Chaffetz mounts second federal pay investigation into employee bonuses

Less than a month after opening a governmentwide investigation into federal employees’ pay, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is taking a closer look at agency bonuses to rank-and-file federal workers and members of the Senior Executive Service.

In letters to the heads of the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service, Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, requested documents on performance award bonuses for the past 10 years.

Chaffetz asked the agencies for the titles and salary grades for federal employees who received a rating-based award, time-off award or any incentives tied to recruitment, retention or referrals between 2005 and 2015.

The letter also requests that the agencies provide the names, titles and salary grades of every member of the Senior Executive Service who received a Presidential Rank Award.

Members of the SES selected for the awards typically receive between 20-35 percent of their salary in a one-time bonus. The White House suspended bonuses for the awards in 2013, due to sequestration, but reinstated the money in 2014.

On Feb. 23, Chaffetz wrote to acting Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert, asking for a wide swath of information on federal workers’ compensation for the past 5 years, including the number of employees in the SES who received a pay raise or bonus governmentwide, and the number and percentage of federal employees who earned more than $100,000 or $150,000 in fiscal 2015.

Chaffetz asked that OPM respond by March 7. A House Oversight Committee spokesman on March 8 said the committee was still working with OPM on the request.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee did not immediately return comment on why this latest investigation includes these three agencies.

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