The Trump administration is also planning to study the full scope of federal employees’ pay, benefits other opportunities for recognition, in effort to prove to Congress that the workforce would benefit from more flexible performance-based awards over across-the-board pay raises.
More than 81 percent of career members of the Senior Executive Service earned an award in 2016, compared to about 71 percent in fiscal 2015.
Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson wrote to Congress this week, asking that it begin work immediately to repeal cuts to the agency’s award and incentive spending. Congress cut VA’s performance bonus budget by about 20 percent next year to cover opioid-addiction treatment programs for veterans.
Agencies have gotten approval from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management raise spending caps slightly on performance awards and bonuses for all non-Senior Executive Service employees in fiscal 2017. Agencies can now spend up to 1.5 percent of the aggregate salaries for those employees at the end of the fiscal year.
About 71 percent of senior executives received a performance bonus from their agencies in fiscal 2015, a slight bump over the roughly 68 percent who picked up an award in 2014. A new report from the Office of Personnel Management shows the average award totaled $10,746, nearly $200 more than 2014’s average.
As deadlines come and go, OPM answered some frequently asked questions about an executive order, signed in 2015, that mandated reforms to the Senior Executive Service.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants information from Office of Personnel Management acting Director Beth Cobert about SES members getting multiple performance bonuses in the same fiscal year.
Leaders within the federal manager community offered a mixed bag of reactions to President Obama’s new executive order on Service Executive Service reform. Higher performance bonuses largely went over well, but others had more questions over the timeline and implementation of the initiatives.
The White House introduced new steps to attract, develop and retain current and future members of the Senior Executive Service. President Obama signed an executive order Dec. 15, which gives agencies four major tasks for implementing SES reform.
Salaries barely changed from fiscal 2013. But 12.2 percent more SES members received performance awards.