5 USC 4314 - Ratings for performance appraisals

(a) Each performance appraisal system shall provide for annual summary ratings of levels of performance as follows:
(1) one or more fully successful levels,
(2) a minimally satisfactory level, and
(3) an unsatisfactory level.

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(b) Each performance appraisal system shall provide that
(1) any appraisal and any rating under such system
(A) are made only after review and evaluation by a performance review board established under subsection (c) of this section;
(B) are conducted at least annually, subject to the limitation of subsection (c)(3) of this section;
(C) in the case of a career appointee, may not be made within 120 days after the beginning of a new Presidential administration; and
(D) are based on performance during a performance appraisal period the duration of which shall be determined under guidelines established by the Office of Personnel Management, but which may be terminated in any case in which the agency making an appraisal determines that an adequate basis exists on which to appraise and rate the senior executives performance;
(2) any career appointee receiving a rating at any of the fully successful levels under subsection (a)(1) of this section may be given a performance award under section 5384 of this title;
(3) any senior executive receiving an unsatisfactory rating under subsection (a)(3) of this section shall be reassigned or transferred within the Senior Executive Service, or removed from the Senior Executive Service, but any senior executive who receives 2 unsatisfactory ratings in any period of 5 consecutive years shall be removed from the Senior Executive Service; and
(4) any senior executive who twice in any period of 3 consecutive years receives less than fully successful ratings shall be removed from the Senior Executive Service.

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(1) Each agency shall establish, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office, one or more performance review boards, as appropriate. It is the function of the boards to make recommendations to the appropriate appointing authority of the agency relating to the performance of senior executives in the agency.
(2) The supervising official of the senior executive shall provide to the performance review board, an initial appraisal of the senior executives performance. Before making any recommendation with respect to the senior executive, the board shall review any response by the senior executive to the initial appraisal and conduct such further review as the board finds necessary.
(3) Performance appraisals under this subchapter with respect to any senior executive shall be made by the appointing authority only after considering the recommendations by the performance review board with respect to such senior executive under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(4) Members of performance review boards shall be appointed in such a manner as to assure consistency, stability, and objectivity in performance appraisal. Notice of the appointment of an individual to serve as a member shall be published in the Federal Register.
(5) In the case of an appraisal of a career appointee, more than one-half of the members of the performance review board shall consist of career appointees. The requirement of the preceding sentence shall not apply in any case in which the Office determines that there exists an insufficient number of career appointees available to comply with the requirement.