U.S. FEDERAL SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE
ITS PURPOSE, FEATURES, CHALLENGES AND ROLE IN POLICY
PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Pre...
History of the U.S. Civil Service
• U.S. Constitution of 1789 Established Federal Government
• Early U.S. Presidents Appoi...
Civil Service Reform Act
• Key Distinctions between Political and Career
Executives in Terms of Hiring, Pay and Tenure
• C...
SES System – Purpose and Key Features
• SES not the only Leadership System in Federal
Government – But the Most Important ...
SES Role in Policy Planning & Implementation
• President, Agency Heads and Political SES Develop
Policy Strategy and Direc...
SES Workforce: System Overview
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Currently 7,100 Career SES in 75 Different Agencies
OPM Allocates SES Jo...
Selection For SES Positions
• Political (i.e., non-Career) SES Jobs Filled by U.S.
President or Agency Heads Non-Competiti...
SES Performance Evaluation
• No Formal Appraisal for Political SES Executives
• Career SES Appraised Annually based on For...
SES Pay for Performance
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Political SES eligible for Pay Increases not Bonuses
Career SES Eligible for Pa...
SES Work Schedule and Time-Off
• Executive Work Hours Unlimited, no Overtime Pay
• Expected to do Whatever it Takes to get...
Risks of Being a Career SES Executive
• Performance-Based Removal With No Appeal Rights
• Reassignment Outside Commuting A...
Current SES Issues and Challenges
• Difficulty in Leading Successfully in Current
Uncertain U.S. Budget and Political Envi...
Role of the Senior Executives Association
• SEA is a Non-Profit organization in Washington, DC
with over 2,000 Current/For...
Summary
• SES is a Key Component of the U.S. Government’s
Management and Policy system
• SES Career Corps is Selected, Pro...
For Further Information
Carol A. Bonosaro, President, SEA
SEAPresident@seniorexecs.org, (202) 927-7000

Timothy M. Dirks, ...
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U.S. Federal Senior Executive Service - Its purpose, features, challenges and role in policy planning and implementation

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Palestra proferida por Timothy M. Dirks, diretor de associação americana análoga à Anesp, no segundo dia do Congresso Brasileiro de Gestores Públicos - CBGP.

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U.S. Federal Senior Executive Service - Its purpose, features, challenges and role in policy planning and implementation

