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3-4.000
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

3-4.100 Introduction
3-4.200 Personnel
3-4.213 Excepted Service
3-4.250 Personnel Management in Agencies
3-4.273 Personnel Management Evaluation
3-4.274 Corrective Actions
3-4.293 Personnel Records
3-4.294 Availability of Official Information
3-4.295 Personnel Forms and Documents
3-4.296 Processing Personnel Actions
3-4.300 Employment (General)
3-4.308 Volunteer Service
3-4.316 Temporary Employment
3-4.332 Recruitment and Selection Through Competitive Examination
3-4.334 Temporary Assignment Under Intergovernmental Personnel Act
3-4.335 Promotion and Internal Placement
3-4.340 Other Than Full-Time Career Employment (Part-Time, Seasonal, On-Call, and Intermittent)
3-4.410 Training
3-4.430 Performance Management
3-4.451 Incentive Awards
3-4.511 Classification Under the General Schedule
3-4.534 Pay Under Other Systems
3-4.536 Grade and Pay Retention
3-4.550 Pay Administration (General)
3-4.610 Group Dismissals (Administrative Leave)
3-4.620 Flexible Work Options
3-4.630 Absence and Leave
3-4.720 Affirmative Employment Programs—Upward Mobility Program
3-4.731 Personnel Suitability
3-4.734 Financial Disclosure Requirements
3-4.752 Adverse Actions
3-4.771 Grievances
3-4.830 Retirement

3-4.100

Introduction

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 000 #1; Chapter 002 #1 and Chapter 003 #1

This title of the United States Attorneys' Manual (USAM) addresses personnel policy matters affecting the Executive Office of United States Attorneys and United States Attorneys' offices. Policy guidance is structured and numbered in parallel with Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), to facilitate reference by users as well as maintenance of currency with respect to changes in personnel law and regulations.

Operational procedural and interpretive guidance is published in Administrative Procedures Handbook Issuances (APHIs) in the Personnel section of the United States Attorneys' Administrative Procedures Handbook.

In any instance where policy is not stated in this chapter, and in any instance where policy which is stated in this chapter erroneously conflicts with guidance published by higher authority, e.g., Justice-wide policies or Office of Personnel Management regulations, higher-level guidance will govern.

3-4.200

Personnel

Other reference(s): 28 C.F.R. § 0.15; 28 C.F.R. § 0.138

The employment, separation and general administration of personnel in the Senior Executive Service and of attorneys and law students regardless of grade or pay is delegated to the Deputy Attorney General. Certain of these authorities are redelegated to the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA).

The authority to take final action in matters pertaining to the employment, direction, and general administration of non-attorney/non-law student personnel in General Schedule (GS) grades GS-1 through GS-15 is delegated to the Director, EOUSA.

These authorities are subject to further delegation.

[cited in USAM 3-4.250]

3-4.213

Excepted Service

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 213 #s 1-4; Chapter 295 #2; Chapter 300 #3; Chapter 315 #1; Chapter 720 #1; Chapter 831 #4; Chapter 990 #6; USAM Title 3-4.430; 5 C.F.R., Part 213; 28 U.S.C. § 543; 28 U.S.C. § 542

  1. Attorneys, Assistant United States Attorneys. Attorneys appointed to the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) are excepted from the competitive service as Schedule A employees, 5 C.F.R §  213.3102, and are compensated in accordance with the General Schedule.

    Assistant United States Attorneys are appointed to United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs), are excepted from the competitive service under the aegis of 28 U.S.C. § 542, and are compensated in accordance with an administratively-determined pay system.

    United States Attorneys are authorized to recruit, screen, and submit nominations of the best-qualified to serve as Assistant United States Attorneys.

  2. Law Clerks. Law Clerk appointments may be made to law school graduates who have not passed the bar, not-to-exceed 14 months or less under the aegis of 5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(e). Law Clerks are counted against authorized AUSA positions or Paralegal Specialist positions, at the option of the United States Attorney and subject to available funding. Any Law Clerk position counted against the later category, however, will be funded at the average salary for a Paralegal Specialist position. Law Clerk recruiting and appointments are administered by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management.

  3. Special Assistant United States Attorneys and Special Attorneys. The Director, EOUSA, is responsible for administering the Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) and Special Attorney program. Cross designation of State and Local attorneys and AUSAs, and appointment of Special Attorneys or Private Attorneys as SAUSAs, must be authorized by the EOUSA. See Administrative Procedures Handbook.

  4. Summer Legal Intern Program. Summer Legal Intern appointees receive appointments as Paralegal Specialists, GS-950, under the aegis of 5 C.F.R § 213.3101.

  5. Assignment of Attorney Work to Incumbents of Non-Attorney Positions. USAO employees in the General Schedule (GS) who possess a professional law degree (LL.B., J.D., or LL.M.) and who have passed the Bar may be assigned attorney duties only after being appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) or as a Special AUSA (SAUSA). GS employees are eligible for an uncompensated SAUSA appointment only if their GS rate of basic pay falls within the pay range of the appropriate Administratively Determined (AD) grade level. Otherwise, GS employees must be converted to compensated SAUSA appointments before being assigned attorney work.

  6. Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP). See generally USAP 3-4.213.005(M).

  7. Separation of the Schedule C Secretary to the United States Attorney. When a Presidentially-appointed United States Attorney (PA-USA) separates during a change of administration, all Schedule C employees (if any) in the District are expected to resign no later than the date the PA-USA separates. It is important to note that the Department of Justice can terminate a Schedule C appointment at any time and such termination may happen at the end of an administration Schedule C employees are political appointees and should understand that a change in administration is a valid reason for them to vacate their positions.

