The Office of Personnel Management is implementing several systems across Government that’s intended to improve the management of human capital. One of these systems is the Electronic Official Personnel Folder (e-OPF). The e-OPF replaces the current paper based Official Personnel Folder (OPF) with an electronic folder containing each employee’s personnel records. Information on e-OPF can be found on the OPM web site, http://www.opm.gov/egov/ehri overview.asp.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is currently in collaboration with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Business Center (NBC) to implement e-OPF.
The e-OPF improves the ability of the Government to provide personnel services in many ways including:
Access – Employees who are not co-located with the personnel office that maintains their paper based OPF have little or no access to the documents in their folder. In many cases an employee never reviews the content of his or her folder until retirement. e-OPF provides employee access at any time (24 hours a day!) through a secure Internet connection.
Security/Continuity of Operations – The current paper based folder is a “single point of failure.” A folder can be lost. A fire or natural disaster can destroy hundreds or thousands of folders. There is no back up. As an electronic database, e-OPF allows every employee’s documentation to be backed up and securely stored at a remote site. The employment record for each employee can be restored if a disaster occurs.
Efficiency of Operations – The current system requires documents such as a “Notification of Personnel Action” to be printed. One copy gets filed and one copy gets mailed to the employee. For example, the annual pay adjustment for agency “X” in January produces approximately 9,000 documents that must be individually filed. Obviously this process requires significant resources and as a manual process there are many opportunities for mistakes. When e-OPF is implemented, data which will be automatically filed in each employee’s electronic folder. Rather than get a copy of the document in the mail, the employee will get an email notification that a document has been added to their folder. The employee can then go online to review the document and, if desired, print a copy.
Responsiveness – In many instances providing services or answers is dependent upon having access to an employee’s OPF. Delays occur when a paper based folder has to be retrieved. Information in e-OPF will be available at any time to authorized servicing personnel specialists. Investigators doing background checks can be given short-term access to an employee’s electronic folder. This will allow background checks and security clearances to be done much more quickly.
Data Security – Access to an employee’s records will be limited to the employee and designated personnel in the employee’s servicing personnel office. Access is controlled by userid and password. The userid is assigned by the system and should be kept private. Passwords will initially be emailed or hard copy mailed to the employee. The password can then be changed. Employees will not be able to enter or change information in the e-OPF. Additionally, the e-OPF application will automatically keep a record of all instances where an employee’s folder is accessed. This auto-auditor not only keeps a record of the user’s identity but also date stamps when the user accessed the employee’s personnel folder.