  1. 1. U.S. FEDERAL SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE ITS PURPOSE, FEATURES, CHALLENGES AND ROLE IN POLICY PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION Presented by: Timothy M. Dirks Director, Member and Agency Liaison Senior Executives Association 10/11/2013 1 © 2013 by the Senior Executives Association
  2. 2. History of the U.S. Civil Service • U.S. Constitution of 1789 Established Federal Government • Early U.S. Presidents Appointed Persons to all Federal Jobs Based on Political Affiliation – “The Spoils System” • Pendleton Act of 1883 Established the U.S. Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Required Merit Based Hiring • By the mid 1900s most Federal jobs filled Competitively • Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 Overhauled the U.S. Civil Service System – Eliminated Outmoded CSC • Created the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to Set Policy/Guide Human Resources (HR) Management • Created the Merit Systems Protection to Safeguard Merit 10/11/2013 2 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  3. 3. Civil Service Reform Act • Key Distinctions between Political and Career Executives in Terms of Hiring, Pay and Tenure • Created the Senior Executive Service (SES) to Improve Management of Government Programs • SES a Carefully Balanced Reward vs. Risk System • Pay for Performance for SES Career Leaders based on Management Achievements • Managerial Accountability and Risk for Career SES – Easier to Remove, Demote or Reassign 10/11/2013 3 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  4. 4. SES System – Purpose and Key Features • SES not the only Leadership System in Federal Government – But the Most Important One • Major Purpose: Create Highly Talented and Responsive Leaders to Manage Key Programs • SES Comprised of 7,000 and 8,000 positions out of a total Federal workforce of 1.8 million • SES HR policies different than those for other workers under the General Schedule (GS) • Political SES Appointees up to 10% of all SES • Career SES Leaders Work under Political Direction of President and his Self Appointed Agency Heads 10/11/2013 4 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  5. 5. SES Role in Policy Planning & Implementation • President, Agency Heads and Political SES Develop Policy Strategy and Direction for Government • Agency Heads and Political SES Executives Change with each new Presidential Administration • Career SES Executives do not Change and Provide Continuity and Ongoing Program Management • Career Executives Primarily Focused on Policy Interpretation and Implementation • Political Boss may ask Career SES to help Develop Policy Based on Job, Expertise and Relationship 10/11/2013 5 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  6. 6. SES Workforce: System Overview • • • • • • • • • Currently 7,100 Career SES in 75 Different Agencies OPM Allocates SES Jobs based on Agencies’ Needs 66% SES Executives are Men and 34% are Women Average Age for Executive in the SES is 54 Average Age for Rest of Federal Workforce is 46 About 700 SES Career Executives Hired each year Annual Turnover in Career SES Jobs is Just Over 8% Annual Turnover for Other Federal Workers is 5% Average Annual Pay for SES is $166,529 per year 10/11/2013 6 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  7. 7. Selection For SES Positions • Political (i.e., non-Career) SES Jobs Filled by U.S. President or Agency Heads Non-Competitively • Career SES Jobs Filled Competitively based on Merit • Recruitment is Usually Nationwide – all Sources • Both Agency Head and OPM’s Qualification Review Board must approve Career SES appointments • New SES Hires must Satisfactorily Complete 1 year Probationary Period – if not, removed from SES • No Appeal Rights if Probationer Removed 10/11/2013 7 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  8. 8. SES Performance Evaluation • No Formal Appraisal for Political SES Executives • Career SES Appraised Annually based on Formal Plan Created Jointly by SES and his/her Boss • Plan Contains Clear Performance Goals and Metrics • Each SES given Rating Ranging from Outstanding to Unacceptable – Vast Majority are Satisfactory • Those with Satisfactory or Above Ratings Eligible for Pay Increases and Cash Performance Bonuses • Those with Unacceptable Ratings Reassigned or Removed from the SES 10/11/2013 8 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  9. 9. SES Pay for Performance • • • • • • • • • Political SES eligible for Pay Increases not Bonuses Career SES Eligible for Pay Increases, Bonuses, and Presidential Rank Awards Pay Range in SES is from $119,554 to $179,700 Only One Pay Increase per Year Allowed Performance Bonuses can be from 5-20% of Basic Pay Two Thirds of Career SES Received Bonuses in 2011 Average Performance Bonus in 2011 was $10,889 Two Levels of Rank Awards –Distinguished (35% of pay) and Meritorious (20% of pay) Only 1% of Career SES can get Distinguished; 5% Meritorious 10/11/2013 9 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  10. 10. SES Work Schedule and Time-Off • Executive Work Hours Unlimited, no Overtime Pay • Expected to do Whatever it Takes to get Job Done • SES Executives Earn 26 Days of Annual Leave per Year and 13 Days of Sick Leave • Can Accumulate up to 90 Days Unused Annual Leave (other employees only 30 days) • Paid for Unused Annual Leave upon Retirement or Resignation • Can Accumulate Unlimited Unused Sick Leave • Unused Sick Leave Enlarges Retirement Pension 10/11/2013 10 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  11. 11. Risks of Being a Career SES Executive • Performance-Based Removal With No Appeal Rights • Reassignment Outside Commuting Area – Limited only by 60 Day Notice and “Get Acquainted” Rule • 1 Year “No Contact” Restriction when SES Retires • Defending Unjustified Employee Grievances/Appeals • Being Subject of Formal Agency or Congressional Mismanagement or “Whistleblower” Investigation • Suffering from Over-Work and “Burn-Out” • Being Marginalized by Layers of Political Bosses • Ongoing Federal Workforce Pay Freeze = 3 Years+ 10/11/2013 11 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  12. 12. Current SES Issues and Challenges • Difficulty in Leading Successfully in Current Uncertain U.S. Budget and Political Environments • Decline in Morale among Subordinates is Causing Management and Productivity Problems for SES • Congressional Investigations and Political Intrusion Leading to Risk Aversion and Loss of Innovation • Frustration with Pay Freeze, SES Bonus Limits and Suspension of Presidential Rank Awards Program • Increasing SES Turnover Causing “Brain Drain” • Inadequate Preparation/Interest among Successors 10/11/2013 12 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  13. 13. Role of the Senior Executives Association • SEA is a Non-Profit organization in Washington, DC with over 2,000 Current/Former Executive Members • SEA is not Part of the U.S. Federal government • SEA has several Missions and Key Goals: -Improve efficiency and effectiveness of government -Advance the professionalism, development, fair treatment, and recognition of career SES leaders -Advocate the interests of career SES with Congress and the Administration in terms of pay and benefits -Enhance public recognition of career SES achievements • SEA is Governed by Board of Directors and Managed by a President with the Assistance of a Small Staff 13 10/11/2013 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  14. 14. Summary • SES is a Key Component of the U.S. Government’s Management and Policy system • SES Career Corps is Selected, Promoted, Paid, Retained and Removed based on Merit • Career Executives Maintain Leadership Integrity and Continuity during Presidential Transition; Operate Impartially to Support Important U.S. Policy Goals • SEA will Continue Advocating for Good Government and Support and Celebrate the Talented Men and Women who Comprise the Career SES Corps 10/11/2013 14 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association
  15. 15. For Further Information Carol A. Bonosaro, President, SEA SEAPresident@seniorexecs.org, (202) 927-7000 Timothy M. Dirks, Director of Member & Agency Liaison Dirks@seniorexecs.org, (202) 927-7000 Senior Executives Association 77 K Street N.E., Suite 2600 Washington, DC 20002 USA Website: www.seniorexecs.org 10/11/2013 15 © 2012 by the Senior Executives Association

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