    When a PA-USA separates outside a change of administration, the District's interim USA may retain or terminate Schedule C employee(s). While the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) recommends that Schedule C employees be provided 30 days advance notice of termination, less than 30 days advance notice also is permitted. The Director, EOUSA, is authorized to sign a letter notifying the Schedule C employee of the effective date of the termination.

    A new PA-USA may retain on the same appointment a Schedule C employee who was retained by the District's interim USA.

[updated September 2005] [cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.250

Personnel Management in Agencies

Other reference(s): 5 U.S.C. §§ 2903 and 3331; 5 C.F.R., Part 250; USAM 3-4.200

  1. General. It is the policy of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) to accomplish the most efficient and effective mix of centralized/decentralized services which will satisfy mission requirements while ensuring the integrity of all statutory and regulatory requirements of the Federal personnel system. Accordingly, selected personnel authorities may be delegated to particular United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) to the extent that such a delegation will promote the effective accomplishment of the mission of the USAO. Specific delegations will be in writing, and are subject to modification or revocation as necessary.

  2. Oath of Office. All employees are required to execute an oath of office (Appointment Affidavit, SF-61) upon appointment (see 5 U.S.C. §§ 2903, 3331). The Director, EOUSA, is authorized to administer personally and to delegate authority to administer the oath of office. United States Attorneys and the Assistant Director, Personnel Staff, are delegated such authority by the Director, EOUSA. Any redelegation of this authority must be in writing.

[cited in USAM 3-4.274]

3-4.273

Personnel Management Evaluation

Other reference(s): 28 C.F.R. § 0.22

Personnel management evaluations will be conducted on a regular basis for districts with specific written delegations of personnel authority from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys. The purpose of these evaluations is to: assess and analyze the effectiveness of the personnel management program in the United States Attorney's office; assist in identification and resolution of personnel management problems; assess compliance with governing laws, regulations and policies; and analyze the overall organizational effectiveness of the personnel management program of the office. Recommendations on methods to resolve any problems identified during the review will be rendered by an evaluation team charged with the responsibility for conducting the review.

3-4.274

Corrective Actions

Other reference(s): None

United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) which have been delegated personnel authority are responsible for taking all appropriate corrective actions to ensure personnel actions processed fully comply with applicable guidelines. Failure by a USAO to take such corrective actions may serve as a basis for withdrawal or suspension of delegated personnel authority in accordance with USAM 3-4.250.

3-4.293

Personnel Records

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 293 #s 1 & 2; OPM Operating Manual - Guide to Processing Personnel Actions; OPM Operating Manual - Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping; 5 C.F.R., Part 293

Official personnel files will be maintained by the Personnel Staff, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), or by the United States Attorney's office with authority delegated by EOUSA.

3-4.294

Availability of Official Information

Other reference(s): 5 C.F.R., Part 294; 28 C.F.R. § 16

Requests for disclosure of personnel information are to be forwarded to the Personnel Staff, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), or to the United States Attorney's office if it has been delegated personnel authority by EOUSA.

3-4.295

Personnel Forms and Documents

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 295 #s 1 & 2; Chapter 990 #s 6, 9, 11 and 15; OPM Operating Manual -- Guide to Processing Personnel Actions

All offices are to use the forms and documents designated in the United States Attorneys' Manual and the United States Attorneys' Administrative Procedures Handbook unless procedural instructions grant exceptions for certain delegated districts.

3-4.296

Processing Personnel Actions

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 213 #1; Chapter 293 #s 1 & 2; Chapter 296 #s 1, 4, 5 and 6; OPM Operating Manual - Guide to Processing Personnel Actions

Specific instructions on processing personnel actions applicable to all servicing personnel offices are contained in the United States Attorneys' Administrative Procedures Handbook.

Effective dates of personnel actions will be set in accordance with the above-cited references.

3-4.300

Employment (General)

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 300 #s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7; Chapter 315 #1; Chapter 338 #4; 5 C.F.R., Part 300

  1. Personnel. The authority to take final action in all matters pertaining to the employment, separation and general administration of:

    • Non-attorney personnel (not including law students) in United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) has been delegated to the Director, EOUSA (see 28 C.F.R. § 0.138); and the Executive Office may, and has, delegated authority beyond that described in this chapter to individual USAOs.

    • With respect to Assistant United States Attorneys authority has been delegated to the Deputy Attorney General see 28 C.F.R. § 0.15), with certain authorities redelegated to the Director, EOUSA. The Director's authority may not be redelegated. The authority to appoint Assistant United States Attorneys has been delegated to the Director, OARM. See also 3-2.200.

    The Executive Office may delegate authority beyond that described in this chapter to individual United States Attorneys' offices.

    All recruitment will be conducted with an affirmative effort to achieve the goal of providing an equal opportunity for employment to as many interested, qualified applicants as possible.

    Appointments in EOUSA and USAOs are restricted to United States citizens or those who owe permanent allegiance to the United States (currently, natives of American Samoa, Swains Island, and certain inhabitants of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are the only group that owe permanent allegiance to the United States).

  2. Employee Orientation. The EOUSA and USAOs will provide for a well-planned, organized, and systematic program which will orient new employees to the mission of their office and to their individual jobs.

  3. Filling Confidential Positions to United States Attorneys. One position requiring, as a primary assignment, an unusually high level of mutual trust with the United States Attorney, e.g., the Secretary to the United States Attorney, must be filled on a non-permanent basis, e.g.:

    • Time-limited appointment;
    • Time-limited promotion; or
    • Reassignment

  4. Hosting Enrollees of Federal Grant Programs. See generally USAP 3-4.213.005(M).

  5. Recruitment and selection of candidates to fill the following positions is subject to prior approval by the individual or office indicated:

Position Being FilledApproval Authority
Administrative OfficerDirector, EOUSA
Any position covered by special retirement coverage under 5 USC 8336(c) or 5 USC 8412(d), e.g., Criminal InvestigatorsDirector, EOUSA
Intelligence SpecialistDeputy Director, EOUSA
Regional Security SpecialistDeputy Director, Administration and Management, EOUSA
System Manager, and IT Specialist positions at or above GS-11 Chief Information Officer, EOUSA
Human Resources Officer or Human Resources Specialist who functions as Human Resources OfficerAssistant Director, Personnel Staff, EOUSA
Budget Officer or Budget Analyst who functions as the Budget OfficerChief Financial Officer, EOUSA

Executive Office for United States Attorneys' staff will participate with the United States Attorneys' offices in the interview process as subject matter experts when filling these vacant positions.

