Office of Personnel Management




General Personnel Records  (December 11, 2012,  77 FR 79694)


Records on current Federal employees are located within the employing agency.

Records maintained in paper may also be located at OPM or with personnel officers, or at other designated offices of local installations of the department or agency that employs the individual.
When agencies determine that duplicates of these records need to be located in a second office, e.g., an administrative office closer to where the employee actually works, such copies are covered by this system. Some agencies have employed the Enterprise Human Resource
Integration (EHRI) data system to store their records electronically. Although stored in EHRI, agencies are still responsible for the maintenance of their records.

Former Federal employees' paper Official Personnel Folders (OPFs) are located at the National Personnel Records Center, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 111 Winnebago Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63118. Former Federal employees' electronic Official Personnel
Folders (eOPF) are located in the EHRI data system that is administered by NARA.

Note 1--The records in this system are records of the OPM and must be provided to those OPM employees who have an official need or use for those records. Therefore, if an employing agency is asked by an OPM employee to access the records within this system, such a request must be honored.


Current and former Federal employees as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105. (Volunteers, grantees, and contract employees on whom the agency maintains records may also be covered by this system).


All categories of records may include identifying information, such as name(s), date of birth, home address, mailing address, social security number, and home telephone. This system includes, but is not limited to, contents of the OPF as specified in OPM's Operating Manual, ``The Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping'' and OPM's ``Guide to Data Standards.'' Records in this system include:

  • Records reflecting work experience, education level achieved, and specialized education or training obtained outside of Federal service.
  • Records reflecting Federal service and documenting work experience and specialized education received while employed. Such records contain information about past and present positions held; grades; salaries; duty station locations; and notices of all personnel actions, such as appointments, transfers, reassignments, details, promotions, demotions, reductions-in-force, resignations, separations, suspensions, OPM approval of disability retirement applications, retirement, and removals.
  • Records on participation in the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program and Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
  • Records relating to an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment or Federal-private sector exchange program.

    Note 2--Some of these records may also become part of the OPM/ CENTRAL-5, Intergovernmental Personnel Act Assignment Record system.

  • Records relating to participation in an agency Federal Executive or Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program.

    Note 3--Some of these records may also become part of the OPM/ Central-10 Federal Executive Institute Program Participant Records and OPM/CENTRAL-13 Executive Personnel Records systems.

  • Records relating to Government-sponsored training or participation in an agency's Upward Mobility Program or other personnel program designed to broaden an employee's work experiences and for purposes of advancement (e.g., an administrative intern program).
  • Records contained in the Enterprise Human Resource Integration (EHRI) and Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) maintained by OPM and exact substantive representations in agency manual or automated personnel information systems. These data elements include many of the above records along with disability, race/ethnicity, national origin, pay, and performance information from other OPM and agency systems of records. A definitive list of EHRI and CPDF data elements is contained in OPM's Operating Manuals, The Guide to Central Personnel Data File Reporting Requirements and The Guide to Personnel Data Standards.
  • Records on the SES maintained by agencies for use in making decisions affecting incumbents of these positions, e.g., relating to sabbatical leave programs, reassignments, and details, that are perhaps unique to the SES and that may be filed in the employee's OPF. These records may also serve as the basis for reports submitted to OPM for implementing OPM's oversight responsibilities concerning the SES.
  • Records on an employee's activities on behalf of the recognized labor organization representing agency employees, including accounting of official time spent and documentation in support of per diem and travel expenses.

    Note 4--Alternatively, such records may be retained by an agency payroll office and thus be subject to the agency's internal Privacy Act system for payroll records. The OPM/GOVT-1 system does not cover general agency payroll records.

  • To the extent that the records listed here are also maintained in an agency electronic personnel or microform records system, those versions of these records are considered to be covered by this system notice. Any additional copies of these records (excluding performance ratings of record and conduct-related documents maintained by first line supervisors and managers covered by the OPM/GOVT-2 system) maintained by agencies at remote field/administrative offices from where the original records exist are considered part of this system.

