Congress approves GAO pay reform bill

A bill that would add a guaranteed pay raise for Government Accountability Office employees soon will go to the president for his signature. The House passed its version of the bill Sept. 9, and the measure had earlier cleared the Senate.

The Government Accountability Office Act, (H.R. 5683), would supplement GAO’s pay-for-performance compensation system with a minimum guaranteed raise for employees. The bill would ensure that, as long as employees perform satisfactorily, they would receive an annual increase at least equal to that paid under the General Schedule system.

Hearings and investigations by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia Subcommittee, found problems in GAO’s pay and salary system. Employees who received satisfactory performance reviews were not getting equal pay raises, according to a report accompanying the bill.

Because GAO didn’t give across-the-board pay increases, the bill also would provide for salary increases and lump-sum payments to GAO employees who were denied cost-of-living increases in 2006 and 2007.

In addition, the bill would establish an Office of the Inspector General at GAO.

The IG would investigate and report on GAO, similar to the duties of IGs in other legislative and executive agencies, the bill states.

The Senate passed its version of the bill Aug. 1.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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