[updated December 2012]

3-4.308

Volunteer Service

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 296 # 6; 5 C.F.R., Part 308; OPM Operating Manual - Guide to Processing Personnel Actions

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 provides authority for accepting services from students without providing monetary compensation. This authority is to supplement, but not replace, employment programs in which students are paid. No other volunteer programs are authorized in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) or any United States Attorney's office (USAO).

[updated June 2006]

3-4.316

Temporary Employment

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 300 #1; Chapter 315 #1; Chapter 316 #s 1 & 2; Chapter 332 #2; Chapter 335 #1; Chapter 831 #4; 5 C.F.R., Part 316

Requests for temporary workyear allocations must be justified in writing and submitted to the attention of the Deputy Director for Financial Management, Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

Prior to requesting temporary appointments and extensions, approval is required from the Personnel Staff, EOUSA.

[cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.332

Recruitment and Selection Through Competitive Examination

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 315 #1; Chapter 332 #s 1 & 2; Chapter 335 #1; 5 C.F.R., Part 332

Office of Personnel Management Certification and Objections to Eligibles. Districts that do not have delegated personnel authority can make no commitment to an applicant prior to completion of the certification process and approval by the Personnel Staff, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA).

Districts that do not have delegated personnel authority will submit all Statement of Reason for Passing Over a Preference Eligible (SF-62) forms to be reviewed by the Personnel Staff, EOUSA, prior to submission to the Office of Personnel Management.

All nonselected applicants who expressed an interest in a vacancy are to be sent a courtesy rejection letter after the appointment has been approved. Districts that do not have delegated personnel authority must obtain approval of the Personnel Staff to make appointments.

[cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.334

Temporary Assignment Under Intergovernmental Personnel Act

Other Reference(s): 5 C.F.R., Part 334 USAP 3-4.300.002, Details of Employees to Organizations Outside the Department of Justice, and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignments; USAP 3-2.213.001, Appointment of Special Assistant United States Attorneys and Special Attorneys

  1. Sabbatical Program. Subject to case-by-case approval by the Assistant Director, Personnel Staff, Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), United States Attorneys are authorized to establish sabbatical programs with law schools. Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) may spend no more than one full year teaching at a law school and a professor from that law school may spend a similar period of time working in the United States Attorney's office (USAO). This program will give selected AUSAs a break from their routine, an opportunity to "recharge their batteries," and a chance to do some in-depth research in their areas of interest.

    This program has been established under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 (5 C.F.R. § 334) and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-454), which, inter alia, permit exchanges between the Federal Government and institutions of higher learning. In every case, a formal agreement must be entered into between the school and the Director, EOUSA, and the employee must agree to the assignment.

    To be eligible, an AUSA normally will have at least five years of experience with the USAO and have expressed the intent to remain with the office for at least two years after completion of the sabbatical. Of course, the law school must agree to the specific AUSA as well as to the courses to be taught.

    Professors selected for this program will be appointed as Special AUSAs. They must be interested in trial work, meet any local bar membership requirements, and successfully complete a full-field background investigation. The professors must agree that information gained during their year with the Department will be kept confidential and that any articles written about their assignments will be cleared through the Department of Justice.

  2. Cross Designation of Federal Prosecutors as State and Local Prosecutors. Cross designation of a federal prosecutor as a State or Local Prosecutor under the IPA is appropriate only when the assignment will be full-time or last longer than one year.

    In all other cases, cross-designation may be authorized upon the request from, or with the concurrence of, a state or local government, and with the consent of the employee and the United States Attorney concerned. While serving in a cross-designated capacity, an Assistant United States Attorney is deemed to be on a regular work assignment.

[updated March 2004] [cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.335

Promotion and Internal Placement

Other reference(s): USAP 3-4.335.002.
Note. Neither the Department's Career Transition Assistance Plan nor the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan are addressed in this document. Guidance on these topics will be promulgated separately and incorporated into this document at a later date.
Policy. It is the policy of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) to utilize employee skills and potential to the fullest in filling vacancies and to select, assign, and promote employees solely on the basis of job-related criteria and without regard to religion, parental status, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, race, color, creed, age, national origin, sex, nondisqualifying disabilities, politics, membership or nonmembership in employee organizations, marital status, personal favoritism or patronage.

An extensive discussion of Promotion and Internal Placement procedures is at USAP 3-4.335.002.

[updated May 2005]

3-4.340

Other Than Full-Time Career Employment (Part-Time, Seasonal, On-Call, and Intermittent)

Other reference(s): 5 C.F.R., Part 340

Policy. It is the policy of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and the United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) to provide part-time, permanent employment opportunities consistent with the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978. The nationwide goal of EOUSA and USAOs is to attain and maintain a one percent or higher, constant percentage of part-time employment to full-time employment.

[updated March 2004]

3-4.410

Training

  1. Responsibilities.

    1. United States Attorneys and the Director, EOUSA, shall delegate training approval authority to the lowest appropriate subordinate supervisory levels.

