4 CFR § 4.3 - Removal for unacceptable performance.
GAO may reduce in grade/pay level or remove an employee for unacceptable performance in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(a) Employee entitlement. A GAO employee whose reduction in grade/pay level or removal is proposed under this section is entitled to -
(1) An advance written notice of the proposed action which identifies -
(i) Specific instances of unacceptable performance by the employee on which the proposed action is based; and
(ii) The critical elements of the employee's position involved in each instance of unacceptable performance.
(2) Be represented by an attorney or other representative.
(3) A reasonable time to answer orally and in writing.
(4) A written decision which -
(i) Specifies the instances of unacceptable performance by the employee on which the reduction in grade/pay level or removal is based.
(ii) Unless proposed by the Comptroller General or by a senior manager (e.g., the Deputy Comptroller General, an Assistant Comptroller General, or a Division or Office Director) has been concurred in by an employee who is in a higher position than the employee who proposed the action.
(b) Decisions to retain, reduce in grade/pay level or remove. The decision to retain, reduce in grade or remove a GAO employee -
(1) Shall be made within 30 days after the date of expiration of the notice period, and
(2) In the case of reduction in grade/pay level or removal, may be based only on those instances of unacceptable performance by the employee -
(i) Which occurred during the 1-year period ending on the date of the notice of the proposed action.
(ii) For which the notice and other requirements of this section are complied with.
(c) Performance improvement. If because of performance improvement by the employee during the notice period, the employee is not reduced in grade/pay level or removed, and the employee's performance continues to be acceptable for 1 year from the date of advance written notice, any records shall be retained only as prescribed by other recordkeeping requirements, such as grievances, adverse action appeals, or discrimination complaints. In these circumstances any entry or notation of unacceptable performance shall be removed from the employee's official personnel folder and maintained in separate files to be used only in connection with an employee initiated complaint.
(d) Appeals. A GAO employee who has been reduced in grade/pay level or removed under this section is entitled to appeal the action to the GAO Personnel Appeals Board.
(e) Nonapplicability. This section does not apply to -
(1) The reduction to the grade/pay level previously held of a supervisor or manager who has not completed the trial period.
(2) The reduction in grade/pay level or removal of a GAO employee who is serving a trial period under an initial appointment or who has not completed 1 year of current continuous employment under other than a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less.
(3) Employees in the GAO Senior Executive Service.