48 FR 2726, Jan. 21, 1983, unless otherwise noted.
(a) Section 4702, title 5, United States Code, provides the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with the authority to:
(1) Establish and maintain, and assist in the establishment and maintenance of, research programs to study improved methods and technologies in Federal personnel management;
(2) Evaluate the research programs established under paragraph (a)(1) of this section;
(3) Establish and maintain a program for the collection and public dissemination of information relating to personnel management research, and for encouraging and facilitating the exchange of information among interested persons and entities; and
(4) Carry out the preceding functions directly or through agreement or contract.
(b) Section 4703, title 5, United States Code, provides OPM with the authority to conduct and evaluate demonstration projects to determine whether a specified change in personnel management policies or procedures would result in improved Federal personnel management.
(c) This part supplements and implements the provisions of chapter 47 of title 5, United States Code, relating to the conduct of personnel research programs and demonstration projects, and must be read together with those provisions of law.
In this part:
Demonstration Project means a project conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, or under its supervision, to determine whether a specified change in personnel management policies or procedures would result in improved Federal personnel management (5 U.S.C. 4701). The project must require the waiver of a provision of law, rule, or regulation which is eligible for waiver under the demonstration authority contained in 5 U.S.C. 4703. A project which can be undertaken under an agency's own authority and does not require the waiver of a provision of law, rule, or regulation is not considered a “demonstration project” for purposes of this part.
Research means systematic, intensive study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Activities classified as research are structured experimental or descriptive investigations conducted according to sound methodological principles.
Research Program means a planned study of the manner in which public management policies and systems are operating or have operated, the effects of those policies and systems, the possibilities for change, and comparisons among policies and systems.
The purposes of research programs undertaken under this subpart are to stimulate and conduct personnel management research which:
(a) Develops new knowledge, techniques, and materials about personnel management;
(b) Seeks solutions to personnel management problems;
(c) Provides a factual base to support existing or proposed changes in personnel management policies, techniques, and materials;
(d) Modifies or develops personnel management systems which improve the management of the Federal Government's human resources;
(e) Gathers, makes explicit, systematizes, and transmits the knowledge and techniques of practicing managers for the guidance of others and as a factual basis for research needs determination;
(f) Develops new methods or provides new standards for conducting personnel management research; or
(g) Designs systems for the assessment and transmittal of relevant personnel management strategies.
Research may be conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, or under contract or agreement, as appropriate, by:
(a) Federal agencies;
(b) State and local governments;
(c) Institutions of higher education; or
(d) Other public or private institutions or organizations, profit or nonprofit.
OPM will announce opportunities for research contracts by issuing Requests for Proposals (RFP's) in accordance with Federal procurement regulations. Unsolicited proposals may be accepted; however the relevance of the proposed research to OPM research needs will determine the acceptability of the proposal.
(a) Demonstration projects permit the Office of Personnel Management and Federal agencies to test alternative personnel management concepts in controlled situations to determine the likely effects and ramifications of proposed changes before putting them into general effect. OPM will assist agencies, within available resources, in developing projects which demonstrate new or improved personnel methods.
(b) The demonstration project must be proposed in a research context. The project plan must include a research design which contains:
(1) Measurable goals or objectives;
(2) Acceptable expected results or outcomes;
(3) A description of the procedures, methods and techniques to be demonstrated in achieving the desired goals or objectives;
(4) An evaluation section describing the data collection and analysis procedures to be used to assess the success or failure of the project from a qualitative and quantitative standpoint; and
(5) An itemization of all costs and benefits associated with the project, to the agency, the Government, and the community.
(c) OPM may establish and maintain activities which publish, exchange and apply the results of demonstration projects.
(d) OPM may seek legislation, or to the extent already authorized by law, make changes in regulation to implement permanently successful procedures, techniques, new management knowledge, and materials which improve personnel management programs or techniques.
(a) Any Federal agency, or groups of two or more Federal agencies, eligible to propose demonstration projects under 5 U.S.C. 4701(a)(1) and 4701(b) may conduct demonstration projects after approval by the Office of Personnel Management and required Congressional and public review.
(b) While only a Federal agency may propose and conduct a demonstration project, the agency may be assisted in the development and evaluation of the project under contract or agreement with public or private institutions and organizations.
(a) OPM will accept project proposals at any time. However, OPM may delay action for a reasonable amount of time on submitted proposals until comparisons can be made with other existing projects or with project proposals of a similar nature not yet received by OPM but known to be under development.
