Proposed OPM rule links big performance with big money

A new rule supporting efforts to shift to a federal pay-for-performance system, published June 21, creates guidelines for agencies to create a bridge between good job performance and big pay bonuses.

“When agencies grant rating-based awards, employees with higher performance ratings must be granted larger cash awards,” states the rule, which the Office of Personnel Management drafted.

Pay-for-performance has been the subject of much debate recently. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) introduced a bill June 13 that would require annual evaluations for employees and would stall General Schedule system pay upgrades for poorly performing workers. Other efforts at more overarching pay systems such as the Homeland Security Department’s MaxHR or Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System have been mired in court battles, union pressure and funding problems.

OPM acknowledged that other agencies may have performance-based awards systems that work within the current federal regulations, but the proposed rule seeks to standardize evaluation.

Comments on the draft rule may be made for the next 30 days to Jerome Mikowicz, acting deputy associate director for pay and performance policy, via e-mail at:


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