5 USC 4302 - Establishment of performance appraisal systems

(a) Each agency shall develop one or more performance appraisal systems which
(1) provide for periodic appraisals of job performance of employees;
(2) encourage employee participation in establishing performance standards; and
(3) use the results of performance appraisals as a basis for training, rewarding, reassigning, promoting, reducing in grade, retaining, and removing employees.

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(b) Under regulations which the Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe, each performance appraisal system shall provide for
(1) establishing performance standards which will, to the maximum extent feasible, permit the accurate evaluation of job performance on the basis of objective criteria (which may include the extent of courtesy demonstrated to the public) related to the job in question for each employee or position under the system;
(2) as soon as practicable, but not later than October 1, 1981, with respect to initial appraisal periods, and thereafter at the beginning of each following appraisal period, communicating to each employee the performance standards and the critical elements of the employees position;
(3) evaluating each employee during the appraisal period on such standards;
(4) recognizing and rewarding employees whose performance so warrants;
(5) assisting employees in improving unacceptable performance; and
(6) reassigning, reducing in grade, or removing employees who continue to have unacceptable performance but only after an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance.
(c) In accordance with regulations which the Office shall prescribe, the head of an agency may administer and maintain a performance appraisal system electronically.