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Board for Correction Case No. 099-88

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Board for Correction Case No. 099-88

124.00 Commissioned Officer Effectiveness Report (COER)-Includes Performance Evaluation - Change evaluation rating

Recommendation of the Board for Correction on Request of: Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Case No.099-88

Xxxxxxxx filed an application with the Board for Correction dated xxxx xx, 1988, in which he requested that the Board remove the statement: "Rating A-Consistently produces less than is expected" from Section III.l, of his 1987 COER.

The merits of Xxxxxxxx request have been reviewed on the basis of the documentation submitted. After consideration of the entire record, :the Board found that the documentation submitted was sufficient to establish a probable injustice: the rating given to Xxxxxxxx by his rating officer had been changed by the Corps to a lower one, and the technical problems in assigning him and in evaluating his productivity justified removing his COER from his Official personnel File.

Accordingly, the Board recommends that Xxxxxxxx be granted the relief requested. Approval of this recommendation shall require DCP to remove from his Official Personnel File all copies of his 1987 COER Report including supporting comments and other related materials (under current Corps policy a correction to any part of Xxxxxxxx COER requires that his entire report be removed). The Director, DCP, shall advise the Board when this recommendation has been implemented. Attachment 1 includes the findings, conclusions and recommendation concerning his request.

We certify that this recommendation reflects the views and action taken by the Board on Xxxxxxxx request, as contained in Attachment 1, and that it has been concurred with by the Board members.

We certify, further, that the Case Record, shown as Attachment 2, contains all of the documentation received on Xxxxxxxx request and that, in addition to applicable statutes, regulations and policies, it has been considered by the Board in arriving at this recommendation.

Finally, we certify that a quorum of Board members was present on Xxxx 1990, when his request was considered.

If you approve, please sign below.

Attachments

(1) Findings, Conclusions and Recommendation
(2) Case Record

Reviewed and Approved:

I hereby approve the recommendation of the Board for Correction on the request of Xxxxxxxx received and considered in accordance with the authority of Section 221a(a) (12) of the Public Health Service Act (P.L. 96-76, as amended) and 42 U.S.C. 213a(a)(12).

Wilford J. Forbush­ 
Director, Office of Management

Date

BOARD ACTION ON THE REQUEST OF: Xxxxxxxxxx

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS:

The Board acknowledged that Xxxxxxxx productivity had been quite low, even using the State standard and taking into account the circumstances he cited. 

The NHSC standard expected an officer to provide 1800 patient hours during the year and 2200 encounters or 1.2 encounters per patient hour (based upon a 45 week work year). Using the State standard which unlike the NHSC, allowed for travel time to the practice site as part of the workday and one hour, as opposed to one-half hour, for lunch, the Board determined that Xxxxxxxx could have been expected to have provided 1125 patient hours during the year or 1350 encounters (using the NHSC standard of 1.2 encounters per patient hour and assuming he saw patients five hours each day). The Corps, however, reported that Xxxxxxxx had 1139 patient encounters in 1987, 211 less than what might have been expected under the adjusted State standard.

However, the Board also found that Xxxxxxxx assignment and productivity evaluation had been fraught with a number of technical problems.

These included:

  1. the lack of any written documentation on the terms of Xxxxxxxx detail that would have confirmed what the State and Federal officials had agreed upon concerning his workday and productivity standard. Although Xxxxxxxx, by virtue of his Regional Office experience, knew both standards, he alleges that the standard applied to him should have been adjusted to reflect the circumstances under which he had worked. However, this was never resolved. The Board found that it was unfair to have evaluated him against a standard he did not know he was being judged by.

    The record indicated a lack of agreement between Federal and State officials on what the standard should be. NHSC held that Xxxxxxxx was subject to Federal policy although he had worked as an assignee for a State program. It argued that duty time started when he arrived at a site and stopped when he left to return home no matter how far away he lived.
  2. no indication that the NHSC had discussed with the State officials the circumstances under which Xxxxxxxx had worked before they reached the conclusion that his number of patient encounters had been too low.

    The Board considered whether the NHSC Regional Office had sought information on local conditions as required by NHSC policy when they discovered that Xxxxxxxx productivity had been low. The Board found no record that Xxxxxxx or anyone at the xxxxxxxxx Regional Office was ever contacted by the Regional Office or Central Office to assess or explore the reasons for Xxxxxxxx low productivity. The Board also found no record that any contact had been made with local officials regarding the constraints about which Xxxxxxxx had complained. The record did not indicate that the Corps had taken any action to have enabled them to make an informed judgment of Xxxxxxxx productivity. On the surface, the Corps action appeared to have been arbitrary, based only upon the numbers.
  3. this, was further complicated by the inconsistency of his rating with that in 1986, when his productivity also had been low, but he received a higher rating.

    Xxxxxxxx had 1393 encounters in 1986 and 1139 in 1987, the lowest of all sites in the 39 sites against which he had been compared. However, in 1986, Xxxxxxx, the same supervisor he had in 1987, and xx xxxxxx, the Federal evaluator, rated him "E": "Exceptionally productive; accomplishes far more than is expected." xx xxxxxx, also a Federal evaluator, and third level reviewer, concurred with this evaluation.
  4. the lack of any documentation between the State and Federal officials clarifying the responsibilities of the State rating official and those of the Federal evaluators.

    Two Federal officials had participated as evaluators, and one had changed the productivity rating given by Xxxxxxxx rating officer. The Board questioned whether Corps policy regarding selecting a reviewing official and changing a rating had been correctly applied. INSTRUCTION 1, CC25.1 determined the reviewing official on the basis of whether PHS supervision had been agreed upon. The absence of a Memorandum of Understanding prevented the Board from knowing what the State and Federal officials had agreed upon.

    After consideration of the entire record, the Board found that the documentation submitted was sufficient to establish a probable injustice; the rating given to Xxxxxxxx by his rating officer had been changed by the Corps to a lower one, and the technical problems in assigning him and in evaluating his productivity justified removing his COER from his Official Personnel File.

RECOMMENDATION

The Board recommends that Xxxxxxxx be granted the relief requested. Approval of this recommendation shall require DCP to remove from his Official Personnel File all copies of his 1987 COER Report including supporting comments and other related materials (under current Corps policy a correction to any part of Xxxxxxxx COER requires that this entire report be removed). The Director, DCP, shall advise the Board when this recommendation has been implemented.


Anyone wishing to obtain an un-redacted copy of any of the decisions should submit a request for the un-redacted decision under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Such requests should be directed to the PHS FOIA Office, Parklawn Building, Room 17 A-46, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857; telephone 301-443-5252; fax 301-443-0925.