Workforce

Feds being polled about equity issues

diagram of work team

The Merit Systems Protection Board is polling federal employees about the fairness of their jobs.

MSPB officials said in statement that they are distributing the 2016 Merit Principles Survey (MPS) to 120,000 randomly selected federal employees at 25 agencies from July to August. Participation is voluntary, and responses are confidential.

The board is also asking agencies and federal employee unions to encourage feds to respond.

"The federal government faces many workforce challenges, and the MPS gives federal employees an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns about workplace issues," officials said in the statement.

The MPS is three surveys with different question "paths," but each employee receives only one of the three versions. Feds will have four weeks to respond.

Path 1 asks about individual employees' work satisfaction, career interests, and their perceptions of fairness and discrimination. Path 2 delves into work habits and pay issues, and the third, called Path L, asks about management performance, leadership and performance appraisals.

The independent and quasi-judicial MSPB, which is part of the executive branch, was created in 1979 to protect federal employees from partisan and political abuses by management.

The agency has been conducting the MPS since 1983 to act as a sounding board on the federal merit systems, which are meant to prevent political influence in federal recruitment and employment.

The results of the survey are summarized in reports to the White House, Congress and other federal policy-makers.

MSPB officials said the MPS differs from the Office of Personnel Management's annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey because it zeroes in on merit system principles and human resources policy and practice. It is sent out every few years to a small group of federal employees.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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