1. The purpose of the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Since 1977, the PMF Program has helped Agencies meet their workforce and succession planning needs by attracting outstanding masters, law, and doctoral-level students to the Federal service.
2. This is the Department of Justice’s (Department or DOJ) plan for the Presidential Management Fellows Program, in addition to and consistent with the requirements set forth in 5 CFR Part 362.
3. Roles and Responsibilities
a. Responsibilities of the Director, Justice Management Division (JMD), Human Resources (HR):
(1) Appointing and supervising the Departmental PMF Coordinator.
(2) Issuing guidance as necessary.
b. Responsibilities of the Departmental PMF Coordinator:
(1) Acting as liaison and program facilitator for DOJ with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) PMF Program Office.
(2) Keeping Bureau PMF Coordinators up-to-date with monthly e-mail newsletters and access to online PMF database and resume system.
(3) Facilitating reimbursement of the PMF participant fee to OPM upon appointment of a Fellow.
(4) Working with the Bureau Executive Review Board (ERB) or DOJ ERB, as applicable, to certify each Fellow’s completion of the program and assist in notifying the OPM PMF Program Office of ERB decisions.
c. Responsibilities of the Bureau Human Resources Officer:
(1) Appointing a Bureau PMF Coordinator.
(2) Preparing Bureau policies and criteria for the promotion of PMF participants.
(3) Processing personnel transactions upon initial appointment, reappointment, promotion, or conversion.
d. Responsibilities of the Bureau PMF Coordinator:
(1) Working with Bureau managers, hiring officials, and supervisors to identify positions and post jobs on the Projected Positions System (PPS) and to recruit Fellows for the Bureau.
(2) Verifying that Fellows complete all graduate degree requirements.
(3) Acting as a resource for Fellows and their supervisors.
(4) Providing the DOJ PMF Coordinator with current information on the Bureau program, the status of participants within the Bureau, and complying with reporting requirements as specified in this Order Chapter.
e. Responsibilities of the Hiring Official/PMF Supervisor:
(1) Developing an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that addresses the target position, developmental requirements, and recommended activities.
(2) Establishing a performance plan and annual evaluation for each Fellow with performance elements and standards for competencies expected for duties assigned.
(3) Arranging for at least 80 hours of formal classroom training during each year of the fellowship.
(4) Arranging for Fellows to have at least one developmental assignment for a period of at least four to six months in duration.
f. Responsibilities of the Fellow:
(1) Working with his/her supervisor to prepare an IDP that identifies specific developmental activities designed to impart the competencies of the occupation or functional discipline in which the Fellow is being placed.
(2) Successfully completing the program, position, and performance requirements.
(3) Informing the OPM PMF Program Office of current contact information by updating the Information Worksheet on the forms webpage of the PMF website.
4. Starting Grade for Fellows. Bureaus may appoint Fellows, at a minimum, at the grade GS-9 level (or equivalent). Bureaus may also appoint Fellows at the grade GS-11 or GS-12 level (or equivalent), if qualified. Qualification determinations for appointing Fellows are based upon the standards contained in the Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions. At their discretion, Bureaus may develop their own qualification standards for appointing Fellows and Bureaus must submit the qualification standards to JMD HR, for approval, prior to implementing.
5. Eligibility for Fellows. Graduate students who complete or expect to complete an advanced degree program from a qualifying college or university by August 31st of the academic year in which competition is held, are eligible to become Fellows. OPM will select Fellow finalists based on experience, accomplishments, and a successfully completed assessment process.
6. Graduate Degree Requirements. A Bureau may not appoint a Fellow until all graduate degree requirements are met. If a Fellow does not complete all degree requirements by August 31st of the year in which the Fellow is selected as a finalist, the Fellow’s finalist status is terminated.
7. Appointment Authority for Fellows. Fellows are appointed to an excepted service position under Schedule A in accordance with 5 CFR Part 213. Bureaus may make appointments under this authority for two years.
8. Note to Excepted Service Bureaus. Participation in the PMF Program is open to DOJ excepted service Bureaus and they must adhere to the guidance set forth in this Departmental policy. Responsibility for interpreting and applying these policies and procedures rests with the Bureau PMF Coordinator with guidance as needed provided by the Departmental PMF Coordinator.
9. Veterans’ Preference. Veterans’ preference should be applied in accordance with the requirements of 5 CFR Part 302.
10. Entrance on Duty Date. Bureaus must appoint Fellows no later than 12 months after their selection as finalists. The Department may request an extension from OPM. Bureaus must submit all requests for extensions to JMD HR, no later than 45 days prior to the deadline.
11. Training and Development for Fellows. The Bureau must work with each Fellow to develop and approve an IDP. The Bureau must provide:
a. A minimum of 80 hours of formal classroom training per year related to the core competencies of the job.
b. At least one developmental assignment of at least four to six months in duration, during the two-year fellowship. The developmental assignment must be consistent with the IDP and must prepare the Fellow for the occupation or function in which he/she is likely to be placed.
Note: Bureaus may elect to require rotational assignments of one to six months in duration, to other occupations or functional areas as part of the development program.
12. Performance Management. The immediate supervisor must develop each Fellow’s performance plan based on the individual’s current position description. Each Fellow must receive an annual performance evaluation in accordance with the performance management program, DOJ Performance Management Order, 1200.1, Chapter 2-15.