(b) Agencies must submit the project proposal in the form of a project plan to OPM for approval. OPM will prescribe the content of a project plan in its guidance and instructions, which at a minimum will contain the items identified in 5 U.S.C. 4703(b)(1) and 5 CFR 470.301(b).
(c) Agencies will outline, at the time proposed demonstration projects are submitted to OPM for approval, what discussions of the project have been held with labor organizations which have been accorded exclusive recognition for bargaining units containing employees involved in or affected by the proposed demonstration project.
(d) OPM may combine and evaluate similar project proposals received from different agencies as a single project, with the approval of the agencies involved.
(a) 5 U.S.C. 4703 requires notification of tentatively approved demonstration project plans to Congress, employees, labor organizations, and the public.
(b) OPM shall:
(1) Notify each House of the Congress 180 days in advance of the beginning of each project; and
(2) Publish each tentatively approved project plan as a notice in the Federal Register.
(c) Each agency having a tentatively approved project plan shall:
(1) Notify and make available copies of the project plan to:
(i) All employees who may be interested in or affected by the activities of the demonstration project; and
(ii) All labor organizations accorded exclusive recognition for bargaining units which include employees in or affected by the project plan.
(2) Certify to OPM in writing when and how the requirements of § 470.307(c)(1) were carried out and document the manner in which it insured that all affected employees were notified.
(3) Observe the consultation and negotiation requirements of 5 U.S.C. 4703 (f) and (g).
(a) Notice of public hearing. OPM shall hold a public hearing no less than 30 days after the date of its notice in the Federal Register during which interested persons or organizations may present their written or oral views concerning the proposed demonstration project. The notice of public hearing shall be published in the Federal Register and shall:
(1) State the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing;
(2) Describe briefly the project;
(3) Indicate where more information and a copy of the project plan may be obtained;
(4) State the name and address of the person who will receive written comments from those unable to attend the hearing; and
(5) Indicate the date by which written comments must be received to be considered.
(b) Nature of public hearing. The hearing will be informal to encourage effective oral presentations by interested individuals and organizations. The presiding officer, designated by the Director, OPM, shall in his or her reasonable discretion regulate the course of the proceedings and the conduct of those present at the hearing by appropriate means.
(c) A written summary shall be made of the oral evidence.
(d) The record shall be left open for 2 weeks after the conclusion of the hearing to receive additional written data, views, and arguments from the parties participating in the hearing.
(a) The Office of Personnel Management will consider all timely relevant oral and written views, arguments, and data before final approval or disapproval of a project plan. OPM may request that the agency modify the tentatively approved project plan before final approval because of comments and data received from the Congress, the public, labor organizations, and affected employees. OPM will not permit the agency to implement the project until all required consultation or negotiation has been completed, including the conclusion of impasse resolution and negotiability disputes.
(b) The Office of Personnel Management shall provide a copy of the final version of the project plan to each House of the Congress at least 90 days in advance of the date the project is to take effect.
(c) Agencies involved in the project shall communicate the content of the final project plan to:
(1) Labor organizations and affected employees; and
(2) Individuals and groups known to be interested in the project's activities.
Agencies will prepare demonstration project implementing regulations, as appropriate, to replace Government-wide statutes and regulations waived for the project. Demonstration project implementing regulations issued pursuant to an OPM-approved demonstration project must be approved by OPM and shall have full force and authority pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
OPM-approved projects permit the testing of alternative personnel systems and procedures in accordance with the provisions of the project plan. The provisions of approved project plans will not be modified, duplicated in organizations not listed in the project plan, or extended by agencies to individuals or groups of employees not included in the project plan without the approval of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM will inform the agency of notification responsibilities under § 470.307. The extent of notification requirements will depend on the nature and extent of the requested project modification.
(a) Compliance evaluation. OPM will review the operation of the project periodically to determine its compliance with the requirements of this part and the approved project plan. If OPM determines that an agency is not meeting legal, regulatory, or project plan requirements, it may, as appropriate, direct the agency to take corrective action or terminate the project.
(b) Results evaluation. All approved project plans will contain an evaluation section to measure the impact of the project results in relation to its objectives and to determine whether or not permanent changes in law and/or regulation should be considered or proposed. Where the project plan provides for agency evaluation of project results, OPM will review those project evaluation efforts, may conduct evaluations of its own, on a sample basis, to verify results, and may report its own conclusions. If OPM or the agency determines that an experiment is creating a substantial hardship on, or is not in the best interest of, the public, the Federal Government, employees, or eligibles, even though the experiment is being conducted properly, OPM or the agency may jointly or unilaterally terminate the project.