U.S. agencies could lose the incentive to go on end-of-budget-year spending sprees, and tightfisted feds could get bonuses of up to $25,000, under a program approved last week by the House Treasury-Postal Service Appropriations subcommittee.
The initiative, which has White House support, would set up a three-year test in which agencies and employes would be rewarded for productivity- linked savings. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced the bill. It would return half of all savings to agencies and plow the rest into deficit reduction and employe bonuses. Backers say it could change use-it-or-lose-it attitudes in federal agencies that are frequently accused of blowing unspent money at the end of the fiscal year rather than giving Congress the idea that it gave them too big an allowance.
Opponents of the plan say it is overly simplistic and would require the kind of management the government lacks and the long-term support politicians wouldn't give. They see it as just another ploy to show that the government is flabby and as a tool to whittle down important programs.
The House is expected to approve the three-year productivity savings test if federal employe unions and management groups can be convinced that it won't be used to cut budgets and that the promised bonuses will be delivered to the people who deserve them and shared with lower-level workers.
Federal workers in Maryland and Virginia can get pension planning help at two seminars this evening. The purpose is to help pre-1984 hires decide whether to stick with the current pension plan or switch to the new Federal Employees Retirement System. The open season for making pension changes runs from July 1 to Dec. 31.
Today's sessions are a 7 p.m. briefing at the Luther Jackson school in Falls Church and a 7:30 p.m. meeting at the Roger B. Taney Middle School in Temple Hills, sponsored by Rep. Tom McMillen (D-Md.).
Martin Wish has been elected president of the 22,000-member Maryland Federation of Chapters of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. He succeeds George D. Weihl. Other new officers include Harold Lewis, A. James Golato, Jeanette Green and Rhoda Meade.
Francis X. Cavanaugh, executive director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment board, will speak at Thursday's Touchdown Club luncheon sponsored by the Senior Executives Association. He's managing the multimillion-dollar program that allows U.S. workers to make tax-deferred investments equal to 15 percent of salary in the new multi-investment program. For reservations, call 535-4323.
The Interior Department's inspector general has openings in Guam and Saipan for auditors at the GM (merit pay) 14/15 level. Interior also is seeking a GS 7/9 writer-editor in Sacramento. Call Jim Landolt at 343-3832.
General Services Administration needs a GM 13 communications specialist. Call Peggy Ramey at 566-1805.
Andrews Air Base wants architects, $19,268-$32,673, and mechanical or electrical engineers, $19,268-$28,347. Call E.M. Vitagliano at 981-5600.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants a GS 7 computer programmer and a GS 11 computer systems programmer. Call Alice Mays at 443-8425. NOAA also has an opening in Suitland for a GS 5 secretary-typist. Call Sharon Painter at 443-8425.