    2. Supervisors shall:

      1. Identify individual and organizational training needs,

      2. Consider the most effective approaches to meet training needs, and

      3. Approve training requests within their organizations that will promote employee and unit effectiveness.

  2. Training Funded by the Government. Employees and officials of the Department of Justice may attend conferences, conventions, professional meetings or other meetingsat government expense provided they meet the following criteria:

    1. The conference or meeting is directly related to the individual's work in the Department; or

    2. They are to take an active part in the conference or meeting and such participation will benefit the government.

  3. Training for United States Attorneys. Training approval for United States Attorneys was delegated by the Attorney General to the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, who redelegated this authority to the Director, Office of Legal Education. See USAP 3-6.000.001.

  4. Training for Supervisors and Managers

    1. Individuals assigned to supervisory positions shall complete training within the first year of their initial assignment as a supervisor on the use of appropriate actions, options, and strategies to:

      1. Mentor employees;
      2. Improve employee performance and productivity;
      3. Conduct employee performance appraisals in accordance with agency appraisal systems; and
      4. Identify and assist employees with unacceptable performance.

    2. Follow up training for supervisors and managers shall be completed at least every three years.

    3. Individuals making critical career transitions, for example to managerial or executive positions, shall complete appropriate training consistent with assessments of the agency's and the individual's needs.

  5. Fees for Attendance At Meetings. Fees for attendance at meetings which meet the training criteria may be paid for pursuant to the Department of Justice Order 1200.1, Part 5, Training and Development dated October 3, 2000.

[updated May 2011] [cited in USAM 3-6.100]

3-4.430

Performance Management

  1. Policy.

    1. The goal of the performance management system for the United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) is to:

      1. Achieve a diverse, results-oriented, high performing workforce;

      2. Effectively differentiate between high and low performance; and

      3. Link individual performance to organizational goals and desired results.

    2. Employee performance standards will, to the extent practicable:

      1. Incorporate human capital objectives of the Department, EOUSA and USAO that directly link to organizational goals and desired results; and

      2. Include performance elements that systemically align with appropriate strategic plans.

    3. Meritorious employee performance in accomplishing organizational goals and objectives, will be recognized and rewarded as appropriate.

    4. Employees demonstrating unacceptable performance will be given an opportunity, and appropriate assistance, to improve. Failure to improve unacceptable performance after an opportunity to do so may result in reassignment, reduction in grade, or removal.

    5. The performance management system will be communicated to all covered employees, supervisors, and managers to ensure effective program administration.

  2. Employee Coverage. All United States Attorneys' offices (USAO) and Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) employees are covered by the provisions of this section except where excluded specifically by law or regulation.

  3. Responsibilities

    1. The United States Attorney and the Director, EOUSA, will designate rating and reviewing officials. Generally, responsibility as a rating official should be assigned to the lowest practical supervisory level within the organization. Similarly, responsibility as a reviewing official should be assigned to the lowest practical level above the rating official.

    2. Performance plans and ratings of record shall be reviewed and approved at the next higher level of supervision above the immediate supervisor.

  4. Appraisal Period. The appraisal period is one year, January 1 through December 31. The minimum appraisal period is 90 days.

  5. Performance Work Plans. Performance work plans will normally be issued within 30 days after the beginning of the appraisal period or change to a different position which is expected to last 120 days or more.

    1. Performance Elements.

      1. Each PWP must contain at least two critical performance elements. Non-critical performance elements may not be included.

      2. At least one performance element must align with organizational strategic plans.

      3. The Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General may issue mandatory elements which must be included in affected employee performance plans.

    2. Performance Standards. To the extent possible, performance standards should be results-oriented and align with organizational strategic plans.

      1. Each performance element listed in the PWP must include a written standard of performance that defines the rating official's expectations for successful performance in such terms as quality of work, quantity of work, timeliness, individual goals, group goals, objectives, or in other such terms that are appropriate to the position. This constitutes the "Successful" level.

      2. Performance standards may also be written at the next higher level, i.e., at the "Outstanding" level.

      3. Performance standards may not be written at the "Unacceptable" level.

  6. Progress Reviews. At least one formal progress review will be held during the appraisal cycle. The progress review must be documented by the signature of the employee, the supervisor, and the date.

  7. Formal Appraisal of Performance. Performance shall be evaluated using Rating Pattern B under 5 CFR Part 430. It is strongly encouraged that ratings of record are completed within 60 days after the close of the rating period.

    1. Performance Element Evaluation. Rating officials will evaluate actual employee performance in comparison with written performance elements and standards, and assign one of the following performance levels for each element:

      1. "Unacceptable"

      2. "Successful"

      3. "Outstanding"

      A narrative supporting the rating official's determination is required only in the absence of written performance standards at the assigned element rating level.

    2. Overall Evaluation. An overall rating of record will be derived as follows:

      1. "Unacceptable." Performance in one or more critical elements fails to meet standards for "successful" performance. This is a Level 1 rating as defined by 5 C.F.R. § 430.208.

      2. "Successful." Performance meets standards for successful performance. This level is appropriate when less than a majority, i.e., 50% or less, of all elements are rated at the "Outstanding" level. This is a Level 3 rating as defined by 5 C.F.R. §  430.208.

      3. "Outstanding." Performance is substantially exceeds the "Successful" criteria in such areas as productivity, exceeding specific goals and objectives, or overall performance superior to most, if not all, peers. Specifically:
        1) A majority, i.e., more than 50%, of the total number of elements are rated at the "Outstanding" level; and

        2) At least one performance element the element that specifically links to organizational goals and desired results, and which aligns with the organization's strategic plan, is rated at the "Outstanding" level. This is a Level 5 rating as defined by 5 C.F.R. §  430.208.

