5 CFR 293.404 - Retention schedule.
(1) Except as provided in § 293.405(a), performance ratings or documents supporting them are generally not permanent records and shall, except for appointees to the SES and including incumbents of executive positions not covered by SES, be retained as prescribed below:
(i) Performance ratings of record, including the performance plans on which they are based, shall be retained for 4 years;
(ii) Supporting documents shall be retained for as long as the agency deems appropriate (up to 4 years);
(iii) Performance records superseded (e.g., through an administrative or judicial procedure) and performance-related records pertaining to a former employee (except as prescribed in § 293.405(a)) need not be retained for a minimum of 4 years. Rather, in the former case they are to be destroyed and in the latter case agencies shall determine the retention schedule; and
(iv) Except where prohibited by law, retention of automated records longer than the maximum prescribed here is permitted for purposes of statistical analysis so long as the data are not used in any action affecting the employee when the manual record has been or should have been destroyed.
(2) When an employee is reassigned within the employing agency, disposition of records in this system, including transfer with the employee who changes positions, shall be as agencies prescribe and consistent with § 293.405(a).
(3) Appraisals of unacceptable performance, where a notice of proposed demotion or removal is issued but not effected, and all documents related thereto, manual and automated, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4303(d) must be destroyed after the employee completes one year of acceptable performance from the date of the written advance notice of the proposed removal or reduction in grade notice. Under conditions specified by an agency, and earlier destruction date is permitted and destruction must be no later than 30 days after the year is up.
(b) Performance records for Senior Executive Service appointees, including those serving under a Presidential appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), are to be retained as follows:
(1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4314(b) (3) and (4), Senior Executive Service appointees shall have their performance-related records maintained for five consecutive years (from the date the appraisal is issued) beginning with the effective date of appointment, including individuals receiving appointments pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3593(b).
(2) When an appointee of the Senior Executive Service moves to another position in the Service, either with the same or a different agency, all appropriate performance-related documents five years old or less shall be forwarded in the Employee Performance File along with the individual's OPF.
(3) When an employee in the Senior Executive Service accepts a Presidential appointment pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3392(c), the employee's performance file shall be retained as long as the employee remains employed under that Presidential appointment. When the appointment ends, and the individual does not return to the Senior Executive Service, the employee's performance file shall be destroyed in accordance with agency procedures.
(c) Where any performance-related document is needed in connection with an ongoing administrative, negotiated, quasi-judicial, or judicial proceeding, and it continues to be retained in this system rather than another system, it may be retained for as long as necessary beyond the retention schedules identified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
(d) Screening and purging of folders/envelopes and rating official's work files for the purpose of compliance with these retention schedules shall be through any agency process insuring consistency with the requirements.