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Federal Managers Association

Washington Report

  • In 2014, the Government Accountability Office reported the federal government spent more than $3 billion on federal pay because of misuse of administrative leave between fiscal years 2011 to 2013. As a result, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) conducted his own investigation into the use of administrative leave within 18 federal departments and agencies. Furthermore, Senator Grassley and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) will introduce legislation calling for reforms to administrative leave and how it is used. The Federal Managers Association (FMA) worked with the Senators on this issue and is in support of common sense reforms.

    Senator Grassley commented in his report, “Based on the explanations and evidence received in the course of this inquiry, agencies are able to place an employee on administrative leave simply to avoid addressing an uncomfortable—or potentially even unjustifiable—personnel action.” The legislation proposed would put clear definitions on how long an employee can be placed on administrative leave, promoting efficiency throughout the federal government.

    In a letter to Senators Grassley and Tester, FMA offered support, commenting, “Managers need to be able to make a decision on an employee in a timely manner. By providing clear time lines and definitions for administrative leave through your legislation, managers can make better decisions for the workforce.” The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will markup the legislation on December 9, 2015.

    For more information on Senator Grassley’s investigation, please visit, www.grassley.senate.gov. To read the entire letter from FMA, please visit the Legislative Action Center of the FMA website, www.fedmanagers.org.


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The Association’s considerable influence stems from a team approach to advocacy. When lawmakers or agency decision-makers consider proposals that could adversely affect the management of the federal workforce, they quickly realize that TEAM FMA stands together to protect the interests of all its members.

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