The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers the Merit System of Personnel Administration and acts in both a service and regulatory capacity. OPM is headed by the Administrator, who is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma State Senate.
The Merit System
Agencies, positions, and employees that are subject to the Merit System are classified. Procedures for the appointment of personnel to Merit System positions, the conditions of employment, and procedures for removal are governed by the Oklahoma Personnel Act and the Merit Rules of Personnel Administration. Merit System agencies also may employ unclassified employees where authorized by statute or Executive Order.
Non-Merit System Agencies
Agencies that are not subject to the Merit System are called "non-Merit System” agencies or “unclassified” agencies, and positions and employees in those agencies are "unclassified". The Oklahoma Personnel Act and the Merit Rules contain provisions that apply to both classified and unclassified employees, e.g., provisions relating to leave and certain employee rights, such as freedom of expression and the prohibitions against discrimination and retaliation. There are no universal procedures for the recruitment and appointment of unclassified officers and employees, or for the terms and conditions of their employment, except for performance appraisals; practices vary from one agency to another.
The Oklahoma Personnel Act: The Oklahoma Constitution gives the Legislature the power to make laws, to establish agencies, and to designate agency functions, budgets, and purposes. The Legislature created the Oklahoma Personnel Act in 1982, as the statutory basis for the state Merit System of Personnel Administration. Because the Legislature cannot establish every administrative aspect of general public policy by legislation, it has delegated rulemaking authority to state agencies through the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
The Merit Rules: The Merit System of Personnel Administration Rules (“Merit Rules for Employment” or “Merit Rules”) implement the various provisions of the Oklahoma Personnel Act. Together, the OPA and the Merit Rules define the “terms and conditions” of the employment relationship between the state of Oklahoma and classified employees. The OPM Administrator has rulemaking authority for the Merit Rules in Title 530, Chapter 10 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC); the Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission has rulemaking authority for the Merit Rules in OAC Title 455, Chapter 10.
Other Rules: The OPM Administrator also has rulemaking authority for other administrative rules:
- Voluntary Payroll Deduction
- Direct Deposit
- State Employee Child Care Program
- OPM Administrative Rules
In addition, OPM supports committees with rulemaking authority:
• State Agency Review Committee (Charitable Contribution Campaign Rules)
• Committee on Incentive Awards for State Employees (Productivity Enhancement Program Rules)