    Note 5--It is not the intent of OPM to limit this system of records only to those records physically within the OPF. Records may be filed in other folders located in offices other than where the OPF is located. Further, as indicated in the records location section, some of these records may be duplicated for maintenance at a site closer to where the employee works (e.g., in an administrative office or supervisors work folder) and still be covered by this system. In addition, a working file that a supervisor or other agency official is using that is derived from OPM/GOVT-1 is covered by this system notice. This system also includes working files derived from this notice that management is using in its personnel management capacity.

  • Records relating to designations for lump sum death benefits.
  • Records relating to classified information nondisclosure agreements.
  • Records relating to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) concerning the starting, changing, or stopping of contributions to the TSP as well as how the individual wants the investments to be made in the various TSP Funds.

    Note 6--CPDF and EHRI data system's Central Employee Record (CER) are part of OPM/GOVT-1 system of records. CPDF and CER are highly reliable sources of statistical data on the workforce of the Federal government. However, the accuracy and completeness of each data element within the individual records that comprise the aggregate files are not guaranteed, and should not be used as the sole tool or as a substitute for the OPF in making personnel determinations or decisions concerning individuals.

    Note 7--The eOPF Application within EHRI may contain documents and information beyond the scope and requirements of the OPF as documented in OPM's Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping. Those documents and information in the eOPF Application that are beyond the scope of the documented requirements are not considered part of the OPF or OPM/GOVT- 1,

  • Records maintained in accordance with E.O. 13490, section 4(e), January 21, 2009. These records include the ethics pledges and all pledge waiver certifications with respect thereto.


5 U.S.C. 1302, 2951, 3301, 3372, 4118, 8347, and Executive Orders 9397, as amended by 13478, 9830, and 12107.


The OPF, which may exist in various approved media, and other general personnel records files, is the official repository of the records, reports of personnel actions, and the documentation required in connection with these actions affected during an employee's Federal service. The personnel action reports and other documents, some of which are filed in the OPF, give legal force and effect to personnel transactions and establish employee rights and benefits under pertinent laws and regulations governing Federal employment.

These files and records are maintained by OPM and agencies in accordance with OPM regulations and instructions. They provide the basic source of factual data about a person's Federal employment while in the service and after his or her separation. Records in this system have various uses by agency personnel offices, including screening qualifications of employees; determining status, eligibility, and employee's rights and benefits under pertinent laws and regulations governing Federal employment; computing length of service; and other information needed to provide personnel services. These records may also be used to locate individuals for personnel research.


These records and information in these records may be used—

  • To disclose information to Government training facilities (Federal, State, and local) and to non-Government training facilities (private vendors of training courses or programs, private schools, etc.) for training purposes.
  • To disclose information to education institutions on appointment of a recent graduate to a position in the Federal service, and to provide college and university officials with information about their students working in the Student Career Experience Program, Volunteer Service, or other similar programs necessary to a student's obtaining credit for the experience gained.
  • To disclose information to officials of foreign governments for clearance before a Federal employee is assigned to that country.
  • To disclose information to the Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Department of Defense, or any other Federal agencies that have special civilian employee retirement programs; or to a national, State, county, municipal, or other publicly recognized charitable or income security administration agency (e.g., State unemployment compensation agencies), when necessary to adjudicate a claim under the retirement, insurance, unemployment, or health benefits programs of the OPM or an agency cited above, or to an agency to conduct an analytical study or audit of benefits being paid under such programs.
  • To disclose information necessary to the Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance to verify election, declination, waiver of regular and/or optional life insurance coverage, or eligibility for payment of a claim for life insurance, or to TSP to verify election change and designation of beneficiary.
  • To disclose, to health insurance carriers contracting with OPM to provide a health benefits plan under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, information necessary to identify enrollment in a plan, to verify eligibility for payment of a claim for health benefits, or to carry out the coordination or audit of benefit provisions of such contracts.
  • To disclose information to a Federal, State, or local agency for determination of an individual's entitlement to benefits in connection with Federal Housing Administration programs.
  • To consider and select employees for incentive awards and other honors and to publicize those granted. This may include disclosure to other public and private organizations, including news media, which grant or publicize employee recognition.
  • To consider employees for recognition through quality-step increases and to publicize those granted. This may include disclosure to other public and private organizations, including news media, which grant or publicize employee recognition.
  • To disclose information to officials of labor organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. chapter 71 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working conditions.

