UNCLASSIFIED (U)

3 FAH-1 H-2240

Foreign Service Officer Career Candidate Program

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(Office of Origin:  GTM/CDA and GTM/PE)

3 FAH-1 H-2241  CRITERIA AND OBJECTIVES FOR ASSIGNMENTS

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. GTM/CDA is guided by the following provisions in assigning entry-level Foreign Service Officer (FSO) Career Candidates:

(1)  Service needs, to include filling high-priority entry-level positions and reducing or eliminating staffing gaps, or periods of dual incumbency, at post;

(2)  FSO career development goals, to include language skills development, experience in different overseas assignments, and in-cone experience wherever possible and within the context of service need and available entry-level positions;

(3)  Given that the majority of entry-level generalist positions are consular, FSO career candidates must perform consular work abroad for a minimum of one year, but no less than ten months.

(4)  FSO career candidates are expected to complete at least two entry-level directed tours; most will serve two initial assignments abroad as required by the needs of the Foreign Service.

(5)  Individual qualifications (e.g., language skills) may also be considered where appropriate and consistent with service needs.

b. In assigning mid-level candidates, GTM/CDA, within the constraints of service needs and other limitations, will seek to provide assignments within the first three years in two different postings, at least one of which is abroad, which will enable the candidate to demonstrate competency in the candidate's preferred functional field as well as the broader capability to serve successfully as a Foreign Service Officer through the mid-ranks.

3 FAH-1 H-2242  PERFORMANCE REVIEWs FOR OFFICER CANDIDATES

(CT:POH-216;   04-16-2019)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. Supervisors of FSO Career Candidates should hold Performance Review sessions with them at least twice during each annual rating cycle at approximately 120-day intervals and no less than once during assignments of less than one year.

b. In meeting with a career candidate, the rating officer should prepare at least one written Performance Review statement on form DS-1974 and present it to the candidate for discussion. 

c.  The DS-1974 is intended solely as a performance review mechanism to provide employees with feedback on where they are doing well and where they need to develop further; it will not be placed in the candidate's performance file, and will in no way bind the rating officer in later judgments on the candidate’s overall performance during the full rating period.

d. The DS-1974 is not required for assignments of six months or less, but at least one oral session is required. 

e. All career candidates should be counseled regarding their strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve their performance, enhance their professional development, and strengthen their potential for tenure and advancement.

f.  Reviewing officers should stay informed of candidates' progress and make themselves available for counseling or mentoring, as appropriate.

g. The principal officer, deputy chief of mission, or deputy assistant secretary responsible for oversight of the candidate program in the bureau or post will oversee the adequate, periodic counseling or mentoring of candidates by the rating and reviewing officers.

3 FAH-1 H-2243  TYPES OF EVALUATION MATERIAL

(CT:POH-216;   04-16-2019)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. Foreign Service Officer Career Candidates are evaluated on the Employee Evaluation Report (EER) Form DS-5055, prepared as outlined in 3 FAM 2810, and the instructions for preparation of the EER form, except when in training status (see 3 FAM 2813.7). The rating and reviewing officers' appraisals of an officer candidate's potential should directly assess the demonstrated potential of the candidate to perform effectively as a Foreign Service Officer with normal development up to and including class FS-01 and include a recommendation regarding whether the candidate should be granted career status.

b. Other evaluation material, including commendations and awards (but not Franklin Awards and Time-Off Awards) may be included in a career candidate’s performance file.  The same rules of admissibility will apply to all evaluation material of career candidates as apply to evaluation material prepared on other members of the Foreign Service. All career candidate evaluation material will remain a permanent part of the individual's Official Performance File (OPF).  Should a candidate resign and subsequently return to the Service, the evaluation material for the previous service will be incorporated in the OPF.

3 FAH-1 H-2244  OFFICE of performance evaluation (GTM/pe)

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Office of Performance Evaluation (GTM/PE) is responsible for all performance management and Employee Evaluation Report (EER) policy.  GTM/PE may return EERs of Foreign Service Officer Career Candidates in cases where the reports are judged to be inadequate to permit a Commissioning and Tenure Board to make a sound tenuring judgment.  GTM/PE may request the originator to clarify or amplify any portion of it and return it in a timely way to allow further consideration of that candidate by the CTB.  Copies of all such requests from GTM/PE and of all responses thereto will be supplied to the candidate, who may submit any desired comment or response. 

