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370.335.1 - Merit Promotion Plan

This chapter supplements the Department of the Interior Merit Promotion Plan.


OPR: Office of Human Resources

Instructions:  This revises and updates the Merit Promotion Plan dated April 24, 2000, deletes its Appendix A, and creates the Merit Promotion Handbook, 370-335-H, and its Appendix A.  The Handbook updates and incorporates many of the traditional merit promotion procedures found in the old Appendix A; defines procedures that pertain to the USGS automated qualification, rating, and ranking system, OARS; and identifies the USGS Career Ladders in Appendix A.

1.  Purpose.  This chapter supplements the Department of the Interior Merit Promotion Plan as prescribed in 370 DM 335, dated June 9, 1999, and 5 CFR 335.  It establishes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Merit Promotion Plan (MPP) for filling competitive service positions covered by merit promotion.

2.  Scope.  This chapter applies to competitive service positions up to the grade GS-15 level or equivalent and to Senior Level and Scientific and Professional positions for which some, but not all, of the described procedures in the Merit Promotion Handbook apply.  Positions classified by the Research or Equipment Development Grade Evaluation Guide (RGEG or EDGEG) are normally covered by the USGS Research Peer Panel Review Process, unless management decides to recruit through merit promotion for a vacant RGEG or EDGEG position.  Senior Executive Service positions are not covered by the MPP.

3.  Authority. 

A.  370 DM 335.

B.  5 CFR 335. 

4.  Policy.  Merit promotion recruitment methods and selection procedures will be based solely on merit after fair and open competition, and will be made without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or nonaffiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, nondisqualifying physical handicap, sexual orientation, or age. 

5.  Definitions.

See Merit Promotion Handbook, 370-335-H.

6.  Responsibilities.

A.  USGS Director.  The Director is responsible for issuing the MPP and holding managers and selecting officials accountable for making selections that are based on merit after fair and open competition.

B.  Management Officials.  Management Officials are accountable for ensuring that they play an active role in the recruitment and selection process and that their actions are consistent with the MPP, merit principles, and other applicable laws and regulations.  Management has the right to select or not select from among properly ranked and certified candidates and/or to fill the position from alternative sources, such as competitive examining; noncompetitive reassignment, promotion, change to lower grade, or reinstatement; Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment; Student Career Experience Program; etc.  Management also has the right to decide when an employee should be promoted, and the decision must be based on merit factors.

C.  Human Resources Officers.  Human Resources Officers are responsible for ensuring that the Office of Personnel Management merit promotion requirements are met and for determining that the policy described herein and the procedures described in the Merit Promotion Handbook are followed.

D.  Servicing Human Resource Professionals.  Servicing Human Resource Professionals are responsible for implementing the MPP; advising managers and selecting officials on their roles and responsibilities in the merit promotion process, which is intended to produce a high quality workforce to accomplish the mission and goals of the USGS; and providing periodic guidance and training to managers and employees on USGS merit promotion practices and selection procedures.

E.  Equal Opportunity Program Professionals.  Equal Opportunity Program Professionals are responsible for assisting in the identification of recruitment sources for underrepresented groups and advising and assisting management, as appropriate, in identifying barriers to representation.

F.  Employees.  Employeesare responsible for following the application guidelines and instructions outlined in the specific vacancy announcement.  They are also responsible for becoming familiar with the MPP and specific USGS policies and availing themselves of self-development and job training opportunities.

7.  General Procedures.

See Merit Promotion Handbook, 370-335-H.


/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                              January 23, 2014
_____________________________________________                  __________________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                               Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information and
Acting Associate Director for Human Capital