action, if the exercise of the authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature but requires the consistent exercise of independent judgment * * *

(e) A critical need is a sudden or unexpected occurrence; an emergency; a pressing necessity; or an exigency. Such occasions are characterized by additional work or deadlines required by statute, Executive order, court order, regulation, or formal directive from the head of an agency or subordinate official authorized to take final action on behalf of the agency head. A recurring, cyclical peak workload, by itself, is not a critical need.


(f) A local commuting area is defined in part 351 of this chapter.


[54 FR 3766, Jan. 25, 1989, as amended at 66 FR 66710, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 300.502 Coverage.

(a) These regulations apply to the competitive service and to Schedules A and B in the excepted service.


(b) Agencies may not use temporary help services for the Senior Executive Service or for the work of managerial or supervisory positions.


[61 FR 19510, May 2, 1996]


§ 300.503 Conditions for using private sector temporaries.

An agency may enter into a contract or other procurement arrangement with a temporary help service firm for the brief or intermittent use of the skills of private sector temporaries, when required, and may call for those services, subject to these conditions:


(a) One of the following short-term situations exists –


(1) An employee is absent for a temporary period because of a personal need including emergency, accident, illness, parental or family responsibilities, or mandatory jury service, but not including vacations or other circumstances which are not shown to be compelling in the judgment of the agency, or


(2) An agency must carry out work for a temporary period which cannot be delayed in the judgment of the agency because of a critical need.


(b) The need cannot be met with current employees or through the direct appointment of temporary employees within the time available by the date, and for the duration of time, help is needed. At minimum, this should include an agency determination that there are no qualified candidates on the applicant supply file and on the reemployment priority list (both of which must provide preference for veterans), and no qualified disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more under 5 U.S.C. 3112, who are immediately available for temporary appointment of the duration required, and that employees cannot be reassigned or detailed without causing undue delay in their regular work. In instances where a need is foreseeable, as when approval of employee absence is requested well in advance, an agency may have sufficient time to follow the temporary appointment recruiting requirements, including veterans’ preference found in 5 CFR part 316 to determine whether qualified candidates are available by the date needed and for the length of service required.


(c) These services shall not be used:


(1) In lieu of the regular recruitment and hiring procedures under the civil service laws for permanent appointment in the competitive civil service, or


(2) To displace a Federal employee.


(3) To circumvent controls on employment levels.


(4) In lieu of appointing a surplus or displaced Federal employee as required by 5 CFR part 330, subpart F (Agency Career Transition Assistance Plan for Displaced Employees) and subpart G (Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan for Displaced Employees.)


[54 FR 3766, Jan. 25, 1989, as amended at 61 FR 19510, May 2, 1996; 66 FR 66710, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 300.504 Prohibition on employer-employee relationship.

No employer-employee relationship is created by an agency’s use of private sector temporaries under these regulations. Services furnished by temporary help firms shall be performed by their employees who shall not be considered or treated as Federal employees for any purpose, shall not be regarded as performing a personal service, and shall not be eligible for civil service employee benefits, including retirement. Further, to avoid creating any appearance of such a relationship, agencies shall observe the following requirements:


(a) Time limit on use of temporary help service firm. An agency may use a temporary help service firm(s) in a single situation, as defined in § 300.503, initially for no more than 120 workdays. Provided the situation continues to exist beyond the initial 120 workdays, the agency may extend its use of temporary help services up to the maximum limit of 240 workdays.


(b) Time limit on use of individual employee of a temporary help service firm. (1) An individual employee of any temporary help firm may work at a major organizational element (headquarters or field) of an agency for up to 120 workdays in a 24-month period. The 24-month period begins on the first day of assignment.


(2) An agency may make an exception for an individual to work up to a maximum of 240 workdays only when the agency has determined that using the services of the same individual for the same situation will prevent significant delay.


(c) Individual employees of a temporary help firm providing temporary service to a Federal agency may be eligible for competitive civil service employment only if appropriate civil service hiring procedures are applied to them.


(d) Agencies shall train their employees in appropriate procedures for interaction with private sector temporaries to assure that the supervisory responsibilities identified in paragraph (a) of § 300.501 of this subpart are carried out by the temporary help service firm. At the same time, agencies must give technical, task-related instructions to private sector temporaries including orientation, assignment of tasks, and review of work products, in order that the temporaries may properly perform their services under the contract.


[54 FR 3766, Jan. 25, 1989, as amended at 61 FR 19511, May 2, 1996]


§ 300.505 Relationship of civil service procedures.