3 FAH-1 H-2245  UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE PROCEDURES

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. An unsatisfactory rating cannot be given to a candidate unless the candidate received notice in writing of the areas of performance that were deficient and had a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate satisfactory performance.  A period of 60 calendar days ordinarily will be sufficient to demonstrate needed improvement.  In some cases, however, a shorter period may be dictated by safety or security concerns that could overlap with performance issues, by the imminent departure of an employee from post, or by other significant factors that necessitate such a decision.  In all cases, the employee will be advised of the timetable for improvement. 

b. An EER in which the candidate’s performance is rated as unsatisfactory must be submitted directly to GTM/PE rather than through ePerformance.  GTM/PE will refer the case to the Director General for review. 

c.  Upon being advised by the Director of GTM/PE that a candidate’s performance has been rated unsatisfactory, the Director General will:

(1)  Advise the candidate in writing of this decision and grant a period of at least 10 working days for the candidate to offer comment on the rating; and

(2)  Conduct further review or inquiry regarding the candidate’s performance as the Director General may deem appropriate.  All material generated by such a review or inquiry or otherwise considered by the Director General will be made available to the candidate, who will be granted a period of 10 working days from receipt of such material in which to offer comment. 

d. Upon completion of the above procedures, the Director General will review all relevant and admissible material on file regarding the candidate’s performance and will do one of the following:

(1)  Advise the candidate that the rating of unsatisfactory performance has been changed to satisfactory, and initiate action to ensure that all personnel records reflect this determination; or

(2)  Direct that the candidate be separated from the Service under section 612 of the Act; or

(3)  Withhold judgment regarding possible action for a specified period of further on-the-job observation.  The post or bureau must submit to GTM/PE the EER immediately following the additional period stating that the candidate’s performance is either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.  The Director General will readdress the question based on overall performance history at that date.

e. When ordering separation under Section 612 of the Foreign Service Act, the Director General will set the effective date, which may be no less than 30 days following notification of that action, excluding travel time required to return to Washington, DC, if abroad.   

3 FAH-1 H-2246  THE COMMISSIONING AND TENURE BOARD

3 FAH-1 H-2246.1  Composition

(CT:POH-216;   04-16-2019)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

The Commissioning and Tenure Board (Board) will consist of five members of the Foreign Service of the Department of State, one from each of the five skill codes/occupational categories (management, consular, economic, political, and public diplomacy), of class FS-01 and above.  The most senior member will serve as the chairperson. Among the members, at least one will be a member of a minority group and one a woman.

3 FAH-1 H-2246.2  Appointment

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only

The Director General will appoint members of the Board who have the same qualifications as Selection Board members as specified in 3 FAM 2326.1-2(a).  GTM/PE will convene the Board four times per calendar year.  Members are appointed for one Board session only, but can serve consecutively.  If a member serves consecutively, the name will be shared with the exclusive bargaining representative (AFSA).  A list of the members under consideration for appointment will be submitted to AFSA on an informational basis; AFSA may offer comment.  Such comments will be considered, but will not be binding in making the final appointments.  Language governing recusals of Board members can be found in the Procedural Precepts regulating the Tenure Board process.  (The Tenure Board Precepts are available on the GTM/PE website under “All Precepts.”)

3 FAH-1 H-2246.3  Responsibilities and Duties

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. The Board will meet quarterly to perform the duties set forth in this subchapter and in the Foreign Service Career Candidate Tenuring Board Precepts, also known as the Tenuring Board Precepts.  (The Tenuring Board Precepts are available on the GTM/PE website under “All Precepts.”)  The Board will:

(1)  Review and make recommendations on the conferral of career status upon all FS-04 Foreign Service Officer candidates and upon members of the Service appointed under the Mustang Program as soon as possible after completion of 36 months of service. A second review will take place after 48 months. When the Board judges that additional evaluated experience may lead to a favorable tenuring decision, the Board may recommend a third review six months prior to expiration of the candidate's limited appointment;

(2)  Review and make recommendations regarding conferral of career status upon all FS-03, 02, and 01 mid-level candidates as soon as practicable after their first three years of service, and again one year later if career status is not recommended on first review.  The Board will conduct a third review approximately 60 days prior to expiration of the candidate's limited appointment if it does not recommend conferral of career status on second review.  Mid-level candidates of class FS-02 and FS-03 who are promoted will be referred to the next session of the Board for review regardless of the date of their last review and of their period of service.