    Note 8--Home addresses will be released from this system only when there are no adequate, alternative sources available for this information.

  • To disclose pertinent information to the appropriate Federal, State, or local agency responsible for investigating, prosecuting, enforcing, or implementing a statute, rule, regulation, or order, when the disclosing agency becomes aware of an indication of a violation or potential violation of civil or criminal law or regulation.
  • To disclose information to any source from which additional information is requested (to the extent necessary to identify the individual, inform the source of the purpose(s) of the request, and to identify the type of information requested), when necessary to obtain information relevant to an agency decision to hire or retain an employee, issue a security clearance, conduct a security or suitability investigation of an individual, classify jobs, let a contract, or issue a license, grant, or other benefits.

    Note 9--When copies of records become part of an investigative process, those copies become subject to that systems' notice covering the investigative process i.e., if during an investigation, the OPM Federal Investigative Services Division makes copies of records contained in an Official Personnel Folder; those documents become part of OPM Central--9 Personnel Investigation Records system of records and are subject to that systems' routine uses.

  • To disclose to a Federal agency in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of Government, in response to its request, or at the initiation of the agency maintaining the records, information in connection with the hiring of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance or determination concerning eligibility to hold a sensitive position, the conducting of an investigation for purposes of a credentialing, national security, fitness, or suitability adjudication concerning an individual, the classifying or designation of jobs, the letting of a contract, the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, or the lawful statutory, administrative, or investigative purpose of the agency to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision.
  • To disclose information to the Office of Management and Budget at any stage in the legislative coordination and clearance process in connection with private relief legislation as set forth in OMB Circular No. A-19.
  • To provide information to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the request of the individual.
  • To disclose information to another Federal agency, to a court, or a party in litigation before a court or in an administrative proceeding being conducted by a Federal agency, when the Government is a party to the judicial or administrative proceeding.
  • To disclose information to the Department of Justice, or in a proceeding before a court, adjudicative body, or other administrative body before which the agency is authorized to appear, when:
    1. The agency, or any component thereof; or
    2. Any employee of the agency in his or her official capacity; or
    3. Any employee of the agency in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice or the agency has agreed to represent the employee; or
    4. The United States, when the agency determines that litigation is likely to affect the agency or any of its components, is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and the use of such records by the Department of Justice or the agency is deemed by the agency to be relevant and necessary to the litigation provided, however, that in each case it has been determined that the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.
  • By the National Archives and Records Administration in records management inspections and its role as Archivist.
  • By the agency maintaining the records or by the OPM to locate individuals for personnel research or survey response, and in the production of summary descriptive statistics and analytical studies in support of the function for which the records are collected and maintained, or for related workforce studies. While published statistics and studies do not contain individual identifiers, in some instances, the selection of elements of data included in the study may be structured in such a way as to make the data individually identifiable by inference.
  • To provide an official of another Federal agency information needed in the performance of official duties related to reconciling or reconstructing data files, in support of the functions for which the records were collected and maintained.
  • When an individual to whom a record pertains is mentally incompetent or under other legal disability, to provide information in the individual's record to any person who is responsible for the care of the individual, to the extent necessary to assure payment of benefits to which the individual is entitled.
  • To disclose to the agency-appointed representative of an employee all notices, determinations, decisions, or other written communications issued to the employee in connection with an examination ordered by the agency under fitness-for-duty examination procedures.
  • To disclose, in response to a request for discovery or for appearance of a witness, information that is relevant to the subject matter involved in a pending judicial or administrative proceeding.
  • To disclose to a requesting agency, organization, or individual the home address and other relevant information on those individuals who it reasonably believed might have contracted an illness or might have been exposed to or suffered from a health hazard while employed in the Federal workforce.
  • To disclose specific civil service employment information required under law by the Department of Defense on individuals identified as members of the Ready Reserve to assure continuous mobilization readiness of Ready Reserve units and members, and to identify demographic characteristics of civil service retirees for national emergency mobilization purposes.
  • To disclose information to the Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Coast Guard needed to effect any adjustments in retired or retained pay required by the dual compensation provisions of section 5532 of title 5, United States Code.
  • To disclose information to the Merit Systems Protection Board or the Office of the Special Counsel in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of OPM rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions promulgated in 5 U.S.C. chapter 12, or as may be authorized by law.
  • To disclose information to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with investigations of alleged or possible discrimination practices in the Federal sector, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance by Federal agencies with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission.