Agencies continue to have full authority to meet their temporary needs by various means, for example, redistributing work, authorizing overtime, using in-house pools, and making details or time-limited promotions of current employees. In addition, agencies may appoint individuals as civil service employees on various work schedules appropriate for the work to be performed.


[61 FR 19511, May 2, 1996]


§ 300.506 Requirements of procurement.

(a) Agencies must follow the Federal procurement laws and the Federal Acquisition Regulation, as applicable, in procuring services from the private sector.


(b) Agencies should make full use of the provisions of the Federal procurement system to make clear that the firm is the legally responsible employer and to specify the obligations the firm will have to meet to provide effective performance including such matters as the types and levels of skills to be provided, deadlines for providing service, liability insurance, and, when necessary, security requirements. The Federal procurement system also requires contractors to comply with affirmative action requirements to employ and advance in employment qualified disabled and Vietnam era veterans as provided in 41 CFR part 60-250, and with public policy programs including equal employment opportunity, handicapped employment, and small businesses.


§ 300.507 Documentation and oversight.

Agencies are required to maintain records and provide oversight to establish that their use of temporary help service firms is consistent with these regulations. As needed, OPM may require agencies to provide information on their use of temporary help service firms.


[61 FR 19511, May 2, 1996]


Subpart F – Time-In-Grade Restrictions


Source:56 FR 23002, May 20, 1991, unless otherwise noted.

§ 300.601 Purpose.

The restrictions in this subpart are intended to prevent excessively rapid promotions in competitive service General Schedule positions and to protect competitive principles. They provide a budgetary control on promotion rates and help assure that appointments are made from appropriate registers. These restrictions are in addition to the eligibility requirements for promotion in part 335 of this chapter.


§ 300.602 Definitions.

In this subpart –


Advancement means a promotion (including a temporary promotion) or any type of appointment resulting in a higher grade or higher rate of basic pay.


Competitive appointment means an appointment based on selection from a competitive examination register of eligibles or under a direct hire authority.


Hardship to an agency involves serious difficulty in filling a position, including when:


(a) The situation to be redressed results from circumstances beyond the organization’s control and otherwise would require extensive corrective action; or


(b) A position at the next lower grade in the normal line of promotion does not exist and the resulting action is not a career ladder promotion; or


(c) There is a shortage of candidates for the position to be filled.


Inequity to an employee involves situations where a position is upgraded without change in the employee’s duties or responsibilities, or where discrimination or administrative error prevented an employee from reaching a higher grade.


Nontemporary appointment means any appointment other than a temporary appointment pending establishment of a register (TAPER) or a temporary or excepted appointment not to exceed 1 year or less.


§ 300.603 Coverage.

(a) Coverage. This subpart applies to advancement to a General Schedule position in the competitive service by any individual who within the previous 52 weeks held a General Schedule position under nontemporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service in the executive branch, unless excluded by paragraph (b) of this section.


(b) Exclusions. The following actions may be taken without regard to this subpart but must be consistent with all other applicable requirements, such as qualification standards:


(1) Appointment based on selection from a competitive examination register of eligibles or under a direct hire authority.


(2) Noncompetitive appointment based on a special authority in law or Executive order (but not including transfer and reinstatement) made in accordance with all requirements applicable to new appointments under that authority.


(3) Advancement in accordance with part 335 of this chapter up to any General Schedule grade the employee previously held under nontemporary appointment in the competitive or excepted service.


(4) Advancement of an employee from a non-General Schedule position to a General Schedule position unless the employee held a General Schedule position under nontemporary appointment in the executive branch within the previous 52 weeks.


(5) Advancement of an individual whose General Schedule service during the previous 52 weeks has been totally under temporary appointment.


(6) Advancement of an employee under a training agreement established in accordance with OPM’s operating manuals. However, an employee may not receive more than two promotions in any 52-week period solely on the basis of one or more training agreements. Also, only OPM may approve a training agreement that provides for consecutive promotions at rates that exceed those permitted by § 300.604 of this part.


(7) Advancement to avoid hardship to an agency or inequity to an employee in an individual meritorious case but only with the prior approval of the agency head or his or her designee. However, an employee may not be promoted more than three grades during any 52-week period on the basis of this paragraph.


(8) Advancement when OPM authorizes it to avoid hardship to an agency or inequity to an employee in individual meritorious situations not defined, but consistent with the definitions, in § 300.602 of this part.


[56 FR 23002, May 20, 1991, as amended at 66 FR 66710, Dec. 27, 2001]


§ 300.604 Restrictions.

