Number:  112-29
Date:  December 21, 2012

House Passes H.R. 6016
The Government Employee Accountability Act

On December 19, 2012, the House passed H.R. 6016, the Government Employee Accountability Act by a vote of 402-2.  The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

Following are provisions of interest to SSA.

Investigative Leave

  • Would allow Federal agencies to use “investigative leave” to discipline career appointees (executives) in the Senior Executive Service (SES). 
  • Agencies could place an executive on investigative leave for up to 90 days for the following reasons:
    • Misappropriation of funds;
    • Misconduct;
    • Neglect of duty; or
    • Malfeasance.
  • An executive on investigative leave would not be charged with annual or sick leave and would retain his or her pay.  However, agencies could also suspend an executive’s pay if the conduct in question was “serious” or “flagrant.”
  • Would provide an executive with procedural protections, including the opportunity to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
  • Would require agencies, after placing an executive on investigative leave, to review the investigation every 45 days and submit a report to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
  • Would require agencies to take one of the following actions at the end of a period of investigative leave:
    • Remove the executive;
    • Suspend the executive without pay;
    • Reinstate or restore the executive to duty; or
    • Place the executive on one additional period of investigative leave up to 90 days.    

Suspension or Removal for Misappropriation of Funds

  • Would allow agencies to suspend executives without pay for 14 days or remove them from the civil service for misappropriation of funds.    
  • Would prevent agencies from reinstating in the SES or placing in another personnel system former-executives who had been removed due to misappropriation of funds.

Suspension to Promote the Efficiency of Service

  • Would allow certain executives to be suspended without pay for no more than 14 days if it would promote the efficiency of service (for example, if the executive were repeatedly discourteous to the public).