Promotion and Internal Placement--New Departmental Policy

Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 11:39:46 -0400
From: "Catherine L. Hill" 

To: "A  - Division Chief and Staff",
        "B  - Branch Chiefs and Offices",
        "S  - Special Distribution for Research",
        "PO - Project Offices",
        "AO - All Administrative Officers",
        "FO - State, District, Subdistrict and other Field Offices"
CC: Catherine L Hill , Charlene T Simpson ,
        Alice C Dilandro , "  WRD Archive File,  ",
        "Carole Nethaway, Secretary (OA), Reston, VA "
Subject: WRD Memo No. 99.35--Promotion and Internal Placement--New Departmental 

In Reply Refer To:
Mail Stop 406

                                                August 27, 1999


Subject:  Promotion and Internal Placement--New Departmental Policy

The purpose of this memorandum is to forward new departmental policies regarding
Promotion and Internal Placement, which may be accessed at  The revised policy includes several
significant changes.  Some offer greater flexibility to management and others are
more restrictive than current U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) merit promotion
practices. Specific changes include:

        o Managers no longer need to consider individuals who apply for 
a vacancy and are outside the designated area of consideration. In
determining the area of consideration, managers must continue to take 
into account factors such as ensuring the attraction of a diverse pool of highly
qualified applicants, FTE constraints, etc.  (Example: If you advertise
a position bureauwide or departmentwide, you do not have to consider an
applicant outside of the bureau or department.)

        o The policy requires that competitive procedures (a vacancy
announcement), versus an accretion of duties promotion, be followed when
"there are other employees serving in similar or identical positions
within the organizational unit to whom the new (higher graded) duties
could have been assigned."  At this time, an organizational unit is
defined as those positions assigned to an individual officially
classified as a first line supervisor.  (Example: If a first line
supervisor has two hydrologists assigned to similar or identical
position descriptions and both are at full performance level, you may
not promote one of them through an accretion of duties; the new position
would have to be advertised, allowing both hydrologists to compete for
the higher graded job.)

        o Competitive procedures still must be used if a proposed accretion 
promotion is to a position with a higher full performance level.  (Example: 
An employee in a GS-9 position with a GS-9 full performance level could not
be noncompetitively promoted using accretion procedures to a GS-11
position if that GS-11 position had an established full performance
level of GS-12.)

The new policy will not change how the USGS handles accretion promotions as a result
of panel review using the Research Grade Evaluation Guide and the Equipment
Development Grade Evaluation Guide (Part III).

The Office of personnel is drafting a revised USGS Merit Promotion Plan that should
be issued for comment shortly.  Their goal is to establish guidelines that are not
more restrictive than those set out in the Departmental Manual and afford our
managers the maximum merit promotion flexibilities.

Questions concerning the DOI or USGS Merit Promotion Plans should be directed to
your servicing personnel specialist.


                                Catherine L. Hill
                                Associate Chief Hydrologist 
                                for Program Operations

Distribution: A, B, S, FO, PO, AO

This WRD memorandum does not supersede any previous WRD memorandum.