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HRDG 4335 - Section C

Subchapter 4335
Voluntary Change in Official Duty Station
Section C - Application / Decisional Process


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Process Timeline




Does What?

1 Employee

Reviews this guidance.

Written requests will use MRP Form 372 - Employee Application for Change in Official Duty Station found in this subchapter which includes:

  • The reason(s) for the request and any supporting documentation.
  • If the request is for a permanent or temporary situation.
  • The current position title, series, grade level, and duty station.
  • The employee’s bargaining unit status. (Bargaining unit employees may not use this subchapter but must follow their applicable bargaining unit agreement.)
  • A copy of most recent performance appraisal.
  • FMLA forms, if applicable.

If the requested reassignment is to or from a location outside of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, completes MRP 375 - Employee Declaration of Residence for Home Leave Determinations, declaring residency status with any supporting documentation, if applicable.

Prepares the request for a change in ODS and forwards it to the first level supervisor.


First Level Supervisor

Receives the request and supporting documentation and documents the date of receipt.

Reviews employee request for a change in ODS. This means completing the MRP Form 370 - Managerial Assessment Worksheet for Change in Official Duty Station

This form will assist with documenting impacts and decision factors, as outlined below, to be considered by the 1st level supervisor and/or the approving official.

Evaluates the MRP 372 and all supporting documentation by considering the following points when evaluating the viability of a request:

  • Cost to the Agency:
    • Cost-benefits to the Agency (e.g., cost savings, cost avoidance, travel expenses, equipment needed, additional support, if any, by office personnel).
    • Gain or benefit to the employee (e.g., job satisfaction and pride, employee
    • Any salary and other benefits increase, decrease or neutrality due to the change in ODS.
    • Determine if there are any leasing issues if the request is to another facility be it government owned/leased or privately owned.
  • Benefit to the Mission:
    • Tangible and intangible mission-related benefit(s) to the Agency, if any, to include any value added to the Agency’s work processes and/or procedures.
    • Any adverse Agency impacts to current work projects, loss of expertise/skills, missed project obligations and commitments, staff impacts, or loss of project funding if the request were denied. How effectively will the work be performed from another location?
    • Determine if travel costs increase/decrease as a result of a change in ODS.
    • Why was the position placed in the current location? Was the location determined to be the best place to support employees or customers? How
      will a change impact employees and/or customers (stakeholders)? Will a
      change Impact the ability to service new customers? How has the work
      situation (position) changed or evolved? Would the impact increase, decrease or remain neutral?
    • Consider the degree of face-to-face interaction required by the position, if any.
      Are there communication challenges? Are there IT tools available to mitigate these challenges?
    • How would a change impact the employee’s coworkers? Would there be any
      impact in terms of workload (increases or decreases), professional relationships and the ability to communicate? Consider the impact on employees with either similar job duties and/or interaction with the employee? What type of interaction(s) is most effective? Any impact on employee morale?
    • How could the Agency benefit from the change? For example, could there be
      increased productivity due to an employee using less leave to handle personal
    • How would this change further support the Secretary’s customer service and
      customer experience initiatives?
    • Supervisor’s evaluation of the employee’s work assignments.
  • IT Requirements:
    • IT requirements and the need for IT support. Location of the office closest to the proposed duty station where IT support would be obtained.
    • Are there position-related IT requirements that would affect the employee’s
      Ability to be successful if the request were approved?
    • Has new or advanced technology changed the way the work of the position can be performed?
    • What technology is available that would support employee success? What is
      The cost of that technology? What is the learning curve to utilize the technology? What additional, if any, IT support would be needed? Are there
      any security, contractual and/or Departmental approvals needed to utilize the technology?
    • Security of IT information.
  • Other Significant Factors to Consider:
    • Geographic flexibility for the position. If none exists, advise the employee and Provide appeal rights.
    • Ability to maintain security of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
    • The first level supervisor’s certification that the duties of the position are
      portable and that the changing of the employee’s duty station will NOT adversely affect other employees.
    • The employee’s performance and rating.
    • Any disciplinary issues.
    • Any reasonable accommodation issues.
    • Does your Program have any additional policies and/or guidance in place concerning such requests?
    • How have your peers evaluated similar requests? Are decisions consistent?
    • How would you defend your decision either way?
    • Any other factors presented.

