By Dizzy_Studio /

After Multiple Delays, OPM to Begin Fielding Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey

The agency will ask all federal employees to respond to the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey across two six-week waves, meaning most results will not be available to agencies or for public viewing until 2021.

The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday confirmed that, following two separate delays, it will begin administering the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey on Monday.

Acting OPM Director Michael Rigas twice delayed the annual survey of federal employees’ morale and engagement to allow agencies to “focus on their mission critical work” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The second delay came just four days before officials were scheduled to begin soliciting responses and shortly after Rigas had indicated the agency would move forward and encouraged agencies to stress the importance of the survey ahead of its deployment.

Beginning Monday, OPM will administer the survey in two six-week waves, Rigas wrote in a memo to agency heads. As a result, although agencies will see a “rollout of results” beginning in December, most of the data, including what is made available to the public, will not be available until 2021.

“Responding to requests from multiple agencies to ease administrative burden, we streamlined the core set of standard items for 2020,” Rigas wrote. “As in prior years, the survey will include widely used Employee Engagement and Global Satisfaction indices. Agency participation in the OPM FEVS will continue to satisfy statutory requirements as well as through inclusion of the Annual Employee Survey Items in regulation.”

Last month, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subcommittee on government operations, wrote OPM that he was concerned about the agency’s “apparent mishandling” of the survey, and said that the agency briefed committee staff in May, assuring them that the survey would be deployed in July.

“It is concerning that OPM would, without reasonable warning or justification, delay the FEVS a second time,” Connolly wrote at the time. “Views of federal employees should never be ignored, especially during a time of crisis, a sentiment OPM agreed with at their May 6 briefing with subcommittee staff.”

Rigas urged agency heads to highlight how they use the survey to make decisions that affect the workforce.

“When employees hear from leadership that their feedback is valued and used to make a difference in their agencies, they are more likely to provide feedback,” he wrote. “The quality of the information your leadership team receives is improved when you support employee participation in the survey.”