Message to the Congress Transmitting a Report on the Exclusion of Certain Federal Employees From the Performance Management and Recognition System

October 30, 1985

To the Congress of the United States:

Supervisors and management officials in GS - 13, 14, and 15 positions throughout the Federal government are covered by the Performance Management and Recognition System as required by Chapter 54, Title 5, U.S. Code, unless otherwise excluded by law.

Upon proper application from the heads of affected agencies and upon the recommendation of the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, I have excluded, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5402(b)(1), three agencies, units of agencies, and classes of employees from coverage under the Performance Management and Recognition System.

In accordance with Section 205(d) of P.L. 98 - 615, any agency or unit of an agency that was excluded from merit pay immediately prior to enactment of this legislation is excluded from coverage under the Performance Management and Recognition System for the 12-month period beginning on the date of enactment. However, such exclusion may be revoked at any time in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5402(b)(5). Upon request of the heads of the affected agencies and upon recommendation of the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, I have revoked the exclusion of seven agencies and units of agencies so that they may implement the Performance Management and Recognition System in fiscal year 1986.

Attached is my report describing the agencies to be excluded and the reasons therefor. I am also providing the names of those agencies for which the exclusion is revoked.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

October 30, 1985.

Note: The exclusions affected certain employees of the Board of Veterans Appeals, Veterans Administration; NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe; NATO International Staff (Evere, Belgium); NATO Integrated Communications System Management Agency; NATO Supply Center (Cappellen, Luxembourg); SHAPE; and the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of the Interior. The revocations of exclusions affected the Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation; the Committee for Purchase from the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped; the Commission of Fine Arts; the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission; the Japan-United States Friendship Commission; the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Department of the Interior; and the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

Message to the Senate Transmitting the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

October 30, 1985

To the Senate of the United States:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, adopted on October 24, 1980 by the Fourteenth Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and opened for signature on October 25, 1980.

The Convention is designed to secure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained outside that country. It also seeks to facilitate the exercise of visitation rights across international borders. The Convention reflects a worldwide concern about the harmful effects on children of parental kidnapping and a strong desire to fashion an effective deterrent to such conduct.

The Convention's approach to the problem of international child abduction is a simple one. The Convention is designed promptly to restore the factual situation that existed prior to a child's removal or retention. It does not seek to settle disputes about legal custody rights, nor does it depend upon the existence of court orders as a condition for returning children. The international abductor is denied legal advantage from the abduction to or retention in the country where the child is located, as resort to the Convention is to effect the child's swift return to his or her circumstances before the abduction or retention. In most cases this will mean return to the country of the child's habitual residence where any dispute about custody rights can be heard and settled.

The Convention calls for the establishment of a Central Authority in every Contracting State to assist applicants in securing the return of their children or in exercising their custody or visitation rights, and to cooperate and coordinate with their counterparts in other countries toward these ends. Moreover, the Convention establishes a judicial remedy in wrongful removal or retention cases which permits an aggrieved parent to seek a court order for the prompt return of the child when voluntary agreement cannot be achieved. An aggrieved parent may pursue both of these courses of action or seek a judicial remedy directly without involving the Central Authority of the country where the child is located.

The Convention would represent an important addition to the State and Federal laws currently in effect in the United States that are designed to combat parental kidnapping -- specifically, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act now in effect in every State in the country, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980, the 1982 Missing Children Act and the Missing Children's Assistance Act. It would significantly improve the chances a parent in the United States has of recovering a child from a foreign Contracting State. It also provides a clear-cut method for parents abroad to apply for the return of children who have been wrongfully taken to or retained in this country. In short, by establishing a legal right and streamlined procedures for the prompt return of internationally abducted children, the Convention should remove many of the uncertainties and the legal difficulties that now confront parents in international child abduction cases.

Federal legislation will be submitted to provide for the smooth implementation of the Convention within the United States. This legislation will be consistent with the spirit and intent of recent congressional initiatives dealing with the problem of interstate child abduction and missing children.

United States ratification of the Convention is supported by the American Bar Association. The authorities of many States have indicated a willingness to do their part to assist the Federal government in carrying out the mandates of the Convention.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Convention and accord its advice and consent to ratification, subject to the reservations described in the accompanying report of the Secretary of State.

Ronald Reagan
The White House,
October 30, 1985.