Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Is your pay a matter of public record?

If you have wondered how much your boss or co-worker makes, you may have an easy way to find out.

Although the new pay rate database at—which contains public pay rate data from the Office of Personnel Management—does not list the pay of every fed (national security concerns), it sure does list it for a lot of them. You’re probably in there, too.

What you find in the database could make you feel either better or worse, depending on your point of view

We tried it for a few folks we know, and were a bit surprised—both at how much and how little—some people make.

Where you live is a factor. Feds in the capital region—Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia—are among the most well-paid, on average. But of course, the “average” pay in those states is affected by the large number of high-ranking feds in the mix compared to other areas of the country, and the higher cost of living in the region.

But go ahead. Look, if you dare …

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 RayW

In many Real Life jobs it is a firing offense to say what your actual pay is (I know because I worked in Real Life for 16 years) and in some cases you are discouraged from even saying what your title is. Yet here is a NAME, STATE, ORGANIZATION, TITLE, and SALARY being posted. I know that there are some posters who think it is cool that information I would not give out for privacy (and yes it is privacy when someone can target you based on where you live, how much you make, and what work you do) reasons is spread out.

Since I am DoD I did not show up and I noticed that some friends in the IRS did not either, but for those who do not think it is an issue, consider this. You are at work. Someone with a bone to pick with (insert organization) does a search, finds that you are a very high dollar employee making over $100K a year for the organization or someone special like a guard, looks up your name in a Google etc. search, and then while you are at work watches your daughter, son, wife (and for EEO reasons, or husband) go somewhere and does something anti-social to them? Farfetched? Not really, there are the McVees, Osama Bin Ladins, Chinese and other countries, or even third parties and other nut cases out there who will go for an easy target that will make the news and give free publicity to their cause or a chance at getting inside your facility.

As far as what my pay is, if you know my GS level and step, you can find out what my pay is (although NSPS did put many of us who worked above step 10), but you have to have a need to know to find that out, because I do not publish it tied to my name.

I think anyone who shows up on this list should file a high dollar lawsuit against congress (since they are probably the ones who mandated this) and OPM to get it removed. Yes, the $$ will come from the tax payers and the house, senate, and president will just pay it, ignore it, and keep on with business as usual.

Wed, Dec 7, 2011

HEY PII VIOLATION: You need to look at the NIST SP800-122; Section 2 of examples of PII data. Then you need to take the test again. Because it is NOT a PII violation for this info to be published. I don't see SSN info being displayed. You can capture most of this info on a simple google search. However, there is an issue for CYBER, like where this website gets its info and is it properly protected?

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 Paul

As someone that deals with privacy issues every day I wouldn't consider this a violation, although it is a little distasteful. I'm not sure about the regulations in this regard but my understanding is that as civil servants, our position and pay are available to the public as part of an open government. Although those of us in DoD are excluded, I found it interesting to see how overpaid some civilians in other agencies are. Some make well over GS-15 step 10 for positions that shouldn't be more than 13/14 at best. Even with professional compensation, it seems a little high. I've never really agreed with the social rule about not disclosing work compensation so I kind of like this.

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 PII Violation Mississippi

I agree! I feel that peoples names should NOT be published with locations & pay. Position would be more appropriate. This opens the door for potentially a world of problems.

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 Don

Feds should not fret about contractor pay. As we read this, Congress is trying to pass legislation that includes a $400,000/year pay cap for employees of federal contractors. I believe the current cap on contractors salaries is $700,000/year. Ah, the efficiencies of the private sector!

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

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group