Statement of the Senior Executives Association on the April 4 OMB Memorandum Regarding Ongoing Implementation of the Joint Committee Sequestration

OMB has directed that discretionary monetary awards should not be issued while sequestration is in place, unless issuance of such awards is legally required. Since the memo defines discretionary monetary awards to include annual performance awards, we assume this policy applies to Senior Executive Service performance awards...

Washington, D.C. OMB has directed that discretionary monetary awards should not be issued while sequestration is in place, unless issuance of such awards is legally required. Since the memo defines discretionary monetary awards to include annual performance awards, we assume this policy applies to Senior Executive Service performance awards which the Association contends are legally required. The memo further directs agencies not to issue such monetary awards from sequestered accounts unless agency counsel determines the awards are legally required.

SEA President Carol A Bonosaro said, "It staggers the imagination to think of every agency's General Counsel making an individual determination as to whether a government-wide statute - namely, that governing the pay of Senior Executives - requires the payment of SES performance awards. I can think of no other government-wide statute where the interpretation is left to individual agencies. Rather than risk a variety of opinions, we call on the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice to issue an opinion and settle this matter.

Further, we find OMB's conclusion that recruitment, retention and relocation incentives are not considered discretionary awards to be especially baffling."

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA's goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.

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