    3. Approval by reviewing official. Completed ratings of record must be reviewed and approved by the reviewing official before they are communicated to the employee. The United States Attorney may serve as the rating and reviewing official for the following positions:

      1. Schedule C employees;

      2. First Assistant United States Attorney, or equivalent; and

      3. Secretary to the United States Attorney, or equivalent.

    4. Records Retention. Ratings of record and supporting documents in employee performance files will be retained for four years, or as required by 5 CFR § 293.404, by the servicing personnel office.

  8. Interim Ratings

    1. An Interim Rating shall be issued whenever an employee has completed the minimum rating period and moves to another position.

    2. Interim ratings issued during the performance period will be considered in deriving a rating of record for position(s) in the same occupational series.

  9. Details and Temporary Promotions

    1. Written performance elements and standards shall be provided to Departmental employees who are detailed or temporarily promoted for 120 days or more. Elements and standards shall be provided to the employee no later than 30 days after the effective date of the detail or temporary promotion.

    2. Employees serving on detail or temporary promotion shall have a rating of record issued in accordance with the appraisal system of the organization to which detailed or temporarily promoted.

    3. Organizations from which an employee is detailed or temporarily promoted shall make performance determinations and take necessary employment action based on the employee's last rating of record.

  10. Program Evaluation. Performance management program effectiveness will be evaluated in conjunction with periodic evaluations of the offices of the U.S. Attorneys required by 28 CFR § 0.22 (a)(1).

  11. Savings Provision. Administrative action initiated under previous appraisal program(s) shall continue to be processed in accordance with the law and that previous program.

[updated February 2004]

3-4.451

Incentive Awards

Awards will recognize and reward superior employee performance in such areas as accomplishing organizational goals and objectives, suggestions or accomplishments that contribute to the efficiency or improvement of government operations, and performance as reflected in the employee's most recent rating of record.

  1. Delegation of Authority.

    United States Attorneys (USA) and the Director, EOUSA, may approve:

    • Cash awards to $7,500 for all staff.

    • Time-off awards up to 120 hours per leave year per employee. A full-time employee may be granted a maximum of 40 hours of time off from duty as an incentive award for any single contribution.

  2. Quality Step Increase (QSI)

    1. Quality Step Increases (QSIs) should be limited to recognizing extraordinary levels of employee excellence. To be considered for a Quality Step Increase (QSI), the following criteria must be met:

      a) The employee's performance rating must be at the "Outstanding" level.

      b) The performance rating must be based on the employee's current position.

      c) The performance being evaluated must have been sustained for a minimum of six months in the same position.

      d) The employee has not received a QSI within the preceding 52 calendar weeks nor a Sustained Superior Performance (SSP) award within the last six (6) months. If an SSP was received within the past 6 to 12 months, the QSI recommendation must be based on a different performance rating period.

      e) At the time the QSI becomes effective, the employee is expected to remain in the same position for at least 60 days and continue performing at the "Outstanding" level for at least an additional six months.

    2. A QSI is not appropriate when the employee:

      a) announces intentions to retire or separate from federal employment;

      b) is about to receive, or has just received, a promotion;

      c) is serving on a detail to another position; or

      d) is transferring to another position.

  3. Cash Awards

    1. Performance-Based Awards. To be eligible for one-time cash award an employee's most recent rating of record must be "Outstanding" or the employee must be rated "Outstanding"or equivalent on one or more job elements, with additional justification by management on the award nomination form.

    2. Special Act Awards. A special act award may be granted to recognize services in the public interest in connection with, or related to, an employee's official employment.

    3. On-the-Spot Awards. On-the-spot awards may be granted to recognize promptly short-term special acts or service which do not merit larger awards . Receiving an on-the-spot award is not disqualifying for the subsequent receipt of any other cash or honorary incentive award. The same contribution, however, should not be used as the sole basis for an on-the-spot award and another award unless the on-the-spot award is subsequently deemed clearly inadequate to recognize the value of the employee's contribution.

  4. Time-Off Awards

    1. Authority to grant time off awards not to exceed one work day may be redelgated to the lowest supervisory level.

    2. Authority to grant time off awards in excess of one work day may be redelgated only if the approving official is at a higher organizational level than the recommending official. The Director, EOUSA and each United States Attorney may serve as recommending and approving officials.

    3. Time off awards may not be converted to cash.

[updated April 2008] [cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.511

Classification Under the General Schedule

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 295 #1; Chapter 312 #s 1-3; Chapter 511 #s 1-3; Chapter 551 #1; 5 C.F.R., Part 511

  1. United States Attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys. United States Attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) are not covered by the Classification Act of 1949; consequently, they do not have position descriptions. The Executive Office for United States Attorneys, however, maintains records indicating which attorneys handle specialized functional areas, such as criminal or civil matters, or who have supervisory responsibilities. Thus, Assistant United States Attorneys are assigned numbers, called "Master Record Numbers" (the National Finance Center's nomenclature for "position description numbers"), which reflect their functional specialties.

  2. Delegated Classification Authority. Certain United States Attorneys have been delegated classification authority. As the parameters of the delegations vary, a specific letter is transmitted detailing the scope of authority. Any action which is effected is to comply fully with Office of Personnel Management Position Classification Standards.

  3. Position Management.

    1. Responsibility. United States Attorneys and the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys are responsible for organizing and assigning work among positions in their respective organizations in a manner which will serve mission needs effectively and economically. This includes achieving a proper balance between skills availability, funds limitations, sound human resource utilization, efficiency and economy, mission requirements, and matters of public policy.

    2. Workyear Ceilings. Approved FTE workyear ceilings in each employment category (AUSA, paralegal, support staff, and student) are not to be exceeded unless an exception is requested and approved. To request an exception to workyear ceilings in each employment category (AUSA, paralegal, support staff, and students), for each type of appropriation, approval is required by the Deputy Director for Financial Management, EOUSA.

