5 U.S. Code § 4301 - Definitions

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For the purpose of this subchapter—
(1) “agency” means—
(A) an Executive agency; and
(B) the Government Printing Office;
but does not include—
(i) a Government corporation;
(ii) the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, or any Executive agency or unit thereof which is designated by the President and the principal function of which is the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities; or
(iii) the Government Accountability Office;
(2) “employee” means an individual employed in or under an agency, but does not include—
(A) an employee outside the United States who is paid in accordance with local native prevailing wage rates for the area in which employed;
(B) an individual in the Foreign Service of the United States;
(C) a physician, dentist, nurse, or other employee in the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs whose pay is fixed under chapter 73 of title 38;
(D) an administrative law judge appointed under section 3105 of this title;
(E) an individual in the Senior Executive Service or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service;
(F) an individual appointed by the President;
(G) an individual occupying a position not in the competitive service excluded from coverage of this subchapter by regulations of the Office of Personnel Management; or
(H) an individual who
(i) is serving in a position under a temporary appointment for less than one year,
(ii) agrees to serve without a performance evaluation, and
(iii) will not be considered for a reappointment or for an increase in pay based in whole or in part on performance; and
(3) “unacceptable performance” means performance of an employee which fails to meet established performance standards in one or more critical elements of such employee’s position.


(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 440; Pub. L. 91–375, § 6(c)(8),Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 776; Pub. L. 95–251, § 2(a)(1),Mar. 27, 1978, 92 Stat. 183; Pub. L. 95–454, title II, § 203(a),Oct. 13, 1978, 92 Stat. 1131; Pub. L. 100–325, § 2(f),May 30, 1988, 102 Stat. 581; Pub. L. 101–474, § 5(e),Oct. 30, 1990, 104 Stat. 1100; Pub. L. 101–510, div. A, title XII, § 1206(e),Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1661; Pub. L. 102–54, § 13(b)(2),June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 274; Pub. L. 103–359, title V, § 501(e),Oct. 14, 1994, 108 Stat. 3429; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title XI, § 1122(a)(1),Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2687; Pub. L. 108–271, § 8(b),July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title IX, § 931(a)(1),Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4575.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Derivation U.S. Code Revised Statutes and Statutes at Large
5 U.S.C. 2001. Sept. 30, 1950, ch. 1123, § 2, 64 Stat. 1098.
Sept. 1, 1954, ch. 1208, § 601(a), 68 Stat. 1115.
June 17, 1957, Pub. L. 85–56, § 2201(21), 71 Stat. 159.
July 11, 1957, Pub. L. 85–101, 71 Stat. 293.
Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–857, § 13(p), 72 Stat. 1266.
Mar. 26, 1964, Pub. L. 88–290, “Sec. 306(b)”, 78 Stat. 170.

In paragraph (1), the term “Executive agency” is substituted for the reference to “executive departments, the independent establishments and agencies in the executive branch, including corporations wholly owned by the United States” and “the General Accounting Office”. The exception of “a Government controlled corporation” is added in subparagraph (vii) to preserve the application of this chapter to “corporations wholly owned by the United States”. The exceptions for Production credit corporations and Federal intermediate credit banks in former section 2001(b)(5), (6) are omitted as they are no longer “corporations wholly owned by the United States”. Under the Farm Credit Act of 1956, 70 Stat. 659, the production credit corporations were merged in the Federal intermediate credit banks, and pursuant to that Act the Federal intermediate credit banks have ceased to be corporations owned by the United States. The exceptions for Federal land banks and banks for cooperatives in former section 2001(b)(7), (8) are omitted as included within the exception of “a Government controlled corporation” in subparagraph (vii).
Paragraph (2) is supplied because the definition of “employee” in section 2105 does not encompass individuals employed by the government of the District of Columbia. The definition in paragraph (2) does not encompass members of the uniformed services as they are not “employed” in or under an agency.
Paragraph (2)(E) is based on the third and fifth sentences, respectively, of former sections 1010 and 1011, which are carried into sections 5362 and 559, respectively, and section 1106(a) of the Act of Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, 63 Stat. 972.
Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined in the preface to the report.

2008—Par. (1)(ii) Pub. L. 110–417substituted “National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency” for “National Imagery and Mapping Agency”.
2004—Par. (1)(iii). Pub. L. 108–271substituted “Government Accountability Office” for “General Accounting Office”.
1996—Par. (1)(ii). Pub. L. 104–201substituted “National Imagery and Mapping Agency” for “Central Imagery Office”.
1994—Par. (1)(ii). Pub. L. 103–359inserted “the Central Imagery Office,” after “Defense Intelligence Agency,”.
1991—Par. (2)(C). Pub. L. 102–54substituted “Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs” for “Department of Medicine and Surgery, Veterans’ Administration”.
1990—Par. (1). Pub. L. 101–474redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which included Administrative Office of United States Courts within definition of “agency”.
Par. (2)(H). Pub. L. 101–510added subpar. (H).
1988—Par. (2)(E). Pub. L. 100–325inserted reference to Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Senior Executive Service.
1978—Pub. L. 95–454substituted provisions defining “agency”, “employee”, and “unacceptable performance” for provisions defining “agency” and “employee”.
Par. (2)(E). Pub. L. 95–251substituted “administrative law judge” for “hearing examiner”.
1970—Par. (1)(ii). Pub. L. 91–375repealed cl. (ii) which excluded postal field service from definition of “agency”.
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–201effective Oct. 1, 1996, see section 1124 ofPub. L. 104–201, set out as a note under section 193 of Title 10, Armed Forces.
Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–454effective 90 days after Oct. 13, 1978, see section 907 ofPub. L. 95–454, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–375effective within 1 year after Aug. 12, 1970, on date established therefor by Board of Governors of United States Postal Service and published by it in Federal Register, see section 15(a) ofPub. L. 91–375, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.

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5 CFR - Administrative Personnel




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