National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health Ethics Program

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August 2004 Qs&As about Ethics Critical Elements

  1. I am on a fiscal year rating cycle.  Will I be eligible to be rated against this new ethics element(s) in my 2004 contract?

    Not necessarily. In order to be rated against a performance element, it must be in your contract/plan for at least 90 days (SES and Senior Title 42 managers) or 120 days (GS and most Title 42 staff). We recognize some staff will not meet these requirements and will not be eligible to be rated against these new ethics elements. However, these individuals will be continue to be rated against the other elements of their contracts/plans-just not these new ethics elements. If this situation applies, at the time of final appraisal the new ethics element(s) could be annotated with the following statement: "The employee has not been covered by the critical ethics element(s) for the minimum time period and is therefore not being rated against this element(s)." You and your supervisor should initial and date these comments.

  2. Which ethics element applies to me?

    If you are an IC DEC, use the Performance Element for IC DECs. If you are a supervisor, use the Performance Element for NIH Supervisors. If you are both an IC DEC and a NIH supervisor, include both performance elements with your performance contract. The Office of Human Resources staff can assist you should you need help in identifying your supervisory designation. Your IC Ethics Counselor or IC Deputy Ethics Counselor can also assist.

  3. How do I add the ethics critical element(s) to my performance contract/plan?

    Print the appropriate element(s), you and your supervisor should sign and date them by September 1, 2004, and attach the document(s) to your existing contract/plan. Signatures must be included to ensure staff are aware of their performance contract/plan changes.

  4. Should the IC DEC or supervisor receive a copy of the addition?


  5. Does the requirement to add the ethics critical element(s) apply to both Fiscal Year 2004 contracts/plans and Calendar Year 2004 contracts/plans?

    Yes - these requirements will become a permanent part of the performance contract/plan.

  6. Who do I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

    Resources available to you include your immediate supervisor, second-level supervisor, IC Ethics Counselor, IC Deputy Ethics Counselor, and Traci Melvin in the NIH Ethics Office (301- 435-3411).

Updated: 5/10/07