The following time-in-grade restrictions must be met unless advancement is permitted by § 300.603(b) of this part:


(a) Advancement to positions at GS-12 and above. Candidates for advancement to a position at GS-12 and above must have completed a minimum of 52 weeks in positions no more than one grade lower (or equivalent) than the position to be filled.


(b) Advancement to positions at GS-6 through GS-11. Candidates for advancement to a position at GS-6 through GS-11 must have completed a minimum of 52 weeks in positions:


(1) No more than two grades lower (or equivalent) when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 2-grade intervals; or


(2) No more than one grade lower (or equivalent) when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 1-grade intervals; or


(3) No more than one or two grades lower (or equivalent), as determined by the agency, when the position to be filled is in a line of work properly classified at 1-grade intervals but has a mixed interval promotion pattern.


(c) Advancement to positions up to GS-5. Candidates may be advanced without time restriction to positions up to GS-5 if the position to be filled is no more than two grades above the lowest grade the employee held within the preceding 52 weeks under his or her latest nontemporary competitive appointment.


§ 300.605 Creditable service.

(a) All service at the required or higher grade (or equivalent) in positions to which appointed in the Federal civilian service is creditable towards the time periods required by § 300.604 of this part, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section. Creditable service includes competitive and excepted service in positions under the General Schedule and other pay systems, including employment with a nonappropriated fund instrumentality. Service while on detail is credited at the grade of the employee’s position of record, not the grade of the position to which detailed. Also creditable is service with the District of Columbia Government prior to January 1, 1980 (or prior to September 26, 1980, for those District employees who were converted to the District personnel system on January 1, 1980).


(b) Service in positions not subject to the General Schedule (GS) is credited at the equivalent GS grade by comparing the candidate’s rate of basic pay with the representative rate (as defined in § 351.203 of this chapter) of the GS position in effect when the non-GS service was performed. The equivalent GS grade is the GS grade with a representative rate that equals the candidate’s rate of basic pay. When the candidate’s rate of basic pay falls between the representative rates of two GS grades, the non-GS service is credited at the higher grade.


(c) In applying the restrictions in § 300.604 of this part, prior service under temporary appointment at a level above that of a subsequent nontemporary competitive appointment is credited as if the service had been performed at the level of the nontemporary appointment. This provision applies until the employee has served in pay status for 52 weeks under nontemporary competitive appointment; thereafter, the service is credited at its actual grade level (or equivalent).


§ 300.606 Agency authority.

An agency may expand on these restrictions consistent with the intent of this subpart or may adopt similar policies to control promotion rates of employees not covered by this subpart.


Subpart G – Statutory Bar to Appointment of Persons Who Fail To Register Under Selective Service Law


Source:52 FR 7400, Mar. 11, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§ 300.701 Statutory requirement.

Section 3328 of title 5 of the United States Code provides that –



(a) An individual –


(1) Who was born after December 31, 1959, and is or was required to register under section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 453); and


(2) Who is not so registered or knowingly and willfully did not so register before the requirement terminated or became inapplicable to the individual, shall be ineligible for appointment to a position in an executive agency of the Federal Government.


(b) The Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Director of the Selective Service System, shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section. Such regulations shall include provisions prescribing procedures for the adjudication within the Office of determinations of whether a failure to register was knowing and willful. Such procedures shall require that such a determination may not be made if the individual concerned shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure to register was neither knowing nor willful.


§ 300.702 Coverage.

Appointments in the competitive service, the excepted service, the Senior Executive Service, or any other civil service personnel management system in an executive agency are covered by these regulations.


§ 300.703 Definitions.

In this subpart –


Appointment means any personnel action that brings onto the rolls of an executive agency as a civil service officer or employee as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2104 or 2105, respectively, a person who is not currently employed in that agency. It includes initial employment as well as transfer between agencies and subsequent employment after a break in service. Personnel actions that move an employee within an agency without a break in service are not covered. A break in service is a period of 4 or more calendar days during which an individual is no longer on the rolls of an executive agency.


Covered individual means a male (a) whose application for appointment is under consideration by an executive agency or who is an employee of an executive agency; (b) who was born after December 31, 1959, and is at least 18 years of age or becomes 18 following appointment; (c) who is either a United States citizen or an alien (including parolees and refugees and those who are lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and for asylum) residing in the United States; and (d) is or was required to register under section 3 of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 453). Nonimmigrant aliens admitted under section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S C. 1101), such as those admitted on visitor or student visas, and lawfully remaining in the United States, are exempt from registration.


Executive agency means an agency of the Government of the United States as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105.


