The Office of Personnel Management has announced changes to the performance evaluation processes for Senior Executive Service and Senior Level/Scientific and Professional personnel. The revised process, called Certification 2.0, is expected to reduce the administrative burden of preparing and reviewing certification submissions. It is also meant to focus more of the OPM certification on the actual outcomes of performance evaluations rather than on compliance.
According to a Sept. 5 report by the Government Accountability Office, the average federal agency has done little over the past 20 years to increase its use of performance data to make management decisions, or even to adopt practices to promote its use. In particular, the GAO compared a 2013 survey to the most recent (2017) survey of 24 agencies and found little change.
Lately our firm has been hearing from some federal employees concerning unfair treatment during performance reviews. This is the pattern that is emerging from our discussions:
Many government agencies are struggling with hiring and pay freezes, increased workloads, budget cuts and the effects of the sequestration. The constant mantra seems to be do more with less. Doing more with less, however, comes with a cost, and this cost if often borne by employees, either directly, like pay cuts and furloughs, or indirectly by pressure and harassment by management and supervisors.