Last week the White House announced, via an unnamed administration official quoted in a Wall Street Journal article, that it would be suspending the Presidential Rank Award program for 2013. Presidential Rank Awards are one of the highest honors a civil servant can receive, and they are awarded to only a small fraction of Senior Executive Service (SES) members.
The administration official said that "while the President does not intend to issue any Presidential Rank Awards this year, we are focused on finding means to acknowledge excellence in non-monetary ways."
"The President is committed to recognizing excellence," the administration official said. "However, in light of the reduced budgetary resources, expending funds on employee performance awards at this time would in many circumstances not be the most effective way to protect agency mission to the extent practicable."