Thinking “big / little picture” (globally/locally) during the consideration process will help determine the feasibility of the request. Address any questions or need for clarification with the employee.

Note: For additional guidance / information on security issues contact :

  • IT for computer security / records management and,
  • HRO for position security clearance information.

Note: Remember the importance of evaluating all requests objectively and free from bias. When you have the delegated authority to make a decision, always thoroughly document your decision be it an approval or denial. In such a situation, document your decision using MRP Form 373, Decision Documentation for Change in Official Duty Station (ODS).

May consult with upper management and HRO to determine the feasibility of moving the employee’s
current position to the new requested location.

For those requests requiring a decision by the Program’s DA, completes the analysis within timeframe established by the Program. See chart in Section A-Roles and Responsibilities, Deputy Administrators.
All requests, regardless of approval level, must be decided upon within 30 calendar days unless an extension is granted as permissible in this Subchapter.

Note: If additional information/ documentation is requested, the employee must provide it within
7 calendar days. This will have the effect of extending the timeframe in which a decision will be made by an equal amount of time.

Employees may request an extension in order to, e.g., obtain additional documentation. Extensions may be granted in 7 calendar day increments but will extend the decisional timeframe by an equal amount of calendar days.

Approves or disapproves requests that are for six (6) months or less.

Forwards requests that are greater than 6 months or permanent to the DA for decision through the established chain of command. (Remember to annotate, in writing, the date of receipt of the request, of any extensions, and the date by which a written decision must be issued.)

3 DA

Reviews the documentation for requests that are:

  • For more than six (6) months, or
  • Permanent.

Consults with his/her management team, if appropriate, and

Documents his/her decision by completing MRP Form 373, Decision Documentation for Change in Official Duty Station (ODS).

Returns the package with his or her decision to the first level supervisor.

Note: A decision is required within 30 calendar days of the first level supervisor’s initial receipt of the request taking into account that any requested employee extension(s) will serve to extend the decisional timeframe by an equal amount of time.

4 First Level Supervisor

Provides the employee with a:

  • Copy of the decision, MRP Form 373,
  • MRP 370, and
  • Residency/home leave determination, if applicable.

Prepares and forwards the following to the servicing Staffing Specialist, HRO, for action:

  • Copies of the decision (approvals and denials) along with all of the supporting documentation (except for medical documentation which is given to RA, HRD), and
  • A Request for Personnel Action, SF-52, if applicable, that moves an employee to the new ODS which may be:
    • Within the U.S.,
    • From the U.S. to an overseas location, or
    • From an overseas location to the U.S.

Completes MRP Form 371, Change in Official Duty Station (ODS) Agreement with the employee.

If the request involves a move from the U.S. to an overseas location, determines, in writing (using MRP Form 375), the employee’s official residence location based on information provided by the employee.

Provides the employee with a copy of MRP Form 375, advising of the residency and home leave determinations if the request is for an overseas location. (Home leave determinations are made by the Leave and Compensation Team, HRO.)

Note: For temporary telework at a different location see HRDG Subchapter 4368, Telework.


Servicing Staffing Specialist:

  • Reviews the documentation to ensure correctness and completeness.
  • Contacts the supervisor or employee if additional information or documentation is needed.
  • If the reassignment is within the U.S. and doesn’t require a review by LCT, forwards the approved SF-52 to the Servicing Processing Assistant (go to Step 7).

HRO-Processing processes the change in ODS.


Reviews the submitted documentation.

Contacts the supervisor/employee and/or the servicing Staffing Specialist to obtain any additional information, if necessary.

Determines the employee’s eligibility for a 360 hour (45 day) leave ceiling and home leave.

Notifies the supervisor and the timekeeper of any change in annual leave ceiling, i.e., 360.

Advises the servicing Staffing Specialist, HRO, of the annual leave ceiling determination.


