OPM gets new incentive to award incentives

The Office of Personnel Management no longer has to consult with the Office of Management and Budget every time it wants to award some types of incentive pay. President Bush issued a new executive order Dec. 5 that revokes sections of older orders to create the new flexibility.

"This is giving more authority to OPM to offer special rates, recruiting, retention and relocation incentives without getting OMB approval," OPM spokesman Mike Orenstein said.

The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 had already supplanted some of the older executive orders, but the new one makes it slightly easier for OPM to act, Orenstein said.

“This executive order was issued to coincide with the law," he said. "Nothing has changed, but we don’t have to consult necessarily with external groups. We had the decision powers anyway, but with consultation with OMB.”

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