The Office of Personnel Management administers a merit system for Federal employment that includes recruiting, examining, training, and promoting people on the basis of their knowledge and skills, regardless of their race, religion, sex, political influence, or other nonmerit factors. The Office's role is to ensure that the Federal Government provides an array of personnel services to applicants and employees. Through a range of programs designed to develop and encourage the effectiveness of the Government employee, the Office supports Government program managers in their personnel management responsibilities and provides benefits to employees and to retired employees and their survivors.
The Office of Personnel Management was created as an independent establishment by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978 (5 U.S.C. app.), effective January 1, 1979, pursuant to Executive Order 12107 of December 28, 1978. Transferred to OPM were many of the functions of the former United States Civil Service Commission. The Office's duties and authority are specified in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 1101).
The five regional offices carry out programs in the field. In addition the Office has area offices in key locations, Federal job Information and testing centers, and other field duty stations.
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