Obama likely to sign SES executive order next week

President Barack Obama is expected to sign an Executive Order to initiate a series of reforms of the Senior Executive Service by Dec. 15.

The White House is likely to unveil the details of the order as well as make more announcements as part of the “Unlocking the Full Potential of America’s Federal Workforce” event at the Office of Management and Budget Tuesday afternoon.

“The Unlocking the Full Potential of America’s Federal Workforce event will announce the 2015 President’s Customer Service Award winners, recognize the White House Leadership Development Fellows and Presidential Rank Award recipients, and provide an update from senior Administration officials on progress around the President’s initiatives to attract and retain the best talent to the federal workforce,” said the announcement from OMB, which Federal News Radio obtained.

The White House floated the draft executive order to about 30 representatives from good government groups earlier in the month. The draft order focused on four immediate and longer-term actions to improve the government’s ability to recruit, retain and train members of the Senior Executive Service.

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Experts praised the White House plan, but warned against a few specific draft provisions, such as the requirement for at least 15 percent of all SES members to rotate a minimum of 120 days to different federal agencies, subcomponents, functional areas or to non-federal partners by the end of fiscal 2017.

The President kicked off the process to reform the SES about a year ago with a speech to senior executives. Obama called for improvements to how the government recruits, hires, develops and retains senior executives as well as identify ways to improve accountability and management within the SES.

Obama also established a customer service award at the SES event in 2014 and will once again name the recipients of the Presidential Rank Award, recognizing senior executives making lasting contributions to federal service. The Senior Executives Association traditionally recognizes the winners at a gala in the spring.

An email to OMB requesting comment on the executive order was not immediately returned.