Summary: S.868 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/25/1996)


Title I: Emergency Leave Transfers

Title II: Veteran's Preference

Title III: Provisions Relating to the Thrift Savings Plan

Title IV: Provisions Relating to the Conversion of Certain

Excepted Service Positions in the United States Fire


Title I: Emergency Leave Transfers - Federal Employees Emergency Leave Transfer Act of 1996 - Amends Federal civil service law to authorize the President, in the event of a major disaster or emergency, to direct the Office of Personnel Management to establish an emergency leave transfer program under which any employee in any agency may donate unused annual leave for transfer to employees of the same or other agencies who are severely adversely affected by such disaster or emergency.

Requires the Office of Personnel Management to establish appropriate requirements for the operation of the emergency leave transfer program.

Title II: Veteran's Preference - Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1996 - Provides that a veterans' preference eligible (PE) or an individual who has been separated from military service under honorable conditions after three or more years of active duty shall not be denied the opportunity to compete for a vacant position within a Federal agency (including the U.S. Postal Service, subject to exceptions concerning collective bargaining agreements), either in the competitive or excepted service, by reason of: (1) not having acquired competitive status; or (2) not being an employee of such agency. Requires each agency to notify the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and U.S. employment offices of each vacant position for which competition is restricted to employees or individuals having competitive service. Requires OPM, at least every two years, to submit to the Congress and the President a report detailing for the prior period the number of such vacant positions in the Federal Government and the number of PE or separated individuals hired for such positions.

Directs OPM to establish and keep current a comprehensive list of all announcements of vacant positions within each agency for which competition is so restricted.

Prohibits, during a Federal reduction in force (RIF), a position occupied by a PE from being placed in a single-position competitive level if the PE is qualified to perform the essential functions of any other position at the same grade in the competitive area (defined as being able to perform such functions within 150 days). Entitles a PE whose current or latest performance rating is at least fully successful to be assigned during a RIF to any position for which he or she is qualified that is within: (1) the PE's commuting area and is currently occupied by an individual placed in such position within six months before the RIF; or (2) the PE's competitive area that is not more than three grades below the position from which the PE was released (with an exception). Authorizes a PE to challenge the classification of any position to which the PE asserts assignment rights in an action before the Merit Systems Protection Board.

Requires each agency to establish an agencywide priority placement program to facilitate employment placement for PEs who are scheduled to be or who are separated from service due to a RIF. Authorizes the use of nearby commuting areas in order to provide reemployment to such individuals when there are no alternative positions within his or her most local commuting area.

Provides administrative and judicial redress and remedies for any PE or other individual who alleges that an agency has violated such individual's veterans' preference or related rights.

Extends the veterans' preference to: (1) employment within the General Accounting Office; (2) appointments made to the Office of the President (with an exception when the President certifies that the position is a confidential, policy-making, or political position); and (3) appointments to the legislative branch (with specified exclusions).

Establishes administrative remedies and procedures for PE and separated individuals with respect to appointments within the legislative or judicial branches of the Federal Government.

Extends the veterans' preference to reductions in force in the Federal Aviation Administration.

Title III: Provisions Relating to the Thrift Savings Plan - Subtitle A: Additional Investment Funds for the Thrift Savings Plan - Thrift Savings Investment Funds Act of 1996 - Adds two new funds, the International Stock Index Investment Fund and the Small Capitalization Stock Index Fund, to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) under the Federal Employees' Retirement System.

Subtitle B: Thrift Savings Accounts Liquidity - Thrift Savings Plan Act of 1996 - Increases withdrawal options for TSP participants upon separation from employment. Eliminates the purpose requirements for taking a TSP loan. Requires an employee or Member, before a loan is issued, to be provided in writing with appropriate information concerning the cost of the loan relative to other sources of financing, as well as the lifetime cost of the loan, including the difference in interest rates between the funds offered by the Thrift Savings Fund, and any other effect of such loan on the employee's or Member's final account balance before a loan is issued. Permits a TSP participant, before separation, to make a one-time withdrawal from the account upon: (1) attaining age 59 and one-half; or (2) financial hardship.

(Sec. 314) Revises provisions concerning notification of an employee's or Member's spouse upon making or changing a withdrawal election.

(Sec. 316) Eliminates the definition of basic pay with respect to the TSP.

(Sec. 317) Allows eligible rollover distributions from a qualified trust to the Thrift Savings Fund.

Title IV: Provisions Relating to the Conversion of Certain Excepted Service Positions in the United States Fire Administration - Requires the Directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Office of Personnel Management to take necessary actions to convert each excepted service position in the National Academy for Fire Prevention and Control, as established under the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (the Act), to a competitive service position. Continues all service benefits and seniority of such converted employees.

Amends the Act to authorize the Superintendent of the Academy to appoint faculty members to competitive service positions.