Exemptions means those individuals determined by the Selective Service System to be excluded from the requirement to register under sections 3 and 6(a) of the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. App. 453 and 456(a)) or Presidential proclamation.


Preponderance of the evidence means that degree of relevant evidence that a reasonable person, considering the record as a whole, would accept as sufficient to support a conclusion that the matter asserted is more likely to be true than not true.


Registrant means an individual registered under Selective Service law.


Selective Service law means the Military Selective Service Act, rules and regulations issued thereunder, and proclamations of the President under that Act.


Selective Service System means the agency responsible for administering the registration system and for determining who is required to register and who is exempt.


§ 300.704 Considering individuals for appointment.

(a) An executive agency must request a written statement of Selective Service registration status from each covered individual at an appropriate time during the consideration process prior to appointment, and from each covered employee who becomes 18 after appointment. The individual must complete, sign, and date in ink the statement on a form provided by the agency unless the applicant furnishes other documentation as provided by paragraph (c) of this section.


(b) Statement of Selective Service registration status. Agencies should reproduce the following statement, which has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget for use through October 31, 1989, under OMB Control No. 3206-0166:



Applicant’s Statement of Selective Service Registration Status

If you are a male born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, civil service employment law (5 U.S.C. 3328) requires that you must be registered with the Selective Service System, unless you meet certain exemptions under Selective Service law. If you are required to register but knowingly and willfully fail to do so, you are ineligible for appointment by executive agencies of the Federal Government.


Certification of Registration Status

Check one:

[ ] I certify I am registered with the Selective Service System.

[ ] I certify I have been determined by the Selective Service System to be exempt from the registration provisions of Selective Service law.

[ ] I certify I have not registered with the Selective Service System.

[ ] I certify I have not reached my 18th birthday and understand I am required by law to register at that time.

Non-Registrants Under Age 26

If you are under age 26 and have not registered as required, you should register promptly at a United States Post Office, or consular office if you are outside the United States.


Non-Registrants Age 26 or Over

If you were born in 1960 or later, are 26 years of age or older, and were required to register but did not do so, you can no longer register under Selective Service law. Accordingly, you are not eligible for appointment to an executive agency unless you can prove to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that your failure to register was neither knowing nor willful. You may request an OPM decision through the agency that was considering you for employment by returning this statement with your written request for an OPM determination together with any explanation and documentation you wish to furnish to prove that your failure to register was neither knowing nor willful.


Privacy Act Statement

Because information on your registration status is essential for determining whether you are in compliance with 5 U.S.C. 3328, failure to provide the information requested by this statement will prevent any further consideration of your application for appointment. This information is subject to verification with the Selective Service System and may be furnished to other Federal agencies for law enforcement or other authorized use in implementing this law.


False Statement Notification

A false statement may be grounds for not hiring you, or for firing you if you have already begun work. Also, you may be punished by fine or imprisonment. (Section 1001 of title 18, United States Code.)




Legal signature of individual (please use ink)



Date signed (please use ink)

(c) At his option, a covered individual may submit, in lieu of the statement described above, a copy of his Acknowledgment Letter or other proof of registration or exemption issued by the Selective Service System. The individual must sign and date the document and add a note stating it is submitted as proof of Selective Service registration or exemption.


(d) An executive agency will give no further consideration for appointment to individuals who fail to provide the information requested above on registration status.


(e) An agency considering employment of a covered individual who is a current or former Federal employee is not required to request a statement when it determines that the individual’s Official Personnel Folder contains evidence indicating the individual is registered or currently exempt from registration.


§ 300.705 Agency action following statement.

(a) Agencies must resolve conflicts of information and other questions concerning an individual’s registration status prior to appointment. An agency may verify, at its discretion, an individual’s registration status by requesting the individual to provide proof of registration or exemption issued by the Selective Service System and/or by contacting the Selective Service System at 888-655-1825.


(b) An agency may continue regular pre-employment consideration of individuals whose statements show they have registered or are exempt.


(c) An agency will take the following actions when a covered individual who is required to register has not done so, and is under age 26:


(1) Advise him to register promptly and, if he wishes further consideration, to submit a new statement immediately to the agency once he has registered. The agency will set a time limit for submitting the statement.


(2) Provide written notice to an individual who still does not register after being informed of the above requirements that he is ineligible for appointment according to 5 U.S.C. 3328 and will be given no further employment consideration.


(d) An agency will take the following actions when a covered individual who is age 26 or over, was required to register, and has not done so:


(1) Provide written notice to the individual that, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3328, he is ineligible for appointment unless his failure to register was neither knowing nor willful, and that OPM will decide whether his failure to register was knowing and willful if he submits a written request for such decision and an explanation of his failure to register.


