U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 05, 2022
(a) Agreements to alter official personnel records. An agency shall not agree to erase, remove, alter, or withhold from another agency any information about a civilian employee's performance or conduct in that employee's official personnel records, including an employee's Official Personnel Folder and Employee Performance File, as part of, or as a condition to, resolving a formal or informal complaint by the employee or settling an administrative challenge to an adverse action.
(b) Corrective action based on discovery of agency error. The requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section should not be construed to prevent agencies from taking corrective action, should it come to light, including during or after the issuance of an adverse personnel action that the information contained in a personnel record is not accurate or records an action taken by the agency illegally or in error. In such cases, an agency would have the authority, unilaterally or by agreement, to modify an employee's personnel record(s) to remove inaccurate information or the record of an erroneous or illegal action. An agency may take such action even if an appeal/complaint has been filed relating to the information that the agency determines to be inaccurate or to reflect an action taken illegally or in error. In all events, however, the agency must ensure that it removes only information that the agency itself has determined to be inaccurate or to reflect an action taken illegally or in error. And an agency should report any agreements relating to the removal of such information as part of its annual report to the OPM Director required by section 6 of E.O. 13839. Documents subject to withdrawal or modification could include, for example, an SF-50 issuing a disciplinary or performance-based action, a decision memorandum accompanying such action or an employee performance appraisal.
(c) Corrective action based on discovery of material information prior to final agency action. When persuasive evidence comes to light prior to the issuance of a final agency decision on an adverse personnel action casting doubt on the validity of the action or the ability of the agency to sustain the action in litigation, an agency may decide to cancel or vacate the proposed action. Additional information may come to light at any stage of the process prior to final agency decision including during an employee response period. To the extent an employee's personnel file or other agency records contain a proposed action that is subsequently cancelled, an agency would have the authority to remove that action from the employee's personnel file or other agency records. The requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section would, however, continue to apply to any accurate information about the employee's conduct leading up to that proposed action or separation from Federal service.