    3. Position Descriptions. Managers are responsible for ensuring that current, factually correct position descriptions (PDs) are prepared for all positions paid on the basis of the General Schedule (e.g., GM and GS). PDs are necessary for purposes in addition to classification, such as recruitment, placement, training, and performance evaluation.

    4. Projected Positions. The term "projected position" in the context of this section means a support position which is established in advance of the date the duties and responsibilities actually materialize. In order to verify that duties and responsibilities have materialized as expected, projected positions must be desk audited within six months after they are occupied.

[cited in USAM 3-1.200]

[updated May 2002]

3-4.534

Pay Under Other Systems

This Title contains information on salaries paid to United States Attorneys (USAs) and Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs).

  1. USAs:

    1. General. The salaries of USAs are set by the Attorney General (AG) or Deputy Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 548.

    2. AG-Appointed and Court-Appointed USAs. An individual appointed as USA by the AG or the district court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 546, shall be paid the full salary of the USA position, effective as of the date of appointment. An AUSA who has been appointed as USA by the AG or the district court, and who is then reappointed as an AUSA, will be returned to the same type of position s/he held immediately before accepting the USA position, and will be granted any increases in salary s/he would have been granted had s/he remained in his/her AUSA position.

  2. AUSAs:

    1. AUSAs. AUSA salaries are set in accordance with an Administratively Determined pay plan approved by the AG or DAG pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §  548. See USAP 3-4.534.001(M), Administratively Determined Pay Handbook.

    2. Supervisory and SLC AUSAs. Supervisory and SLC AUSAs occupy their positions via temporary promotions not-to-exceed four years or less, and are subject to subsequent assignment to lower-level supervisory or SLC AUSA positions or to line AUSA positions at any time. Upon such "reassignment," the AUSA's salary is reduced.

  3. Senior Litigation Counsel. The Senior Litigation Counsel (SLC) program was created for the express purpose of recognizing truly outstanding non-supervisory Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) based on their overall careers as litigators. To qualify, an AUSA must meet the following criteria:

    1. Have at least five years experience as an attorney, the major portion of such experience having been as an active litigator in the Federal court system;

    2. When nominated, be at a salary at least equivalent to GS-15, step 1;

    3. Be recognized as an outstanding litigator in the Federal court system as demonstrated by awards, letters of commendation, press coverage, or other material attesting to the success and quality of the attorney's advocacy skills;

    4. Be responsible for the in-office training of Assistants less knowledgeable in advocacy skills;

    5. Not supervise any AUSAs; and

    6. Have the stated intention of remaining with the Department of Justice for at least one year after designation, and be available, when it will not interfere with assigned caseload, to serve as a rotating faculty member of the Attorney General's Advocacy Institute.

[updated May 2004]

3-4.536

Grade and Pay Retention

United States Attorneys' offices shall make reasonable efforts to place employees covered by grade or pay retention into a position at his/her former grade level. As long as an employee is entitled to grade and/or pay retention, he/she is to be considered automatically and noncompetitively for all vacant positions which are: under the same appointing authority; within the commuting area; and at the former grade level or any intervening grade level.

To the extent practicable, the position's qualification requirements may be waived upon recommendation by the United States Attorney provided there is evidence that the employee would be able to perform fully the duties of the new position within 90 days.

[updated November 2002]

3-4.550

Pay Administration (General)

Other reference(s): 5 C.F.R., Part 550; USAP 3-4.550.001 and 3- 4.550.002

  1. Overtime. United States Attorneys and the Director, EOUSA, or designees, are authorized to approve overtime subject to availability of overtime budget, subject to the limitations below.

    Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 550.111, approval of overtime must be documented in writing by a person authorized to do so. United States Attorneys and the Director, EOUSA, may redelegate, in writing, overtime approval authority to appropriate officials, e.g., to the Administrative Officer or to supervisors delegated authority to approve Time and Attendance records.

    United States Attorneys are NOT authorized to approve overtime premium pay or compensatory time, other than compensatory time for religious purposes and compensatory time off for travel, for attorney personnel. Assistant United States Attorneys are professionals and should expect to work in excess of regular hours without overtime premium pay.

    Overtime compensation earned while in travel status will be controlled for nonexempt General Schedule (GS) employees by telling the employee when to travel and by what mode. If the employee travels at a different time or by a different mode than that which was ordered, the employee receives the lesser amount of compensation based on actual and estimated travel.

  2. Compensatory Time. It is the policy of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) that employees must use earned compensatory time, but not earned compensatory time off for travel or for religious purposes, prior to using annual leave.

  3. Time and Attendance Reports. Unless an exception is specifically authorized by the Director, EOUSA, only the United States Attorney may sign his/her own Time and Attendance report, as certifying official.

[updated February 2007]

3-4.610

Group Dismissals (Administrative Leave)

  1. With the noted exception, the Director, EOUSA, and United States Attorneys are: authorized to grant absence from duty without charge to leave or without loss of compensation (otherwise known as administrative leave) consistent with sound management practices. (NOTE: This authority is not delegated for dismissal of groups of employees in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area; that authority is retained by the Justice Management Division).

  2. Emergency Situations. With the noted exception, the Director, EOUSA, and United States Attorneys or their designees may close an office and place employees on administrative leave when it is in the best interest of the government to do so or the personal safety of the office personnel requires it; i.e., bomb threats, snowstorms, floods, etc. (NOTE: Dismissals of employees in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, due to weather conditions, are authorized by OPM).

The Director, EOUSA, and United States Attorneys are responsible for designating and informing in writing those employees designated "essential" whose presence on the job is required regardless of any general dismissal authority.

In the event of a prolonged breakdown of essential building services, the United States Attorney may close an office or part of an office and place employees on administrative leave. In those cases, it clearly must be established by reasonable standards of judgment that the conditions are such as to actually prevent working. The office should consider the physical requirements of the positions involved. Equity does not require that if a group of employees are dismissed, other employees also must be dismissed.

[cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.620

Flexible Work Options

Other reference(s) DOJ Human Resources Order 1200.1, Subchapter 6-2, Flexible Work Options Program; USAP 3-4.620.002, Flexible Work Options.

  1. Policy. Although not an employee entitlement, supervisors and managers may make effective use of Flexible Work Options to best accomplish the work of the office.

  2. Authority. Each United States Attorney, and the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, is authorized to establish staff hours of duty and work locations of their respective offices which may include use of any of the following Flexible Work Options:

    1. Flexible Work Schedules, i.e., varying the starting and ending time of the workday from the standard hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday;

    2. Compressed Work Schedules, i.e., completing an 80-hour pay period in less than 10 work days;

    3. Job Sharing, i.e., two or more employees sharing one full-time position;

    4. Telecommuting, i.e., working from a satellite location; and

    5. Part-Time Work Schedules, i.e., a work schedule of 32 to 64 hours per pay period.

    Authority to establish hours of duty and work location may be delegated to the lowest practicable supervisory level.

  3. Employee Eligibility. Each employee is eligible for one or more Flexible Work Options to the extent that participation promotes the overall effectiveness of the office. United States Attorneys or the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys, may exempt individual employees and categories of employees from one or more Flexible Work Options where the work must be performed at designated times and locations or is otherwise incompatible with the provisions of one or more Flexible Work Options.

[updated June 2004]

3-4.630

Absence and Leave

Other Reference(s): DOJ Order 1630 #1B

  1. General. The Director, EOUSA, "the Director," is responsible for administering the leave program for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, including the United States Attorneys' Offices (USAOs). The Director delegates authority to each United States Attorney to administer the leave program for his/her USAO as shown below.

  2. Responsibilities.

    1. The Director, EOUSA, is responsible for:

      1. Establishing and administering component-level policies and procedures for leave administration; and

      2. Approving leave for United States Attorneys who are subject to the leave procedures of Title 5, United States Code.

    2. United States Attorneys are responsible for:

      1. Developing USAO-specific leave policies based upon delegated authority and applicable policy and procedures;

      2. Approving, denying, and cancelling approved leave;

      3. Approving short-term office closures, i.e., up to one work day, in response to an emergency;

      4. Restoring forfeited annual leave to USAO personnel; and

      5. Establishing effective internal controls for leave administration.

  3. Annual Leave.

    1. Delegation. The Director and United States Attorneys may delegate authority to approve, deny, and cancel approved earned annual leave to the lowest practicable level.

    2. Restrictions. Authority to approve advance annual leave may be delegated no lower than the employee's second-level supervisor.

  4. Sick Leave.

    1. Delegation. The Director and United States Attorneys may delegate authority to approve, deny, and cancel approved earned sick leave to the lowest practicable level.

    2. Restrictions. Authority to approve advance sick leave may be delegated no lower than the employee's second-level supervisor.

  5. Leave Without Pay.

    1. Delegation. The Director and United States Attorneys may delegate authority to approve and deny discretionary Leave Without Pay (LWOP) up to a maximum of one year, and non-discretionary LWOP, e.g., for military service, to the lowest practicable level.

    2. Restrictions. The Director, or designee, must approve discretionary LWOP in excess of one year.

  6. Excused Absence ("Administrative Leave"). Excused absence is approved absence from an employee's regular work assignment and tour of duty. Excused absence may be approved on an individual or a group basis to meet emergency situations, and may be granted for employee participation in activities that promote the mission of the Department of Justice.

    1. Delegation. United States Attorneys may approve, deny, and cancel excused absence for employees to participate in specific EOUSA or Department of Justice-approved activities up to the published limits for each authorized activity, e.g., voting and blood donation. This authority may be delegated to appropriate supervisory levels within the USAO. United States Attorneys may approve up to one work day of excused absence per employee in response to situations where normal work operations are interrupted by events beyond the control of management or employees, e.g., emergency conditions caused by extreme weather conditions, fires, floods, local holidays, or serious interruption to public transportation services. This authority may be redelegated to appropriate supervisory levels within the USAO, not to exceed one hour to first-level supervisors.

    2. Restrictions.

      1. Excused absence in response to an emergency may be authorized only when it is not possible to keep the employee in a productive work status, e.g., telework.

      2. Excused absence may not be used to recognize high performance, i.e., in lieu of a Time-Off-Award.

      3. Excused absence in excess of one hour may not be used solely to create or extend a holiday.

[updated February 2011] [cited in USAM 3-1.200]

3-4.720

Affirmative Employment Programs—Upward Mobility Program

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 296 #5; Chapter 315 #1; Chapter 720 #1; 5 C.F.R., Part 720

It is the policy of United States Attorneys' offices (USAOs) to effectively utilize their personnel resources by increasing the opportunities of lower-level employees to attain their full employment potential. To that end, the following Upward Mobility Program, which consists of three components (career and educational counseling, basic skills training, and job restructuring) has been developed. The Upward Mobility Program is designed to supplement the Merit Staffing Plan. For further information see the EOUSA Resource Manual at 64.

3-4.731

Personnel Suitability

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 300 #7; Chapter 732 #s 1 & 3; Chapter 792 #2; 5 C.F.R., Part 731

Because of the nature of their work, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) offices have special security requirements which must be observed.

Since its inception, the OCDETF program has required that all newly-appointed personnel have a satisfactorily adjudicated full-field background investigation completed before physically working in OCDETF offices or before being assigned to perform OCDETF work.

This requirement may not be waived for students or other temporary staff to be used in these offices. Temporary staffing shortages in OCDETF offices may be covered by employees that have had a full-field background investigation conducted and satisfactorily adjudicated on "loan" from the United States Attorney's office.

