Effective Date: Expiration Date: Chapters:
May 10, 2021 When Superseded 2  


The District of Columbia has over 30,000 jobs across the city. Although our workforce is split into various offices and departments, we are one government. Sometimes the city’s service needs may change temporarily. To best serve our residents, we often look within our workforce for the talent and skills required to meet these needs. This guidance outlines the nature of detail actions, how to identify internal talent to meet a time-limited need, and the procedures used to effectuate a detail.


District government agencies will occasionally have needs that go beyond their current workforce or face challenges where an unforeseen loss in talent compromises an agency’s ability to function in an efficient and responsive manner. In order to meet those needs, Career Service employees may be detailed to temporary appointments.

  1. Detail appointments may last for 180 days; and
  1. DCHR may extend each of these detail appointments for good cause.

Identifying Needs and Talent

When an agency identifies a needed skill set, they should first consult with their agency leadership to determine whether those skills are available internally. If an agency finds that internal talent is insufficient, they may request a detail from another agency by:

  1. Collaborating informally with other agencies. Typically, an agency official such as an HR Officer, Chief of Staff, or manager is aware of an employee at another agency who has the skill set required to meet the temporary need.
  2. Making a request to multiple agencies. An agency may not always be aware of specific employees who meet their needs and will ask one or more agencies if they can identify potential employees. In these cases, management officials may identify and select staff for detail, or they may ask staff to volunteer. Regardless of how talent is identified, agencies must decide whether the employee:
    1. Has the skill set and experience to fit the talent need;
    2. Will be detailed to the agency on a part-time or full-time basis; and
    3. Has any logistical needs that must be coordinated, such as CBA requirements, scheduled FMLA leave, or scheduled vacation time.

NOTE: If an agency has difficulty identifying talent, they may reach out to DCHR for assistance. The requesting agency should contact their assigned DCHR Human Resources Specialist.

Implementing a Detail

For any detail action, there are typically four steps that home and receiving agencies must take for the detail to be successful.

Step 1 – Confirm Needs

Each agency’s human resources office, or its equivalent, should facilitate discussions between the managers at the home and receiving agency. These discussions must result in agreement about the specifics of the detail, including:

  • Start and end dates;
  • Duty location or telework arrangements;
  • Detailee’s duties and responsibilities; and
  • Each agency’s respective financial responsibility (e.g., will the receiving agency reimburse the home agency through an intra-District transfer.)

Step 2 – Select the Detailee

  • Identify the employee(s) based on the skill set needed to perform the duties of the detail position.

Step 3 – Inform Labor Unions

The Human Resources Specialist for the home agency should:

  • Gather information on any labor agreement requirements regarding pay, overtime, or scheduling; and
  • Meet with and notify the appropriate labor union(s) before detailing their union members.

Step 4 – Confirm Detail Action

  • Verify the detail between the home agency and the receiving agency:
    • Confirm the number of employees available for detail;
    • Alert the receiving agency of any conflicts fulfilling their request; and
    • Submit the employee(s) information for the receiving agency to review.
  • The Human Resources Advisor (HRA) must draft the detail notice for details lasting 2 or more pay periods.
  • The home agency provides the impacted employee(s) with written notice of the detail action.
  • The home agency processes the Personnel Action Request (PAR) in PeopleSoft.
    • The PAR for a detail serves as a record and notates the Not to Exceed (NTE) Date.
    • Large detail actions involving more than 10 employees do not need to be entered into PeopleSoft.
    • Details with an NTE date of less than 2 pay periods do not need to be entered into PeopleSoft.
    • Detail actions that take place during a State of Emergency lasting 90 days or more do not require a PAR.


Communication is key to a successful detail. All involved parties should communicate often to ensure a smooth transition and minimize resistance from employees or unions. Once the talent has been identified by the home agency, the manager should schedule a meeting with the impacted employee(s) to set the expectation for the detail assignment.

Example of Good Communication

Manager: Thank you so much for accepting the detail to DCHR. You will be providing a great service to that agency and the District.

