To: All USGS Employees
From: Kaye Cook, Director of Personnel
Subject: New Performance Management System
The guidance on the new 5 level non-SES performance system contained in the Departmental Manual, Part 370, DM 430 (pdf, 6.06M) dated October 4, 2004, left certain decisions to the bureaus' discretion. For USGS the following will apply:
- The rating period will continue to be the fiscal year;
- Elements and standards will be established and approved by the employee’s rating official with no higher level review required;
- The reviewing official will be responsible for reviewing and approving ratings of "exceptional", "minimally successful", and "unsatisfactory", as well as serving as the reconsideration process reviewer; and the reconsideration process as outlined in the Performance Appraisal Handbook will be adopted by the USGS.
In addition, we understand many employees and supervisors are having trouble with the web-based training on the new performance management system. (See attached recent information provided from DOI University.) While we are hopeful that DOI University will resolve these issues quickly, in the meantime it may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the new system by reading the Performance Management Handbook (pdf, 967K).
If you have questions concerning any of this information, please contact your Servicing Human Resources Office.
As some of you probably know, the DOI University has been experiencing connectivity issues on the server we use to provide our online courses. The number of employees experiencing difficulties has increased significantly over the past few weeks. The most frequently experienced user issues are
- The courseware slows, freezes and becomes non-responsive, sometimes with a "time out" error message,
- The course abruptly terminates, or
- Page not found errors come up when trying to log into the DOIU Learning Management System.
Although the courseware seems to be working fine for most of our users, there are pockets of users, especially in USGS, who are having problems. We apologize to our users for this major inconvenience, especially as new courses have been recently announced and are not available to all our users. Our network administrators are working with us to solve these issues and are confident that they have identified the problem and that a solution will be in place by sometime next week.
Our advice to those users who experience problem #3 above is to try again after about an hour. Our server has been available most of the time during the last week.
Our advice to users who experience problem #1 or #2 above is to delay taking the training until the message on our site indicates that we believe the problems have been resolved. Trying to continue the training under these conditions may only cause frustration.
We anticipate resolution of our problems by the middle of next week. CD-ROM’s with the Safety training required for USGS employees have been mailed and should be delivered before the end of the week to Reston, Lakewood and Menlo Park for further distribution.
Again, we are sorry for this disruption in our services and hope to have our site working properly by the middle of next week.
Online Learning Team