H.R. 6016: Government Employee Accountability Act

H.R. 6016

Government Employee Accountability Act

Sponsor
Rep. Mike Kelly

Date
December 19, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 6016 under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  H.R. 6016 was introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) on June 21, 2012, and was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on June 27, 2012.

Bill Summary

The legislation would allow an Senior Executive Service (SES) employee to be fired for misappropriation of funds and would give agencies discretion to place SES employees on unpaid leave, while maintaining existing due process rights.

The legislation is intended to respond to the Committee's review of the planning and execution of the General Services Administration's (GSA) 2010 Western Regional Conference, including GSA's response to employee misconduct.  H.R. 6016 would provide agencies with an additional tool to hold SES employees accountable for their actions. 

Background

According to Committee Report 112-686, in April 2012, the Committee held a hearing concerning the excessive, wasteful, and in some cases impermissible spending that occurred during the preparation for and implementation of GSA's 2010 Western Regional Conference.  The GSA spent more than $820,000 on a conference originally budgeted at $250,000.  The GSA had no triggers or controls in place to stop the flagrant spending.

GSA employees, including Mr. Jeff Neely, Regional Commissioner, Public Buildings Service Pacific Rim Region, failed to follow GSA policy and Federal procurement law.  In May 2011, GSA Inspector General Brian Miller personally briefed then-GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and then-Senior Counselor to the Administrator Steve Leeds on an investigation into the Western Regional Conference.  The Office of Inspector General (OIG) subsequently presented GSA leadership with the final management deficiency report concerning the conference on February 17, 2012.

The agency typically has 30 days to review and respond.  In this case, GSA requested an additional 30 days. Despite having 60 days to consider taking action from receipt of the final management deficiency report, then-Administrator Johnson took no action.

The Washington Post broke the news of then-Administrator Johnson's resignation on April 2, 2012, the same day the OIG released the report.

On April 20, 2012, GSA provided notice of its intent to terminate Mr. Jeff Neely for misconduct.  Mr. Neely was placed on paid administrative leave.  Rather than attempting to contest the charges, Mr. Neely retired.

Cost

CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 6016 would not have a significant impact on federal spending.  Enacting the bill could affect revenues.  However, CB0 estimates that any effects would be insignificant for each year.

Implementing this bill would lead to lower discretionary spending for salaries and expenses for those placed on unpaid administrative leave, but CBO estimates that such reductions would be small.  Because affected employees would not receive a salary for a period of time, they also would not make scheduled retirement contributions, resulting in a reduction in revenues.  CBO estimates that those reductions would not be significant.