  • To disclose information to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (including its General Counsel) when requested in connection with investigation and resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, in connection with the resolution of exceptions to arbitrator's awards when a question of material fact is raised, to investigate representation petitions and to conduct or supervise representation elections, and in connection with matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel.
  • To disclose to prospective non-Federal employers, the following information about a specifically identified current or former Federal employee:
    1. Tenure of employment;
    2. Civil service status;
    3. Length of service in the agency and the Government; and
    4. When separated, the date and nature of action as shown on the Notification of Personnel Action--Standard Form 50 (or authorized exception).
  • To disclose information on employees of Federal health care facilities to private sector (i.e., other than Federal, State, or local government) agencies, boards, or commissions (e.g., the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals). Such disclosures will be made only when the disclosing agency determines that it is in the Government's best interest (e.g., to comply with law, rule, or regulation, to assist in the recruiting of staff in the community where the facility operates to obtain accreditation or other approval rating, or to avoid any adverse publicity that may result from public criticism of the facility's failure to obtain such approval). Disclosure is to be made only to the extent that the information disclosed is relevant and necessary for that purpose.
  • To disclose information to any member of an agency's Performance Review Board, Executive Resources Board, or other panel when the member is not an official of the employing agency; information would then be used for approving or recommending selection of candidates for executive development or SES candidate programs, issuing a performance rating of record, issuing performance awards, nominating for meritorious or distinguished executive ranks, or removal, reduction-in-grade, or other personnel actions based on performance.
  • To disclose, either to the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) or its agent, information about Federal employees in procurement occupations and other occupations whose incumbents spend the predominant amount of their work hours on procurement tasks; provided that the information shall be used only for such purposes and under such conditions as prescribed by the notice of the Federal Acquisition Personnel Information System as published in the Federal Register of February 7, 1980 (45 FR 8399).
  • To disclose relevant information with personal identifiers of Federal civilian employees whose records are contained in the EHRI to authorized Federal agencies and non-Federal entities for use in computer matching. The matches will be performed to help eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in Governmental programs; to help identify individuals who are potentially in violation of civil or criminal law or regulation; and to collect debts and overpayments owed to Federal, State, or local governments and their components. The information disclosed may include, but is not limited to, the name, social security number, date of birth, sex, annualized salary rate, service computation date of basic active service, veteran's preference, retirement status, occupational series, health plan code, position occupied, work schedule (full time, part time, or intermittent), agency identifier, geographic location (duty station location), standard metropolitan service area, special program identifier, and submitting office number of Federal employees.
  • To disclose information to Federal, State, local, and professional licensing boards, Boards of Medical Examiners, or to the Federation of State Medical Boards or a similar non-government entity which maintains records concerning individuals' employment histories or concerning the issuance, retention or revocation of licenses, certifications or registration necessary to practice an occupation, profession or specialty, to obtain information relevant to an Agency decision concerning the hiring, retention, or termination of an employee or to inform a Federal agency or licensing boards or the appropriate non-government entities about the health care practices of a terminated, resigned or retired health care employee whose professional health care activity so significantly failed to conform to generally accepted standards of professional medical practice as to raise reasonable concern for the health and safety of patients in the private sector or from another Federal agency.
  • To disclose information to contractors, grantees, or volunteers performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or job for the Federal Government.
  • To disclose information to a Federal, State, or local governmental entity or agency (or its agent) when necessary to locate individuals who are owed money or property either by a Federal, State, or local agency, or by a financial or similar institution.
  • To disclose to a spouse or dependent child (or court-appointed guardian thereof) of a Federal employee enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, upon request, whether the employee has changed from a self-and-family to a self-only health benefits enrollment.
  • To disclose information to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Parent Locator System, or Federal Offset System for use in locating individuals, verifying social security numbers, or identifying their incomes sources to establish paternity, establish, or modify orders of support and for enforcement action.
  • To disclose records on former Panama Canal Commission employees to the Republic of Panama for use in employment matters.
  • To disclose to appropriate Federal officials pertinent workforce information for use in national or homeland security emergency/disaster response.
  • To disclose on public and internally-accessible Federal Government Web sites, and to otherwise disclose to any person, including other departments and agencies, the signed ethics pledges and pledge waiver certifications issued under E.O. 13490 of January 21, 2009, Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel.
  • To disclose foreign language proficiencies to Federal agencies in support of the National Preparedness Goal and the Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8).
  • To disclose information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to assist in determining whether individuals are eligible for programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).



