House Panel Moves to Limit Administrative Leave Use
Following last month’s introduction in the Senate, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has passed its own measure to curb the use of administrative leave.
The Administrative Leave Reform Act would cap the use of paid administrative leave at 14 days per year to be used when an employee is facing a disciplinary action for alleged misconduct or poor performance. Following the 14 days, agencies would be required to return the employee to a duty status.
An amendment was adopted to provide some exceptions, including a provision for employees that may represent a threat to public safety, government property or the agency mission. In those instances, up to 30 days of administrative leave would be allotted. Congress would also require an explanation from the agency for any additional 30-day period extensions.
“Administrative leave is an appropriate tool, to a point... It’s not fair to the employee, it’s not fair to the government for this to go on in perpetuity,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
Agencies are currently allowed to use administrative leave at their discretion.
Last summer, following a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) sent agencies a memorandum informing them that they would begin collecting more information on the use of administrative leave. This came after GAO released a report that found agencies spent $3.1 billion between 2011 and 2013 paying employees put on administrative leave.
This House bill was originally put forward in committee in January, but was withdrawn before a vote.
Posted in From the Hill