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Performance management handbook (appraisal) - chapter 14

Chapter 14. Recordkeeping

The recordkeeping requirements for creating and maintaining the Employee Performance File (EPF) are listed below: 

  • Performance appraisals and related documents (i.e. probationary certification, WGI determination) will be maintained in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, other legislative and regulatory requirements, and negotiated agreements. 
  • Performance ratings of record and the performance plans on which those ratings were based must be retained for 4 years. The Employee Performance File is maintained by the servicing human resources office. This authority may be redelegated to the rating official.
  • Performance records that are superseded, e.g., through an administrative or judicial procedure, must be destroyed in accordance with the administrative/judicial order or settlement agreement. 
  • Records may be retained longer than 4 years only for the purpose of statistical analysis. The data may not be used in any action affecting the employee when the manual record has been or should have been destroyed. 
  • When an employee transfers from one operating unit into another within the Department, or to another federal agency, the following performance records must be transferred with the employee's EPF: (1) performance ratings of record that are 4 years old or less; (2) the plan on which the most recent rating of record is based; and (3) the interim rating (if required by operating unit program) prepared when the employee changes positions. 
  • Appraisals of Level 1 (unacceptable) performance, where a notice of proposed demotion or removal is issued but not effected, must be destroyed after the employee has completed 1 year of acceptable performance following notice of the proposed removal or reduction in grade. 
  • Disclosure of performance-related information must be made available only as permitted by the Privacy Act: to the employee, employee's representative (with a signed release statement), or other officials of the organization who need documents in performance of their duties, or a duly credentialed official investigator (e.g. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Human Resources, Office of General Counsel). 
  • Records kept in automated systems are subject to the same requirements as outlined above.