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Performance Management Performance Management Cycle

Reporting Awards Data to OPM

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) changed the reporting requirements for awards reported to the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) effective January 2007. As a principal revision to the reporting requirements, OPM revised the Nature of Action Codes (NOACs), the unique numerical codes that identify, for statistical and data processing purposes, particular personnel actions such as appointments, promotions, or awards that agencies report to CPDF. These changes increase the understandability and integrity of the awards data that OPM collects and reports to agencies, the Office of Management and Budget, the Congress, and the public.

Background

Between October 2000 and January 2007, OPM collected data for performance awards (i.e., rating-based awards) and cash awards given to individuals for specific contributions (e.g., special act or service awards) under a single NOAC. Given the increased interest in performance-related information, we decided to separate these awards into the following two categories, effective January 2007:

  • individual cash awards that are rating-based, and
  • individual cash awards that are not rating-based.

At the same time OPM also added new NOACs to improve the accuracy of the awards data. OPM originally designed the CPDF reporting requirements to capture data for awards granted under chapter 45 of title 5, United States Code. In recent years, a number of agencies have received statutory authorities outside of chapter 45 to grant awards or lump-sum cash payments to their employees. Those agencies need an accurate way to report their data to OPM; therefore we revised the reporting requirements to clearly distinguish between the awards -

  • granted under the authority of 5 U.S.C. chapter 45, and
  • granted under any other non-chapter 45 statutory authority.

Determining the Correct NOAC

To select the correct nature of action code, data-input personnel must be able to determine -

  • What is the form of the award - cash or time off?
  • What legal authority does the agency have to grant the award - 5 U.S.C. 45 or other?
  • What is the nature of the contribution - was the award given to recognize overall annual performance (i.e., a rating of record), a specific accomplishment, a suggestion or invention, the use of a foreign language by a law enforcement employee, savings during travel, etc?
  • Who made the contribution being recognized - was the award given to recognize something done by an individual or a group of employees?
  • Is this a lump-sum cash payment in lieu of a pay adjustment - was it given because the employee's pay was at the maximum rate allowed?

This table illustrates which NOAC to use for each type of award. In the last column, the revised and new NOACs are bold.

 FormAuthorityBasis of AwardLevelNOAC
1 Cash 5 U.S.C. chapter 45 Performance Rating Individual 840
2 Contribution (e.g., special act or service or other personal effort) Individual 849
3 Group 841
4 Suggestion or Invention Individual 842
5 Group 843
6 Foreign Language Individual 844
7 Travel Savings Individual 845
8 Referral Bonus Individual 848
9 Other than 5 U.S.C. chapter 45 Performance Rating (In Lieu of Pay Adjustment) Individual 885*
10 Performance Rating (Not in Lieu of Pay Adjustment) Individual 886
11 Contribution (e.g., special act or service or other personal effort) Individual 887
12 Group 889
13 Time Off 5 U.S.C. chapter 45 Performance Rating or Contribution (e.g., special act or service or other personal effort) Individual 846
14 Group 847

*OPM established two legal authority codes for NOAC 885. Agencies must determine why the lump-sum cash payment is in lieu of a pay adjustment. If it is in lieu of pay adjustment -

  • due to a pay range maximum or established control point - use authority code V3A.
  • for another reason, not due to range maximum or control point - use authority code V3B.

Additional Explanations

  • When you grant a performance-based award under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 4505a, report it as Individual Cash Award Rating Based (840).
  • Report awards granted under group incentive schemes such as gainsharing and goalsharing as group awards (841 or 889).
  • Report on-the-spot cash awards as an Individual Cash Award Not Rating Based (849) or as a Lump Sum Performance Payment Not Rating Based (887, if the agency uses a non-chapter 45 authority).
  • If your agency has an independent (non-chapter 45) authority to grant a performance-based award (bonus) as part of its compensation program (e.g., pay-for-performance system) and has established a policy that pay will be delivered in the form of a lump-sum cash payment to employees who are paid at the maximum established for their pay band (e.g., an employee's pay is capped at the top of the band), report it as a Lump Sum Performance Payment Rating Based In Lieu of Pay Adjustment (885) and use the legal authority code V3A.
  • If your agency has an independent (non-chapter 45) authority to grant a performance-based award (bonus) as part of its compensation program (e.g., pay-for-performance system) and has established a policy that pay may be delivered in whole or in part in the form of either an increase to basic pay or a lump-sum cash payment, report the lump-sum portion as a Lump Sum Performance Payment Rating Based In Lieu of Pay Adjustment (885) and use the legal authority code V3B.
  • If your agency has an independent (non-chapter 45) authority to grant a performance-based award (bonus) that is administered separately from its compensation program, report the award as Lump-Sum Performance Payment Rating Based - Not in Lieu of Pay Adjustment (886)
  • Be aware that agencies operating under pay-for-performance systems or demonstration projects may grant some awards under chapter 45 and some lump-sum performance payments under a separate (non-chapter 45) authority.

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