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SGM No. 22-02
TO: Area Directors
FROM: Acting Director, Indian Health Service
SUBJECT: Indian Health Service Headquarters Oversight of Area-wide Misconduct or Substandard Performance Policies

The purpose of this Special General Memorandum (SGM) is to announce the Headquarters oversight of Area-wide Misconduct or Substandard Performance Policies issued by the Indian Health Service (IHS) Areas Offices for implementation Area-wide.

Federal employees are expected to demonstrate high standards of integrity, both on and off the job, abiding by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Standards of Conduct regulations (45 CFR Part 73) and other Federal and Departmental laws, rules, and regulations. When established standards of conduct are violated, or the rules of the workplace are disregarded, corrective action is warranted to motivate employees to conform to acceptable behavioral standards and prevent prohibited and/or unsafe activities. Such corrective actions should comport with applicable agency policy, laws, and regulations and be administered with relative consistency that will promote the efficiency of the service.

All IHS Areas must obtain Headquarters review and clearance of Area-wide policies that include information on addressing and/or preventing misconduct or substandard performance.

The IHS Areas must obtain clearance of all Area-wide policies from the Headquarters Office of Human Resources (OHR). This includes current, new, or revisions to policies.

The IHS Areas must submit new and revised Misconduct or Substandard Performance policies to the Director, Division of Workforce Relations and Policy (DWRP), OHR, for review and clearance before implementing. Current Area policies require clearance and must be submitted to the OHR/DWRP within six months from the date this SGM was signed.

When submitting Area policies, a separate document must accompany the policy that includes information on how the policy aligns to current HHS and IHS misconduct or substandard performance policies and the purpose, goals, and objectives for issuance of an Area-wide policy.

Upon submission, the OHR/DWRP will review and return policies that are inconsistent with current IHS and HHS misconduct or substandard performance policies for revision. Areas are required to update the policies as requested and return them to the OHR/DWRP for final review and clearance.

The OHR/DWRP will review the revised Area policy, and, if the policy is in compliance, sign the Misconduct or Substandard Performance Policy Clearance Form (see attachment) and return the policy to the Area for implementation Area-wide. If the Area policy is not in compliance, it will be sent back until all required revisions are made.

The OHR/DWRP will review Area policy submissions and return for revisions or with final clearance within 60 days of receipt.

The OHR/DWRP will retain a copy of the Area misconduct or substandard performance policy and a copy of the Misconduct or Substandard Performance Policy Clearance Form for record keeping.

Effective Date

This SGM becomes effective on the date signed.

/Elizabeth A. Fowler/
Elizabeth A. Fowler
Acting Director
Indian Health Service

Attachment: Misconduct or Substandard Performance Policy Clearance Form [PDF - 59 KB]