CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
S. 806 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Monday, November 29, 2010 under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) on April 2, 2009, and referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. On November 11, 2009, the bill was approved in the Senate by unanimous consent and referred to the House. On April 14, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported the bill by voice vote.
S. 806 would statutorily establish the Federal Executive Boards (FEBs), which currently operate under a Presidential Directive. FEBs would be defined as interagency entities established by the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in geographic areas outside of Washington, D.C. with a high concentration of federal employees. The purpose of FEBs would be to coordinate agency efforts outside of the Washington, D.C. area. According to the CBO, the legislation would cost approximately $2 million in FY 2010 and $16 million over the FY 2010 – FY 2015 period.
S.806 would authorize the director of OPM to establish new FEBs in consultation with the director of the appropriate agency. When determining the locations of new FEBs, the director would be required to consider whether an FEB currently exists in the geographic area, whether the area has a viable Federal Executive Association, and whether the Federal Executive Association petitions OPM to become an FEB. The director of OPM would be required to establish administration and oversight of all FEBs, including staffing policies and performance standards.
S. 806 would require the director of OPM to establish a fund to finance FEBs. The fund would consist of contributions from participating agencies in an amount determined by a formula established by the director of OPM. The formula for agency contributions would be based on the number of employees in each agency in the geographic area served by the FEB. The legislation would also require the director of OPM to establish uniform staffing and reporting requirements for all FEBs. The cost of the administration and oversight of FEBs would be paid for by the OPM.
The bill would require the director of OPM to submit a report detailing the functions and staffing requirements of FEBs within 60 days of enactment.
The Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) were established by Presidential Directive in 1961 to function as a forum for communication and collaboration among federal agencies outside of Washington, D.C. FEBs are generally composed of the heads of federal agency field offices and are administered by the OPM. There are currently 28 FEBs across the country in geographic regions with a high number of federal employees. According to OPM, 88 percent of all federal employees work outside the National Capital Region. As established by Presidential Directive, FEBs receive no specific appropriation but are funded by their local host agency or department. According to CBO, the program cost about $6 million in 2009. S. 806 would establish FEBs in law, rather than a Presidential Directive, and add new staffing administrative requirements, to be determined by OPM.
According to CBO, implementing S. 806 would cost approximately $2 million in FY 2010 and $16 million of the FY 2010 – FY 2015 period. In addition, the legislation could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations. Any change in direct spending would be subject to pay-as-you-go procedures; however, CBO has estimated that “any impact on direct spending would be negligible.”