Summary: H.R.5683 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law No: 110-323 (09/22/2008)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on August 1, 2008. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Government Accountability Office Act of 2008 - (Sec. 2) Requires: (1) the Comptroller General to provide for a pay increase to covered Government Accountability Office (GAO) officers and employees if the increase that would otherwise take effect would be less than the required minimum percentage (equal to the total annual pay adjustment for General Schedule positions within a pay locality); and (2) nonpermanent merit pay to a such an officer or employee to be decreased by an amount equal to the portion of such person's basic pay that is attributable to the increase provided by this Act.

Defines a "covered officer or employee" to mean a Government Accountability Office (GAO) officer or employee whose performance is at least at a satisfactory level and who is not a member of the Senior Executive Service, a Federal Wage System employee, or an employee who is in GAO's entry-level developmental programs.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Comptroller General, within six months, to pay to a GAO employee who did not receive a permanent base pay increase in 2006 and 2007 a lump sum payment. Requires the lump sum payment to be: (1) applied prospectively; and (2) treated as basic pay for purposes of any determination of the average pay.

Requires the GAO to deduct and withhold from such lump-sum payments employee contributions to, and to pay the applicable agency contribution to, the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

Provides for an exclusive remedy for individuals with claims that they are owed any money denied to them in the form of pay increases for 2006 or 2007.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Comptroller General to pay each qualified individual a lump-sum payment equal to the amount of performance-based compensation such individual was denied for 2006. Defines "qualified individual" to mean an individual who is: (1) a GAO officer or employee, excluding members of the Senior Executive Service, Federal Wage System employees, and employees in GAO's entry-level developmental programs; and (2) a Band I staff member with a salary above the Band I cap, a Band IIA staff member with a salary above the Band IIA cap, or an administrative professional or support staff member with a salary above the cap for that individual's pay band.

(Sec. 5) Establishes an Office of the Inspector General in GAO to: (1) conduct and supervise audits and investigations relating to GAO; (2) provide leadership and coordination and recommend policies to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in GAO; and (3) keep the Comptroller General and Congress informed concerning fraud and other serious problems, abuses, and deficiencies relating to the administration of GAO programs and operations.

Authorizes the Inspector General to receive and investigate complaints or information from GAO employees concerning the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, mismanagement, or a gross waste of funds. Requires the Inspector General to refer complaints or information concerning violations of personnel law to established investigative and adjudicative GAO entities.

Prohibits the Inspector General from disclosing the identity of an employee who submitted a complaint or information without the employee's consent, unless such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation.

Prohibits employees who have authority for personnel actions from taking or threatening action against employees as a reprisal for making a complaint or disclosing information, unless the complaint or disclosure was made with the knowledge that it was false or with willful disregard for its truth or falsity.

Requires the Inspector General to report semiannually to the Comptroller General on the Office's activities. Requires the Comptroller General's annual report to Congress to assess the overall degree of federal agency cooperation with GAO audits.

Prohibits the Comptroller General from preventing the Inspector General from carrying out any his or her responsibilities under this Act.

(Sec. 6) Requires any executive agency that prepares an audited financial statement to reimburse GAO for the cost of any GAO audit of such statement if GAO audited the statement or schedule of such agency for fiscal year 2007. Requires the GAO to consult with the relevant executive agency and the Inspector General of such agency prior to the initiation of the audit on the scope, terms, and cost of such audit.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to revise the coverage of certain GAO officers and employees under its financial disclosure requirements.

(Sec. 8) Revises the highest basic pay rate for GAO personnel from GS-15 to Executive Level III.

Increases from 15 to 20 the number of experts and consultants whose services the Comptroller General may procure for renewable three-year terms at rates up to level IV of the Executive Schedule.

Makes funds appropriated to GAO for salaries and expenses also available for recruitment-related meals and entertainment.