(3)  Monitor all evaluation material prepared on employees subject to review by the Board.  The purpose of this monitoring is to determine whether the material is adequate to assist meaningfully in the career judgment that the Board must make at the prescribed time.  At the direction of the Chairperson, any evaluation material deemed inadequate for the Board's purpose may be returned to the preparer for amplification and/or clarification. 

b. For those candidates not recommended for tenure who will be considered at a subsequent session of the Board, the Board will write notification statements with guidance to the candidates and should identify areas for improvement.    The Board will provide counseling statements for those candidates whose chances of being recommended for tenure at a subsequent session are in doubt due to an identifiable performance weakness.  Any such statements will be included in the official Board findings and will be given to the candidates in question (and his/her respective Career Development Officers) and as part of the Board Report to the Director General.  The counseling statement will not become part of the Official Performance Folder, unless the recipient so requests in writing.

3 FAH-1 H-2246.4  Board Action

(CT:POH-216;   04-16-2019)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a.   Any action taken by the Board requires the concurrence of at least four Tenure Board members.  In the case of tenure denial, no action unfavorable to the candidate under review will be taken without consideration of the file by all members of the Board, absent a recusal.

b. The Board will provide the Director General with the following:

(1)  An alphabetical list of names of those officer candidates recommended for tenure and commissioning;

(2)  An alphabetical list of names, accompanied by counseling statements, of those officer candidates recommended for a second tenure review;

(3)  An alphabetical list of names, accompanied by counseling statements, of those officer candidates recommended for a third and final review;

(4)  An alphabetical list of the names of those officer candidates the Board does not recommend for tenure.  Individuals who are not recommended for tenure will be separated from the Service at the end of their limited appointment, or earlier if the Board's recommendation for earlier separation is approved by the Director General;

(5)  The Board's observations on the operation of the Officer Candidate Program, the Employee Evaluation Report (EER) form, and the Tenuring Board Precepts and procedures with such recommendations as it may desire to make.  Such a report will be included in the official Board findings.  A copy of the report, including recommendations or comments, other than those concerning individuals, will be made available to officials of AFSA on a confidential basis.  If the Board requests that a portion of its statement not be disseminated and explains its reason for this request, those portions so identified also will be deleted and the reasons explained to AFSA. 

3 FAH-1 H-2247  TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT REMOVAL OF NAMES FROM COMMISSIONING AND TENURE LISTS

(CT:POH-216;   04-16-2019)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. The procedures outlined below for temporary or permanent removal of names from tenure lists apply to all officer candidates recommended for tenure by the Board.  (See 3 FAM 2245.9).

b. The Director General will inform the candidate concerned in writing of the action taken (unless subject to a “do not notify” order) and will initiate, pursue, or monitor the inquiry, investigation or proceeding that gave rise to the removal.  The candidate will be given an opportunity to submit whatever information or documents the candidate believes are pertinent to the case.  Upon disposition or resolution of the issue, the Director General will either:

(1)  Request that the necessary administrative action be initiated to tenure the candidate as a career FSO and add the candidate to the next list of appointments in the FS for confirmation and attestation; or

(2)  In the case of disciplinary action, request the Board that earlier recommended tenure to determine whether or not the candidate is qualified to be tenured in view of the documents added to the performance file. For the purposes of re-review of the candidate file, the Board will receive no information regarding the candidate not previously supplied to it other than material added as a result of an inquiry, investigation, or proceeding that gave rise to the temporary removal.  Prior to Board re-review, the candidate will be supplied copies of all material added to the file and will be accorded the opportunity to submit a response or rebuttal for placement in the file.

c.  The subsequent finding of the Board regarding the candidate in question will be final and binding to the same extent as if made at the initial session.  If the Board concludes that the candidate is qualified, based on the current record, to be tenured as an FSO, the Director General will initiate action to tenure the candidate as an FSO.  If the Board concludes that the candidate is not qualified, on the current record, for tenuring, the Director General will make permanent the prior exclusion of the name from the specific list at issue.

3 FAH-1 H-2248  Details and Leave Without Pay

(CT:POH-236;   07-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service Only)

a. As the goal of the Career Candidate Program is to provide clear evidence of career Foreign Service potential within the time period of the candidate’s limited appointment, details to other agencies will generally be avoided.

b. Except for employee entitlements to leave without pay (LWOP) under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (3 FAM 3530), under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and under Executive Order 5396 (disabled veterans seeking necessary medical treatment) and requirements under 5 U.S.C. 8150 (regarding workers’ compensation), the authorization of LWOP is a matter of administrative discretion, as provided in 3 FAM 3510.  As the goal of the Officer Career Candidate Program is to provide clear evidence of career Foreign Service potential within the time period of the candidate’s limited appointment, GTM/CDA does not recommend that candidates request discretionary LWOP prior to tenure.  However, bureaus/posts may authorize officer career candidates up to 90 days LWOP under certain conditions as defined in 3 FAM 3510.

3 FAH-1 H-2249  UNASSIGNED

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)