Evaluations Called for To Monitor and Assess Executive Appraisal Systems

FPCD-81-55: Published: Aug 3, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 3, 1981.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO reviewed the Senior Executive Service (SES) performance appraisal system. The appraisal process is intended to evaluate the performance of senior executives and provide a basis for making many executive personnel decisions, including monetary performance awards, development, advancement, and dismissals. GAO stated that, while it is too early to judge the overall effectiveness of the SES appraisal systems, it wanted to identify existing or potential problems so that agencies and the Office of Personnel Management can take corrective action.

GAO stated that non-Federal experience shows that pretesting, user training, evaluation of systems, and several years of development are important steps to implementing successful performance appraisal systems. Since many agencies did not follow these steps in implementing their SES systems, the first few years in operation will be experimental. As a result, agencies need to develop and implement formal evaluation systems to monitor and assess the effectiveness of their SES performance appraisal processes to insure that they are valid, fair, and objective. GAO concluded that, unless a reliable and timely method exists for evaluating and monitoring appraisal systems, areas which need improvement cannot be effectively identified.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status:

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The OPM Director should: (1) require agencies to establish and implement comprehensive evaluation and monitoring systems for their SES performance appraisal processes; (2) issue minimum standards and requirements which should be included in all evaluation systems implemented by agencies; (3) provide guidelines to agencies on how to establish and implement an effective evaluation process; and (4) follow up with agencies to insure that evaluation systems are being properly and effectively implemented.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Nov 24, 2020

Nov 23, 2020

Nov 18, 2020

Nov 16, 2020

Oct 7, 2020

Sep 25, 2020

Sep 23, 2020

Sep 10, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here