Employee: Thank you, I am glad I can be of assistance. Details are mandatory right, or could I have said no?

Manager: Details are mandatory; however, they provide a great service to the District and it is always the goal to ensure the employee is not inconvenienced.

Employee: I am a few years away from retirement. Will this be considered a break in service?

Manager: No, there is no break in service when a detail takes place.

Employee: Great, that is good to know.

Manager: [At this point in the conversation the manager should provide the employee with as much information about the detail assignment, such as whether the employee will work in a telework environment or report to an office. Additionally, the manager should provide the employee with the expected start and end dates of the detail and any other pertinent information. The manager should remind the employee prior to the start of the detail to set up autoreplies for their email and voicemail with the team member who will be handling the employee’s duties while they are detailed.]

Employee: Great, thanks for all the information. This has been helpful. I am looking forward to this assignment.

Employee Equipment, Supervision, and Compensation

The key to a successful detail is preparation. Prior to arrival, whether in the office or in a telework environment, the receiving agency should ensure everything is ready for the employee to begin work. This preparation includes setting up and securing equipment, ensuring that management is aware of the detailee’s arrival, and working with the home agency to determine which agency will approve and process payroll.

NOTE: As of the date of this issuance, the District government is operating in a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, a receiving agency must ensure that proper protocols are followed if a detailee is required to physically report to a work location. Receiving agencies should refer to the District Government Return to Work Guide for additional guidance.


Step 1 – Equipment

Once the detail action has been finalized, the receiving agency should determine if the employee will work remotely or via telework. If the employee is currently teleworking, OCTO and each agency’s IT department will determine if the employee can use their current laptop to complete the detail assignment, or if the employee will require new equipment from the receiving agency.

If the employee will need to physically report to an office, the receiving agency should ensure that a space is ready for the employee prior to arrival. The receiving agency should ensure that if the employee needs any of the equipment listed below, the equipment is procured and delivered to the employee prior to the start of the detail assignment:

  • Desktop or laptop;
  • Access to software, applications, or programs;
  • Desk phone and/or cellphones;
  • Badging access or any special building access;
  • Office supplies; and
  • Office procedures or rules.

Step 2 - Supervision

The receiving agency handles assigning a supervisor for the detailed employee.

  1. The supervisor should ensure that any required trainings are prepared before the arrival of the employee.
  2. The supervisor should schedule a meeting with the employee at the start of the detail assignment and invite any team members that will work with the employee during the detail assignment.
    • If the employee will report to an office, the supervisor should ensure that the employee receives a tour of the workspace.
  3. The supervisor is responsible for the day to day supervision of the employee during the detail. The supervisor should check-in with the employee periodically and consult with the home agency HRA or time approver if the employee needs to use leave during the detail.
  4. All work products and assignments during the detail will be provided by and turned in to the supervisor.

Step 3 - Compensation

The home agency is responsible for the continuous compensation of the detailed employee.

The home agency approves time and leave requests. In some cases, the salary for the detailed employee will be paid by the receiving agency; in those cases, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be drafted and noted in the detail action prior to the start of the detail.

When Details End

At least five days before the detail is scheduled to end (NTE date), the receiving agency should send an email to the home agency and the impacted employee(s) as a reminder that the detail is coming to an end. The receiving agency supervisor should meet with the detailed employee to thank them for their service and receive all final assignments and work materials.

Once the detail ends, the impacted employee should work with the IT department to remove any access from their laptop, or plan to drop off equipment to the receiving agency. If the employee was working on site, the employee should leave all keys, keycards, or agency supplies at the workstation where they were assigned.  

At the conclusion of the detail, the employee will return to their home agency and work in their previous capacity. Upon returning from the detail, the employee’s supervisor should meet or communicate with the employee to welcome them back and alert them of any new projects or assignments. If the employee is a member of a union, the HRA should communicate to the union representatives that the employee has returned from the detail. The detail PAR action should be updated notating the end of the detail assignment.



  1. Sample Detail Notification Letter

Issued by Director Ventris C. Gibson, D.C. Department of Human Resources on May 10, 2021, 9:42 a.m.