(2) Submit the individual’s application, the statement described in § 300.704(b), a copy of the written notice, his request for a decision and explanation of his failure to register, and any other papers pertinent to his registration status for determination to – Registration Review, Staffing Operations Division, Career Entry Group, room 6A12, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415.


(3) An agency is not required to keep a vacancy open for an individual who seeks an OPM determination.


(e) Individuals described in paragraph (c) of this section who do not submit a statement of registration or exemption are not eligible for employment consideration. Individuals described in paragraph (d) of this section are not eligible for employment consideration unless OPM finds that failure to register was neither knowing nor willful. Agencies are not required to follow the objections-to-eligibles procedures described in § 332.406 concerning such individuals who were certified or otherwise referred by an OPM examining office or other office delegated examining authority by OPM. Instead, an agency will provide, for information as part of its certification report to that office, a copy of its written notice to the individual.


[52 FR 7400, Mar. 11, 1987, as amended at 64 FR 28713, May 27, 1999]


§ 300.706 Office of Personnel Management adjudication.

(a) OPM will determine whether failure to register was knowing and willful when an individual has requested a decision and presented a written explanation, as described in § 300.705. The Associate Director for Career Entry or his or her designee will make the determination based on the written explanation provided by the individual. The burden of proof will be on the individual to show by a preponderance of the evidence that failure to register was neither knowing nor willful.


(b) OPM may consult with the Selective Service System in making determinations.


(c) The Associate Director for Career Entry or his or her designee will notify the individual and the agency in writing of the determination. The determination is final unless reconsidered at the discretion of the Associate Director. There is no further right to administrative review.


(d) The Director of OPM may reopen and reconsider a determination.


(e) The Director of OPM may, at his or her discretion, delegate to an executive agency the authority to make initial determinations. However, OPM may review any initial determination and make a final adjudication in any case. If a delegation is made under this paragraph, the notice in § 300.705(d)(1) will state that the individual may submit a written request that OPM review the agency’s initial determination. The agency will forward to OPM copies of all documents relating to the individual’s failure to register, including the individual’s request for review and his explanation of his failure to register.


§ 300.707 Termination of employment.

A covered individual who is serving under an appointment made on or after November 8, 1985, and is not exempt from registration, will be terminated by his agency under the authority of the statute and these regulations if he has not registered as required, unless he registers or unless, if no longer eligible to register, OPM determines in response to his explanation that his failure to register was neither knowing nor willful.


PART 301 – OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT


Authority:5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218, as amended by E.O. 10641, 3 CFR, 1954-1958 Comp., p. 274, unless otherwise noted.


Source:44 FR 54691, Sept. 21, 1979, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A [Reserved]

Subpart B – Overseas Limited Appointment

§ 301.201 Appointments of United States citizens recruited overseas.

When there is a shortage of eligible applicants, as defined at § 337.202 of this chapter, resulting from a competitive announcement that is open to applicants in the local overseas area, an agency may give an overseas limited appointment to a United States citizen recruited overseas for a position overseas.


[69 FR 33275, June 23, 2004]


§ 301.202 Appointment of citizens recruited outside overseas areas.

When an agency determines that unusual or emergency conditions make it infeasible to appoint from a register, it may give an overseas limited appointment to a United States citizen recruited in an area where an overseas limited appointment is not authorized.


§ 301.203 Duration of appointment.

(a) An appointment under this subpart is of indefinite duration unless otherwise limited.


(b) An agency may make an overseas limited term appointment for a period not in excess of 5 years when a time limitation is imposed as a part of a general program for rotating career and career-conditional employees between overseas areas and the United States after specified periods of overseas service.


(c) An agency may make an overseas limited appointment for 1 year or less to meet administrative needs for temporary employment. An agency may extend such an appointment for up to a maximum of 1 additional year.


(d) Upon request from the headquarters level of a Department or agency, OPM may approve, or delegate to agencies the authority to approve, exceptions to the time limits set out in paragraph (c) of this section.


[44 FR 54691, Sept. 21, 1979, as amended at 60 FR 3057, Jan. 13, 1995]


§ 301.204 Status and trial period.

(a) An overseas limited employee does not acquire a competitive status on the basis of his or her overseas limited appointment. He or she is required to serve a trial period of 1 year when given an overseas limited appointment of indefinite duration or an overseas limited term appointment.


(b) The agency may terminate an overseas limited employee at any time during the trial period. The employee is entitled to the procedures set forth in § 315.804 or § 315.805 of this chapter as appropriate.