The Office of Personnel Management, OPM, is the chief human resources agency for the federal government. It develops and directs various HR services and products and oversees a merit-based and inclusive hiring process.
OPM also administers retirement benefits and health care programs. It also conducts and investigates cases of misconduct by federal employees and former federal employees.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees civil service hirings and conducts background investigations to determine an individual’s suitability for Federal employment, access to classified national security information, and eligibility for government-wide benefits. OPM also provides human resources (HR) functions for numerous government agencies and hires and manages administrative law judges who make rulings on HR claims.
OPM conducts more than 95 percent of background investigations for Federal agencies, ensuring individuals are eligible to work for the United States and that classified national security information is protected. The agency strives to meet all national security standards, deliver quality products, and achieve Congressional and DNI-mandated timeliness goals.
As the number of sensitive records OPM stores continues to grow, OPM is committed to protecting this data from cyber threats and ensuring that its systems are secure. The agency has implemented several cybersecurity monitoring measures, including continuous diagnostic and mitigation (CDM) controls, that allow it to quickly identify, prioritize, and respond to threats.
To support its cybersecurity efforts, OPM will enhance its IT security posture by expanding its Information Security Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) capabilities throughout the year and by implementing a new tool to help IT customers identify and address vulnerabilities in their applications. In addition, OPM will continue to strengthen its cyber defense capabilities by collaborating with Federal partners, Congress, and outside experts on cybersecurity issues.
The OPM will further support its diversity and inclusion initiatives by aligning its business intelligence tools to help decision-makers, like human resources staff and hiring managers, analyze key workforce data, including applicant flow, attrition/retention, and inclusion indicators. This will enable them to develop better outreach and recruitment methods, experience cost savings through reduced attrition, and create an inclusive work environment that empowers employees to contribute to their full potential.
Who runs the OPM?
The Office of Personnel Management is the federal government’s chief human resources agency. It develops government-wide policies and programs to support the Civil Service workforce, provides employee leadership, and administers retirement benefits, healthcare, and insurance programs. It also oversees the government’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
OPM is led by a director and deputy director, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The agency has about 6,100 employees in its central offices and in field offices around the country.
A large part of OPM’s work is to help the American government create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. It does this through anti-discrimination policies and protections, retraining, and other programs to ensure that everyone in the Federal government is treated equally.
Another key OPM responsibility is to protect the public from potential security risks. This includes ensuring that the government’s data is safe from hackers. It does this by approving and administering data security standards and protocols, conducting audits of information systems, and responding to cyberattacks on the government.
OPM also has a significant investigative function, including providing background investigations on federal employees and contractors. This function is a challenging one, especially when the cases are complex. It can involve extensive legal documentation, such as from multiple attorneys. OPM needs to streamline the process and find ways to make it more efficient and effective.
What is the purpose of the OPM?
The Office of Personnel Management is the federal government’s human resources agency. It provides personnel policy guidance and human resource management services, including staffing tools, labor-management relations guidance, preparation of future leaders, compensation policy development, and programs to improve workforce performance.
OPM also manages the federal retirement system covering more than 2.7 million active employees and nearly 2.6 million annuitants. It also administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the world’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance plan.
In addition, OPM oversees background investigations for the entire Federal workforce. It is responsible for delivering these investigative services on time and in compliance with law and regulation.
One of the major challenges that OPM faces is ensuring uniform screening requirements and processes across agencies. This includes vetting for civil service, contractor, and non-appropriated fund positions.
This is why OPM has recently proposed a rulemaking to update federal law that governs background investigations, suitability and fitness determinations, and other civil service employment decisions. The proposal would make more nuanced considerations in the determinations, and these changes are expected to simplify the process for agencies and help avoid legal entanglements.
Another goal is to increase the participation of employees, including groups under-represented within OPM, at all levels of the Federal workforce. This goal involves increasing OPM’s employee engagement index score (especially with respect to the supervisor subcomponent) and launching a comprehensive approach to employee engagement using an accountability tool.
Finally, OPM plans to prioritize customer service by establishing service standards and quantifiable performance targets that center on the needs of the customer – not organizational units. This will help OPM provide timely, accurate, responsive service to the American public.
Who is in charge of OPM?
The Office of Personnel Management is led by a director and deputy director appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They are responsible for the agency’s mission of recruiting, retaining, and honoring the nation’s world-class workforce.
OPM has 6,100 employees, including a large number in its central office in Washington, D.C., and five regional offices around the country.
As the nation’s human capital leader, OPM directs and coordinates the federal government’s efforts to hire, retain and honor a world-class workforce that is helping land rovers on Mars, fight climate change and cancer, and build the country back better.
Among other roles, OPM administers the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). It also manages the health insurance and life insurance programs for federal employees.
In addition, OPM investigates claims of discrimination against federal workers and oversees the administration of whistleblower protection laws.
A 2021 law that requires agencies to be more accountable for discrimination-related incidents is boosting the OPM’s ability to respond to complaints, according to a GAO report. OPM also is considering implementing tech-assisted continuous vetting.
In a bid to recruit more technology talent into the Federal government, OPM is planning a virtual job fair for tech positions. It’s also on track to approve a Special Salary Rate for IT specialists. The move would give Federal agencies more leeway to compete with the private sector for tech talent. It could help even out the pay scale between agencies.