13. Promotion of Fellows. Bureaus may promote Fellows up to the GS-13 (or equivalent) while participating in this program. Fellows, as excepted service employees, are not required to meet one-year time-in- grade requirements but Fellows must meet qualification requirements for the next higher grade. On a limited basis, Fellows will be eligible for promotion to the next higher consecutive grade level, i.e., GS-9 to GS-11, and GS-11 to GS-12, in six month intervals. They must meet all requirements for promotion as identified in their IDP. (The target level cannot exceed the GS-13 or equivalent.) The IDP must indicate the competencies required for each level as well as provide a benchmark identifying the successful acquisition of the needed competencies. The Department’s ERB is the approving official for all promotions that do not meet the one-year time-in-grade requirement. Bureaus must forward requests to the Department’s PMF Coordinator, JMD HR, for review and submission to the Department’s ERB for approval.
14. Certification of Completion for Fellows. At some point prior to 30 calendar days before the expiration of the fellowship period, the Bureau’s ERB or, where the Bureau does not have its own ERB, the Department’s ERB must determine whether and certify that each Fellow has satisfactorily completed his/her performance plan and IDP. It is the joint responsibility of the Bureau’s human resources office and the Fellow to ensure the accuracy of the provided documentation. The responsible ERB shall forward the certification to OPM through JMD HR. The ERB shall notify the Fellow of its decision no later than 30 calendar days prior to the expiration of the appointment. The time periods for certification may only be extended if the Bureau has not previously used its one time 120-day extension authority or a waiver of the time period is obtained from OPM. (See Section 17.) When OPM grants a waiver, the ERB must still certify that any requirements that are not subject to the waiver were met. If the Fellow is not certified by the ERB, the Fellow may request reconsideration by the Director of OPM or the Director’s designee, in writing, within 15 calendars days of the ERB’s decision. The Bureau PMF Coordinator shall notify the Department PMF Program Coordinator of any instances where a Fellow is not certified.
15. Placement Upon Conversion. Each Bureau must appoint, without further competition, an ERB-certified Fellow who successfully completed all program requirements, to a full-time, permanent position in the competitive or excepted service. All Fellows must meet the appropriate citizenship requirements at the time of conversion. Appointment is effective on or before the expiration of the individual’s PMF appointment, including extensions.
16. Conversion to the Competitive Service from an Excepted Service Bureau. After completion of the program, a Fellow initially appointed to a permanent position in a Bureau excepted from the competitive service may, one time only, receive a subsequent appointment to an equivalent full-time permanent position in the competitive service without further competition. However, a Bureau must clear its Reemployment Priority List (RPL), Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP), and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) before appointing a PMF graduate of an excepted service Bureau to a competitive service position. www.opm.gov/deu/handbook_2007/DEO_Handbook.pdf
17. Appointment Extensions. Fellows are appointed for two years and Bureaus may extend the appointment, if needed, for up to 120 days. Extensions of greater than 120 days to one year require OPM approval. Extensions in excess of one year are not permitted. To obtain an OPM extension, Bureau PMF Coordinators should submit a request, in writing, through JMD HR, to the Chair of the ERB, at least 120 days before the end of the two year appointment. The Chair of the ERB will submit a written request to the Director of OPM (or designee) at least 90 days prior to the end of the initial appointment.
18. Reemployment. If a Fellow held a career or career-conditional appointment immediately before entering the Program, and withdraws from the program for reasons not related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, at the Bureau’s discretion, in accordance with the Bureau’s merit promotion plan, the Bureau may place the Fellow in a career or career-conditional position, as appropriate. A decision not to place a Fellow in a career/career conditional appointment may not be appealed.
19. Readmission. If a Fellow withdraws from the Program for reasons not related to misconduct, poor performance, or suitability, he or she may petition the employing Bureau for readmission. The petition must be in writing and include an appropriate justification for readmission. Upon consideration of the petition, the employing Bureau, at its sole discretion, may submit a written request through JMD HR, to OPM for approval to readmit and reappoint the individual to the program.
20. Appeal Rights. Fellows are Excepted Service employees within the meaning of Chapters 43 and 75 in Title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.). They have appeal rights as provided therein. For systems not covered by 5 U.S.C., Chapters 43 and 75, Fellows have appeal rights as provided by the equivalent authorities under their system, if any.
C. Documentation for Reports and Records.
DEFINITIONS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT FELLOWS PROGRAM (To Be Included in the DOJ, HR Order 1200.1, Appendix I, HR Dictionary)
CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CTAP): A program designed by an agency to actively assist its surplus and displaced employees by providing selection priority for competitive service vacancies. Under the career transition assistance plan (CTAP), you must notify employees who are surplus or have been displaced from your agency of vacancies that your agency plans to fill in their local commuting area.
INTERAGENCY CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ICTAP): The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) is a process by which employees who have been involuntarily separated may receive selection priority for jobs in agencies other than the one in which they were previously employed.
REEMPLOYMENT PRIORITY LIST (RPL): A list of employees within the local commuting area who have been separated from your agency due to reduction in force (RIF) or work-related injury. If an employee on the RPL is qualified for a vacancy that exists within his or her local commuting area, you must (with few exceptions) select that employee before hiring anyone from outside the agency.