3-4.734

Financial Disclosure Requirements

Other reference(s): APHI/Personnel/Chapter 296 #5; 5 C.F.R., Parts 734 and 2634

  1. Public Financial Disclosure Report (SF-278). Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires covered employees, all United States Attorneys, Assistant United States Attorneys who are in authorized-for-pay supervisory or Senior Litigation Counsel positions, and Schedule C employees, to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278, Rev. 1/94) within 30 days after assuming their covered position. Reports must be filed each May 15 for the preceding calendar year, and within 30 days after the employee leaves his or her covered position for the period between the last annual report and the date employment is terminated (see 5 C.F.R §§ 2634.201 and 202). Reports are not required from employees who serve 60 days or less (see 5 C.F.R. §  2634.204). Anyone who files a Public Financial Disclosure Report more than 30 days after its due date, including any extensions which have been granted, shall pay a late filing fee of $200 (see 5 C.F.R. §  2634.704).

  2. Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports (SF-450). Effective June 10, 1994, United States Attorneys were redelegated the authority to act as Deputy Designated Agency Ethics Officials for the review and certification of Confidential Financial Disclosure Reports filed by reporting individuals within their district.

    Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, requires employees occupying positions in which they exercise significant judgement on matters that have an economic effect on the interests of a non-Federal entity to file a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 450). This includes duties involving contracting, procurement and the administering of grants (see 5 C.F.R. § 2634.904). Reports must be filed 30 days upon entering a covered position and annually by October 31. The reporting period for a New Entrant is the preceding 12 months from the date of filing and the annual reporting period is the preceding 12 months ending September 30 (or any portion thereof not covered by a new entrant report) (see 5 C.F.R. § 2634.908). Reports are not required from employees who serve less than 60 days. The Office of Government Ethics has approved the Department's use of a conflict of interest certification as an alternative method to filing the report for all line Assistant United States Attorneys.

  3. Teaching and Lecturing. Employees should be cautious to avoid any conflict of interest with their position and to ensure that no interference with the performance of their official duties occurs.

  4. Civic Organizations, Professional Boards and Committees. While certain activities (e.g., Community Chest) can be easily undertaken without creating problems, membership in national and local bar committees, state and municipal commissions, corporate boards of directors, arbitration panels, and similar organizations, with or without remuneration, could have the potential for creating a conflict of interest or an appearance of a conflict of interest. The General Counsel's Office (OLC), Executive Office for United States Attorneys, should be contacted whenever questions arise.

  5. Gifts Received from Foreign Governments. In accordance with Justice Property Management Regulations (JPMR) § 128-49.201, each United States Attorney's office is required to submit to the Executive Office, Attention: Facilities Management and Support Services, by January 11 each year, a listing of all gifts and decorations, regardless of value, received by employees, their spouses, or dependents from foreign governments during the preceding year.

[updated December 2012]

3-4.752

Adverse Actions

Other References: Human Resources Order DOJ 1200.1, Chapter 3-1, Discipline and Adverse Actions

Adverse actions, especially those actions relating to Assistant United States Attorneys, are sensitive issues that must be closely coordinated with the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, General Counsel's office.

Assistant United States Attorneys. The authority to issue, propose, and decide, as appropriate, adverse actions against Assistant United States Attorneys is shown below. This authority may not be redelegated.

Action Delegated Authority to Issue
Written Reprimands Director, EOUSA, or designee, Principal Deputy Director, EOUSA, Counsel to the Director, EOUSA, United States Attorneys, and First Assistant United States Attorneys
Suspensions (14 Days or less) Proposals: Director, EOUSA, or designee, Principal Deputy Director, EOUSA, Counsel to the Director, EOUSA, United States Attorneys, and First Assistant United States Attorneys

Decisions: Director, EOUSA, or designee, Principal Deputy Director, EOUSA, Counsel to the Director, EOUSA, and United States Attorneys

Suspensions (15 Days or more), Reductions in Grade/Pay, RemovalProposals: Director, EOUSA, or designee, Principal Deputy Director, EOUSA Counsel to the Director, EOUSA, and United States Attorneys

Decisions: Director, EOUSA, or designee, Principal Deputy Director, EOUSA, and Counsel to the Director, EOUSA

Non-Attorney Staff. The authority to issue, propose, and decide, as appropriate, adverse actions against non-Assistant United States Attorney staff is delegated to each U.S. Attorney and to the Director, EOUSA. This authority may be redelegated as shown below:

ActionDelegated Authority to Issue
Written ReprimandsImmediate Supervisor
Suspensions, Reductions in Grade/Pay, RemovalProposals: Immediate Supervisor

Decisions: Second-Level Supervisor

In its discretion, management may determine that it is appropriate for a higher-level management official to serve as the proposing or deciding official.

Questions relating to the level at which actions should be initiated must be directed to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, General Counsel's Office.

[revised April 2013]

3-4.771

Grievances

Other References: Human Resources Order DOJ 1200.1, Chapter 3-2, Agency Grievance Procedure

Authority to receive, refer to an appropriate organizational level, and issue decisions on employee grievances is delegated to each United States Attorney and the Director, Executive Office for United States Attorneys. This authority should be redelegated to the lowest practicable supervisory level.

If the immediate supervisor lacks the authority to resolve the grievance, the grievance must be referred to the next level management official within the district or the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys.

[added November 2007]

3-4.830

Retirement

Other reference(s): APHIs/Personnel/Chapter 830 #1; Chapter 831 #s 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6; Chapter 990 #s 1, 7 and 10; OPM Operating Manual, The CSRS and FERS Handbook for Personnel and Payroll Offices; 5 C.F.R., Parts 831, 835, 837, 838, 841, 842, 843, 844, 845 and 846

[updated April 2004]