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Data, Analysis & Documentation

Data Standards

Overview

General

The Data Standards program provides guidance on data standards revisions for Human Resources, Payroll and Training data that occur throughout the year to reflect changes in human resource programs. The changes are managed and maintained in a Meta Data Repository (MDR) system. The MDR allow changes to be quickly and efficiently communicated to all interested parties. Notification of these changes is communicated through Listserv (an email notification system) as well as documented on the data standards search page under "Recent Updates". Subscribing to listserv and/or periodic review of the "recent updates" will ensure that you receive the most recent changes.

Objective

The objectives of the Data Standards program is to provide standardized definitions and characteristics for Federal civilian employment data elements across a wide range of customers to facilitate the collection, processing, use, and dissemination of such data. Data Standards can be searched by accessing the Data Standards search page.

Authority

The Office of Personnel Management's authority to prescribe Federal civilian human resources data standards is based on:

  • Title 5, Section 2951 of the U.S. Code (5 U.S.C. 2951).
  • Title 5, Part 9.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR 9.2).
  • Title 5, U.S.C. Section 1103 gives OPM authority to recommend policies to pay, and Section 1104 (a)(1) authorizes the President to "delegate, in whole or in part, authority for personnel management functions to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management".
  • SF-182 Training (Request, Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training)

Responsibilities

  1. Office of Personnel Management responsibilities. The Office of Personnel Management is responsible for managing the Federal civilian personnel data standards program and for overseeing the development, implementation, and maintenance of Federal civilian personnel data standards.
  2. Agency responsibilities. The agencies are responsible for assisting the Office of Personnel Management in the development, implementation, and maintenance of Federal civilian personnel data standards and for using the data standards, as appropriate, on official personnel documents and Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) submissions.

Development, Implementation, and Maintenance

  1. Development. Data element standards are developed to satisfy information needs. Such development may be initiated by the Office of Personnel Management or requested by an agency by writing to: Manager, Records Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20415-6000. A requirements analysis is performed to determine how best to satisfy the information needs, whether the information benefits justify the data collection and processing costs, and whether new or revised data element standards are required.
  2. Implementation. Implementation of data element standards to satisfy Office of Personnel Management reporting requirements is done in consultation with the agencies to minimize implementation costs.
  3. Maintenance. The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) coordinates maintenance activities on behalf of the responsible organizations. To request information about a data element standard or to notify the OCIO of changes needed to keep a code set current (such as AGENCY/SUBELEMENT), contact the OCIO's Data Standards Manager, Maurice Wright at (202) 606-1598 or by email at Maurice.wright@opm.gov.

Data Element Presentation

  1. Name: The data element name.
  2. Definition: The data element definition.
  3. Applicability: Shows whether the data element is mandatory on any Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) data feed as well as Standard Forms 52 (Request for Personnel Action), 50 (Notification of Personnel Action) or 182 (Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training). Data elements that have a data standard but are not required in EHRI or any of these standard forms may appear and will be identified as voluntary.
  4. Format: Shows the format of the data element representation. The format types and there meaning are shown below. See Table 1.
  5. Notes: Documents important information regarding the use, reporting and/or implementation of the data element.

Table 1: Data Element Representation (Format and Meaning)

Format Meaning
TEXT_F(n) Text field with fixed length of n characters. This format can consist of letters only, a combination of letters and numbers, and/or any special character EXCEPT the vertical line (pipe character "|"). A list of the valid codes along with their name/explanation is found at the end of the data standard.
TEXT_V(n) Text field with variable length up to n characters. This format can consist of letters only, a combination of letters and numbers, and/or any special character EXCEPT the vertical line (pipe character "|"). A list of the valid codes along with their name/explanation is found at the end of the data standard.
NUMBER_F(n) Numeric field with fixed length of n digits with no decimal.
NUMBER_V(n) Numeric field with variable length up to n digits with no decimal.
DECIMAL(n,m) Numeric field with variable length up to n digits with up to m digits to the right of the decimal.
Date A date consisting of a 4 character year, followed a 2 character numeric month (01-12), and a 2 character numeric day (01-31), separated by dashes (e.g. 2004-12-31).