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Board for Correction Case No. 142-92

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Board for Correction Case No. 142-92

124.00 Commissioned Officer Effectiveness Report (COER)-Includes Performance Evaluation - Remove evaluation report

Recommendation of the Board for Correction on Request of: xxxxxxx, Case No.142-92

Request:

Remove his 1989 and 1990 Commissioned Officers Effectiveness Reports (COERs) from his Official Personnel File (OPF), including the adverse effects of these (COERs) on the temporary and permanent promotion boards, and change the date of his Dental Special Pay (DSP) contract.

Summary of Officer's Argument and Documentation:

Xxxxxx request resulted from ratings and comments entered on his annual COERs by a rating official at the Xxxxxx to which he had been detailed. He asked that the COERs be removed on the grounds of alleged contextual and procedural irregularities. He based his request on what he considered to have been failures by the rating official to:

  1. Adhere to the designated time period for submitting an annual COER (end date for the 1989 COER was xxxxxxx 1989).
  2. Present an appropriate balance of his performance and weaknesses.
  3. Document any performance problems or difficulties. Handle a COER as confidential information.
  4. Handle a COER as confidential information.
  5. Prepare COERs in an objective manner using administratively correct data.

He contended that his 1989 COER incorporated allegations which had been dismissed by a Xxxxxxxxx in 1990. He also contended that his 1990 COER had not been objective since it had been prepared by a person who had co-signed both the Xxxxxxxxxcharges against him and his 1989 COER.

Summary of Division of Commissioned Personnel's Argument and Documentation:

Note: DCP concluded that the officer's COER results and the xxxxxxxxxresults contained very little overlap except for the issue of his absence from duty.

The issues that resulted in a substandard rating on his 1989 COER had included:

  1. Failure to adhere to infection control protocol. 
  2. Failure to start and/or complete several assigned projects.
  3. Failure to show initiative for the betterment of the clinic.
  4. Conflicting excuses for unauthorized absences.
  5. Failure to communicate clearly-(verbally). ­­
  6. Need to spend more effort implementing Quality Assurance.
  7. Sometime rejection of supervisory guidance without considering its merits.

The issues that resulted in a substandard rating on his 1990 COER had included:

  1. Task as Q/A Coordinator incompletely done; others had to finish; sometimes avoided clinical duties.
  2. Administrative task of reorganizing clinic manual poorly done. Often avoided dental surgery tasks.
  3. Some tasks submitted late.
  4. Occasionally disobeyed direct orders, including some in written form; does not recognize his mistake.
  5. Several instances of unexcused absences including some covered by deceptive or erroneous statements, and some by informing supervisor after absence away from unit. 
  6. Frequent conflicts with supervisor and staff over work standards and ethical questions.
  7. Substandard support of program priorities.
  8. Despite counselling, cannot be trusted to wear mask and meet infection control guidelines.
  9. Sets poor example in personal hygiene, uniform violations, absences, work ethics, and counselling of his staff.

Board Action on Officer's Request:

Date of Board Meeting: xxxxxxx 1994

Board Staff:

Ellen Wormser
Executive Director

Thomas E. White, Ph.D.
Executive Secretary

Members of the Board:

Robert McSwain
Chairperson of the Board and Acting Associate Director
Office of Human Resources, IHS

Findings and Conclusions:

  1. The same persons who filed charges against Xxxxxx also served as his rating officers in 1989 and 1990. Despite DCP's arguments to the contrary, the Board members were very concerned about the strong appearance of a conflict of interest. This could have been avoided by designating others to write his COERs.
  2. The Board members did not find any documentation of discussions or interviews held with Xxxxxx regarding his performance or conduct. The record also did not contain any documentation indicating that he had received counsel or that the need for it had been indicated. It also did not contain any evidence of action by the xxxxxxxx making him aware of evaluative standards which would have improved his performance or conduct.

    Yet DCP policy said:

    "The officer being rated shall be given the opportunity to sign and date the block provided in Section V, Item 1, following the supervisor's discussion.

    The supervisor must provide the officer with a reproduced copy of the completed COER after he/she has completed the interview with the officer."
  3. Xxxxxx had complained that his COER had not been prepared in a timely manner enabling him to discuss it with the rating official. He stated that he did not know who would prepare his 1990 COER until xxxxxxx 1990, after close of the reporting period. He also stated that he did not receive a copy of the completed COER until about xxxxxxxx 1990, about six weeks after the deadline for submitting COERs, and after he had left to report to a new duty station.

    Yet DCP policy said:

    "It is the duty of supervisors and reviewing officials to promptly complete and forward a COER when due."
  4. Xxxxxx remained in his office without supervision or duties to perform for six months prior to his xxxxxxxxx and after until transferred to a new duty station. However, that period had been used in writing his 1990 COER.

Therefore:

Based upon the facts and DCP policy applicable to completing COERs, the Board members concluded that the COERs in question should be removed from Xxxxxx OPF. Removal of the 1989 COER rating him ?B"-Marginal also would eliminate the factor which had disqualified him from receiving DSP.

Recommendation:

Accordingly, the Board members recommended that Xxxxxx request be upheld. Approval of this recommendation requires that his record be corrected removing the two COERs covering the 1989 reporting period and the 1990 COER from his OPF (this includes removing all references to these COERs from all documents and materials reviewed by temporary and permanent promotion boards) and making him eligible for DSP as of xxxxx 1990. It also requires that Xxxxxx have access to his OPF to enable him to verify that these corrections had been made.

We certify that this recommendation reflects the views and actions taken by the Board on Xxxxxx request and that it has been concurred in by the Board members.

We certify, further, that the Case Record, shown as an Attachment contains all of the documentation received on Xxxxxx 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 xxxxx 1994, when Xxxxxx request was considered.

If you approve, please sign below.

Robert McSwain
Chairperson of the Board and Acting Associate Director Office of Human Resources, IHS

Date

Reviewed and Approved:

I hereby approve the recommendation of the Board members upholding the request of Xxxxxx 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), and authorize the Director, Division of commissioned Personnel (DCP), Office of the Surgeon General/PHS to correct his record as stipulated removing the two COERs covering the 1989 reporting period and the 1990 COER from his OPF (this includes removing all references to these COERs from all documents and materials reviewed by temporary and permanent promotion boards) and making him eligible for DSP as of xxxxx 1990. It also requires that Xxxxxx have access to his OPF to enable him to verify that these corrections had been made.

Wilford J. Forbush
Director, Office of Management

Attachment: Case Record


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.