Servicing Staffing Specialist:

Forwards the SF-52 and advises the Servicing Processing Assistant (SPA), HRO, of the annual leave ceiling.

  • Forward the remaining paperwork to the SPO.
  • Provide a copy of the package (excluding medical documentation) to the Human Resources Policy Branch, Human Resources Division.

Processes the action.

After the action is processed, scans the following documents into eOPF:

  • SF-52,
  • Applicable MRP Forms 370, 371, 372, 373, 374, 375.
  • Employee’s written request with supporting documentation, if any, and/or
  • Employee’s written declaration of residence, if applicable.
  • Appeal, if applicable.

Note: No medical documentation is to be scanned into eOPF. An employee’s medical documentation is to be maintained by RA, HRD.

Employee Justification

When a life event occurs necessitating consideration of a change in official duty station (ODS), the following criteria must be addressed in a written justification and submitted along with the application, MRP Form 372 - Employee Application for Change in Official Duty Station to your immediate supervisor for his/her consideration. The justification must include information/explanation of:

  • Your Personal Situation
    • Explain the reason(s) for the request, e.g., medical, spousal/significant other, job relocation.
    • Identify if the request is for a permanent or temporary change in ODS. If the request is temporary, provide the beginning and ending dates.
    • For permanent ODS change requests, identify that you are requesting to change your ODS and to remain in your current position.
    • Explain any adverse impacts to you and your family if the request is not approved.
    • Discuss your personal suitability for a change in ODS. Identify any personal work-related characteristics and performance accomplishments that you would like considered when evaluating the request.
  • Cost to the Agency
    • Prepare a cost-benefit analysis (e.g., examples or estimates of cost savings, salary differential, cost avoidance, travel expenses, equipment needed).
  • Benefit to the Mission
    • Mission-related benefit(s) to MRP, both tangible and intangible, to include any value added to the Agency’s work processes and/or procedures.
    • Any adverse Agency impacts to current work projects, loss of expertise/skills, missed project obligations and commitments, staff impacts, or loss of project funding if the request is denied.
    • Method to evaluate your work assignments.
    • Address any possible impacts on coworkers.
  • Communication Needs
    • Time zone considerations, if any.
    • How official communication needs will be achieved or issues associated with the change in ODS.
  • IT Requirements
    • IT equipment needed from the Agency,
    • IT support, including repair and maintenance of laptop, PC or other Agency equipment, maintenance of phone and high speed internet connectivity,
    • Security of IT information
  • Any Other Significant Factors that need to be Considered

Appeal Process

Employees wanting to appeal a denial must follow the process outlined below.



Does what:



May appeal a denial to his or her Agency Administrator within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the denial.

Appeals must include a copy of all documentation and information as to why the employee believes his or her request should be approved.

Completes blocks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of MRP Form 374. Include this form with your submission.

Submits the request to the Agency Administrator through the chain of command.


Employee’s Chain of Command

Timely forwards the appeal up through the chain of command to the Agency Administrator.




Reviews the appeal.

Requests additional information, if needed. Requested information must be provided within 7 calendar days unless a written extension is requested by the employee. If the extension is granted, this will serve to extend the decision’s due date by an equal amount of time.

Issues a written decision using MRP Form 374, within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

Forwards the decision to the employee through the employee’s chain of command.




If the initial decision is reversed, ensures that a copy of the reversed decision is forwarded to HRO, to include any necessary paperwork, e.g., SF-52.

Provides a copy of the decision to the employee.

Note: Using the appeal process outlined above in no way negates, limits or diminishes an employee’s rights under any discrimination law or whistleblower protections.

Annual Review Process

For temporary or permanent changes in ODS lasting more than one year, the supervisor and the Deputy Administrator must perform an annual review to determine if the arrangement is still viable using MRP Form 373 - Decision Documentation for Change in Official Duty Station (ODS).

Each time an annual review is conducted, the employee and HRO must receive a copy of the decision. Any changes or reversals of decision, i.e., denial, are appealable to the Agency Administrator. The appeal process explained in this section applies.


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