Lawmaker introduces bill to account for ‘official time’

Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-Fla.) introduced legislation (H.R. 4392) requiring the Office of Personnel Management to submit an annual report to Congress relating to federal employees’ use of so-called “official time” to conduct union-related activities during work hours.

“I introduced H.R. 4392 so Congress may better account for federal employees’ use of working hours and eliminate wasteful spending,” Ross said in rolling out the legislation. “This bill will require the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit an annual, detailed report to Congress on the use of ‘Official Time’ by federal employees, outlining specific types of activities or purposes for which this time was granted.”

“Unfortunately,” he said, “from my time as the former chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, I learned firsthand that the OPM has very little accountability for the use of ‘Official Time’ by federal employees.”

Ross said the use of the time costs the government about $157 million a year. 

Reader comments

Wed, Mar 2, 2016

How about tracking the time wasted by Labor Relations Specialist giving out misinformation, telling management to violate laws & contracts? How about tracking management misconduct?

Fri, Feb 5, 2016

Official time helps whistleblowers fight the retaliation that follows disclosure. Without Unions Vets would still be on waitlists in AZ .

Fri, Feb 5, 2016 Jenyfer Shaw AFB

This is a joke! As a union officer I have to submit a form documenting my time to my Supervisor. How's about we track time wasted by Congress on frivolous bills or an accurate tracking of time they actually do WORK for the people (not lobbying or trying for re-election). This must be a step backwards to the "hate Unions" timeframe.

Thu, Feb 4, 2016

How about congress stop trying to balance the years of their over spending during the previous administration on the backs of the Federal Employees and start taking it out of the 1% who they pander to. Wasn't freezing our pay and then insulting us with only 1% increases since then which don't even close the gap between salary and the increases in our community's cost of living over the past 5 years, enough for them? They created this mess starting back in Reagan's administration, why should we think they can fix the very thing they broke? Boggles the mind that Republicans think privatization of the Federal Government is a good idea, look how well that has worked for the prison system, creating one of the biggest billion dollar industries in the US at the cost of the American tax payer. How about looking at reforming that system first to save money?

Thu, Feb 4, 2016

Why is it always the GOP who introduces legislation attacking federal worker's pay, benefits, pensions, etc.? Yet 80% of the work force is conservative and works very hard b/c its a privilege to be a public servant, not to be a servant to lobbyists. It's Washington that wastes money, not us little worker bees.

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above


Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

Free E-Newsletter


I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question