Bill aims to reform Senior Executive Service

Three Washington-area congressmen introduced legislation that will reform the Senior Executive Service.

Introduced by Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the SES Reform Act of 2012 would increase the pay of SES personnel who receive a performance rating of at least “fully successful.” The bill also includes SES performance awards and bonuses in the high-three annuity calculation and establishes an SES Resource Office within the Office of Personnel Management, with the goal of improving the effectiveness and productivity of the SES.

“We need to make sure that the Senior Executive Service will continue to attract the best and the brightest from inside and outside the federal government,” Connolly said. “With nearly 40 percent of those at the SES level reaching retirement age, we must make sure that federal service remains competitive with the private sector.”

The bill would also:

  • Provide greater transparency within the SES rating systems;
  • Set limits on non-career SES appointees within individual agencies and across the government;
  • Make sure agencies classify positions correctly as SES, Senior Level or Senior Technical billets;
  • Bolster Candidate Development and Onboarding Programs within agencies;
  • Promote diversity;
  • Allow applicants enough time to apply for vacancies and ensure that they are notified of their application’s status.

Both the Senior Executive Association and the Partnership for Public Service support the proposed legislation.

“We need a government-wide leadership corps that works together to solve our nation’s most pressing challenges. The reforms outlined in this legislation will ensure that agencies and departments develop the very best talent from within government and attract external talent to hold the top career managerial and policy positions,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership, in a statement.


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