Senator Digs into Long-Term Administrative Leave at DHS
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants to know why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has had 88 employees on paid administrative leave for over a year.
Sen. Grassley sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking an explanation for why extended periods of paid leave were necessary, writing that the reasons provided by the department were “too broad and vague to assess whether other actions might have been more appropriate.”
DHS had informed Grassley in a January letter that four agency employees have been on paid administrative leave for approximately three years or more, and an additional 17 employees were on administrative leave for approximately two years or more.
Grassley asserted that extended administrative leave was contrary to OPM and GAO guidance and decisions that state administrative leave should be used in “rare circumstances” when an employee poses a threat to themselves, other employees, result in loss of or damage to government property, or otherwise jeopardize legitimate government interests.
The Senator has been conducting a governmentwide inquiry into agency use of administrative leave for over a year, and is working on a bipartisan bill with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to force agencies to make a decision on whether an employee poses a danger to other employees or government interest or property, or whether the individual can remain in a duty status somewhere while an investigation is conducted.
“The goal is to make sure federal employees are working for taxpayers and not lingering on paid leave at taxpayer expense,” Grassley said of the forthcoming legislation.
Posted in General News