Senator’s ‘Stop Improper Federal Bonuses Act’ bill advances

A Senate oversight committee has advanced a bill that would prohibit federal agencies from giving bonuses to employees who have committed major infractions under an agency’s code of conduct.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) reintroduced the Stop Improper Federal Bonuses Act earlier this month, and it unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs July 26.

According to a 2018 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report, between October 2015 and December 2016, the Internal Revenue Service issued more than $1.7 million in awards to 1,962 employees with disciplinary or adverse actions.

“We have to end the practice of federal agencies awarding bonuses to employees who have engaged in serious misconduct or criminal behavior,” Fisher said in a statement, adding, “Under my bill, bonuses to federal workers will only be given on the basis of merit. This will help ensure we are using taxpayer dollars in a wise and responsible manner.”

The bill would prevent agencies from giving a bonus to an employee for five years after the end of a fiscal year in which the agency makes an “adverse finding."

An adverse finding is described as when an employee violates a workplace policy for which they could be terminated or suspended for at least 14 days, or when an employee violates a law that has a minimum of a 12 month sentence.

Fischer introduced a similar bill in 2017.

2021 Digital Almanac

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