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Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000


Linda M. Springer


Appointments and Awards During the 2008 Presidential Election Period

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During this Presidential election year, I would like to remind agency heads of the need to ensure all personnel actions remain free of political influence or other improprieties and meet all relevant civil service laws, rules, and regulations. All official personnel records should clearly document continued adherence to Federal merit principles and remain free of any prohibited personnel practices. In particular, any appointments of Schedule C and Noncareer Senior Executive Service (SES) employees to competitive service positions or to SES positions by career appointment require careful attention to ensure they comply with merit principles regarding fair and open competition.

As the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has done in the past, I am instituting a requirement for the pre-appointment review of all competitive service appointment actions that involve the appointment or conversion of a Schedule C or Noncareer SES employee.

During this period, OPM will continue the current practice of conducting merit staffing reviews of proposed SES selections of Schedule C and Noncareer SES appointees before those selections are presented to a Qualifications Review Board for certification of executive qualifications. OPM will also suspend the processing of Qualifications Review Board cases during Agency Head transitions.

I have attached additional guidance concerning competitive service and SES appointments, incentive awards, and other employment matters, as well as instructions for submitting requests for pre-appointment review. If you have questions or need further information, please contact me at (202) 606-1000. Staff inquiries should be referred to your agency's OPM Human Capital Officer.


  1. Guidelines on Processing Certain Appointments and Awards during the 2008 Election Period
  2. Pre-Appointment Review Checklist
  3. Merit System Principles, Prohibited Personnel Practices, Civil Service Rules
  4. Dos and Don'ts for Converting Schedule C and Noncareer SES Employees to the Competitive Service

cc: Chief Human Capital Officers

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