These records are maintained in file folders, on lists and forms, microfilm or microfiche, and in computer processable storage media such as personnel system databases, PDF forms and data warehouse systems.


These records are retrieved by various combinations of name, agency, birth date, social security number, or identification number of the individual on whom they are maintained.


Paper or microfiche/microfilmed records are located in locked metal file cabinets or in secured rooms with access limited to those personnel whose official duties require access. Access to computerized records is limited, through use of user logins and passwords, access codes, and entry logs, to those whose official duties require access. Computerized records systems are consistent with the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (Pub. L. 107-296), and associated OMB policies, standards and guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


The OPF is maintained for the period of the employee's service in the agency and is then, if in a paper format, transferred to the National Personnel Records Center for storage or, as appropriate, to the next employing Federal agency. If the OPF is maintained in an electronic format, the transfer and storage is in accordance with the OPM approved electronic system. Other records are either retained at the agency for various lengths of time in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration records schedules or destroyed when they have served their purpose or when the employee leaves the agency. The transfer occurs within 90 days of the individuals' separation. In the case of administrative need, a retired employee, or an employee who dies in service, the OPF is sent within 120 days. Destruction of the OPF is in accordance with General Records Schedule-1 (GRS-1) or GRS 20.

Records contained within the CPDF and EHRI (and in agency's automated personnel records) may be retained indefinitely as a basis for longitudinal work history statistical studies. After the disposition date in GRS-1 or GRS 20, such records should not be used in making decisions concerning employees.


  • Manager, OCIO/RM, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.
  • For current Federal employees, OPM has delegated to the employing agency the Privacy Act responsibilities concerning access, amendment, and disclosure of the records within this system notice.


Individuals wishing to inquire whether this system of records contains information about them should contact the appropriate OPM or employing agency office, as follows:

  • a. Current Federal employees should contact the Personnel Officer or other responsible official (as designated by the employing agency), of the local agency installation at which employed regarding records in this system.
  • Former Federal employees who want access to their Official Personnel Folders (OPF) should contact the National Personnel Records Center (Civilian), 111 Winnebago Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63118, regarding the records in this system. For other records covered by the system notice, individuals should contact their former employing agency. Individuals must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified:
    • Full name.
    • Date of birth.
    • Social security number.
    • Last employing agency (including duty station) and approximate date(s) of the employment (for former Federal employees).
    • Signature.


Individuals wishing to request access to their records should contact the appropriate OPM or agency office, as specified in the Notification Procedure section. Individuals must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified:

  • Full name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Social security number.
  • Last employing agency (including duty station) and approximate date(s) of the employment (for former Federal employees).
  • Signature.

Individuals requesting access must also comply with the Office's Privacy Act regulations on verification of identity and access to records (5 CFR part 297).


Current employees wishing to request amendment of their records should contact their current agency. Former employees should contact the system manager. Individuals must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified.

  • Full name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Social security number.
  • Last employing agency (including duty station) and approximate date(s) of the employment (for former Federal employees).
  • Signature.

Individuals requesting amendment must also comply with the Office's Privacy Act regulations on verification of identity and amendment of records (5 CFR Part 297).


Information in this system of records is provided by--

  • The individual on whom the record is maintained.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Agency officials and other individuals or entities.
  • Other sources of information maintained in an employee's OPF, in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations part 293, and OPM's Operating Manual, "The Guide to Personnel Recordkeeping."