OPM Information Request Sheds Light on Planned Employee Digital Record

Agency will host an event with industry leaders to discuss implementation of the management agenda priority item.

The Office of Personnel Management issued a request for information last week related to its plans to develop a governmentwide employee digital record that would make it easier for federal workers to transfer between agencies or leave and then re-enter government.

The request, posted June 1, asked businesses for possible technology solutions that would provide a number of functionalities for the agency as it examines how to proceed with a small but important piece of President Trump’s management agenda.

OPM has committed to begin development of a “standard employee digital record” by next year, and agency Director Jeff Pon has repeatedly spoken about the need to make it easier for federal workers to transfer between agencies or move in and out of public service.

The notice, which stresses it is not a solicitation for proposals, lays out a number of key objectives for the project, chief among them allowing for an agency to create a file for federal employees once, that can then be updated as needed completely within the digital environment.

“[The system would enable] movement of federal employees between agencies in an agile manner without re-entering data, and [retain and manage] records so that as employees move in and out of government, their information can be easily retrieved for re-entry or for retiring processing,” OPM wrote.

OPM said that the digital record system would replace a variety of agency-specific processes, enabling “elimination of burdensome manual data collection and routine governmentwide reporting activities.”

“Currently, human resource data systems lack integration within agencies and interoperability among and between agencies and service providers,” the agency stated. “This results in redundancy, inefficient and occasionally inaccurate reporting, complex and costly vendor management, and incomplete data that makes it difficult to apply needed business to core HR functions.”

The employee digital record also would make it much easier for agencies to implement changes in legislation, regulation and other policies and procedures, OPM said. The agency hopes to implement the new system “incrementally,” starting with some elements of some employees’ files, but would eventually expand to all executive branch employees, retirees and family members and to a variety of HR functions, including recruitment, background investigations, training, performance management and retirement processing.

An OPM spokesperson told Government Executive that the agency could not grant an interview because the program is “still in the development phase.”

The agency will host an industry day at OPM headquarters Thursday to discuss the request for information with businesses. The deadline for formal responses is June 13.