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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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The Accountability System

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"Now more than ever, organizational leaders need to be adept at redefining goals and objectives to deliver improved return on human capital investment." 2004 Workforce Diagnosis System Executive Summary ,The Saratoga Institute

The accountability system provides consistent means to monitor and analyze agency performance on all aspects of human capital management policies, programs, and activities, which must themselves support mission accomplishment and be effective, efficient, and in compliance with merit system principles.


A system that contributes to agency performance by monitoring and evaluating the results of its human capital management policies, programs, and activities; by analyzing compliance with merit system principles; and by identifying and monitoring necessary improvements.

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Agency human capital management decisions are guided by a data-driven, results-oriented planning and accountability system.

Results of the agency accountability system must inform the development of the human capital goals and objectives, in conjunction with the agency’s strategic planning and performance budgets.

Effective application of the accountability system contributes to agencies’ practice of effective human capital management in accordance with the merit system principles and in compliance with Federal laws, rules, and regulations.

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Applicable Merit System Principles

The following merit system principle is especially relevant to the Accountability system:

  • All employees should maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest. (5 U.S.C. 2301(b)(4))

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