DRM PD; Message for Field ITS’

Field ITS’ – Many of you had asked about whether or not you were supposed to report to an office director or a DRM. There was a perception that the DRM PD said that DRMs “supervise” field ITS’. So we checked into it; and here’s what a DRM PD actually says:

“The incumbent may be required to supervise individuals engaged in administrative functions, including budget, human capital management, information technology, and related activities.”

The PD does not say that a DRM will supervise field ITS’, only that a DRM may be required to do so. It’s probable that the PD was written that way in order to give Directors in the field the ability to delegate their own supervisory responsibility (over ITS’) to a DRM. Directors do have to make these kind of decisions regarding any position they supervise; and the reasoning is usually that Directors need to make an assessment as to which is most important – to have more hands on direct supervisory authority over mission-related staff or over support staff (and IT work in a federal agency is typically support, not direct mission related – even when the work has direct impact on an agency’s ability to more efficiently accomplish its mission). And this is also why IT support often takes a back seat to mission-related needs.

The practical application of this, however, can be confusing if organizational lines are not clearly established and communicated within each office. So it’s easy to see why the perception is that DRMs are supposed to supervise ITS’, when the reality is that someone (presumably a Director in the field) is supposed to decide for their own office if ITS’ in their office will fall under their direct supervision or the DRM’s.

AND (the big “AND”), if they delegate that supervisory authority to a DRM, there SHOULD be clear communication about it – including a pen-and-ink change to the ITS’ PD to reflect who they will really report to. AND a copy of the PD is supposed to be kept in an official “PD Book” in OHR (reference: the Administrative Manual on inSite). From what I’ve seen of your PDs, I’m not certain if the latter 2 things have occured in offices where the DRM is now supervising ITS’.

I will attempt to attach to this blog post the following items:

2. Field ITS PD for PD# 1127
3. Field ITS PD for PD# 1394
4. Field ITS PD for PD# 1396
5. Field ITS PD for PD# 1126 (which replaced # 1115)

If for some reason these docs don’t open or they’re not attached, please contact me directly at [email protected] and ask for re-send.

DRM PD #F1423.pdf

PD#F1126 in lieu of old PD#F1115.pdf


DRM PD #F1423.pdf

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Joan Ward

Hi Lizette, Thanks for clearing that up (sorta), I think the other part of that question was. If we report to the DRM are we still non-bargainig unit employees or will that also change if we report to the DRM? Thanks Joan

Lizette Molina

Joan, The issue of whether or not you then go from bargaining-unit employees to being bargaining-unit employees is a little more complicated; and one that I will need OHR to answer. But I will go ahead and refer the question to Joann Riggs in OHR to see if they can answer it. Whether or not someone is or isn’t bargaining-unit has to do with their own level of supervisory authority (not who supervises them), as well as with their own responsibilities and level of info to which they have access. None of those 3 items change, regardless of who supervises you. But yes, I will continue to seek an answer on this for you. Please pester me again if you don’t get an answer in a few weeks. Thanks, Lizette.

Ruben A. Martinez

Are the IT Specialist in OIT bargaining unit or non bargaining unit, if they are bargaining why are they there and not out in the field?

Lizette Molina

Hi Ruben, Being in the BU has nothing to do w/whether or not people are in the field or in HQ. Some OIT ITS’ are in the BU and others aren’t; most aren’t. In general, PMs, Info Sec Officers, and Sys Admins are not in the BU. But someone who only does training and has no need for the level/scope of access of other ITS’, could fall into the BU. But we no longer have employees who do nothing but training. Again, it typically has more to do with whether or not the position in question:

1. has supervisory or management level responsibilities;
2. has system access to certain levels of information; and
3. has a certain scope of responsibility.

I believe grade may also account for it in some locations and job types; but I don’t know what that those are. I’m not a union expert by any stretch.

Anyhow, I’ve asked OHR to answer some Q’s and they will hopefully return w/something I can send on to you. – L.