What Is the Office of Personnel Management?

The Office of Personnel Management is a U.S government agency that manages many aspects of federal government civil service, such as federal job openings, determining hiring policies and conducting background checks and security clearances for prospective employees. It also ensures workplace fairness and merit-based processes on a government-wide basis.

The OPM also handles all pension benefit, health and insurance matters for current and retired employees and their families. Additionally, it coordinates training and development for employees and agencies and establishes new government personnel policies.

The OPM is the end result of the reorganization of the Civil Service Commission in 1978. Each new agency created by the reorganization was tasked with varying responsibilities over the Civil Service Commission’s original mandates, with the OPM taking ownership of civil service personnel matters.