Text: S.1378 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/25/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1378

To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for investigative leave requirements with respect to Senior Executive Service employees, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 25, 2013

Mr. Blunt (for himself, Mr. Risch, Mr. Roberts, Ms. Ayotte, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Coats, Mrs. Fischer, and Mr. Johanns) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for investigative leave requirements with respect to Senior Executive Service employees, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Government Employee Accountability Act”.

SEC. 2. Suspension for 14 days or less for senior executive service employees.

Paragraph (1) of section 7501 of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(1) ‘employee’ means—

“(A) an individual in the competitive service who is not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment or who has completed 1 year of current continuous employment in the same or similar positions under other than a temporary appointment limited to 1 year or less; or

“(B) a career appointee in the Senior Executive Service who—

“(i) has completed the probationary period prescribed under section 3393(d); or

“(ii) was covered by the provisions of subchapter II of this chapter immediately before appointment to the Senior Executive Service; and”.

SEC. 3. Investigative leave and termination authority for Senior Executive Service employees.

(a) In general.—Chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

§ 7551. Definitions

“For the purposes of this subchapter—

“(1) the term ‘employee’ has the meaning given such term in section 7541; and

“(2) the term ‘investigative leave’ means a temporary absence without duty for disciplinary reasons that, except as provided in section 7553(b)(4), shall not exceed a period of more than 90 days.

§ 7552. Actions covered

“This subchapter applies to investigative leave.

§ 7553. Cause and procedure

“(a) Placing on investigative leave.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, an agency may place an employee on investigative leave, without loss of pay and without charge to annual or sick leave, only for alleged misconduct, neglect of duty, malfeasance, or misappropriation of funds.

“(2) WITHOUT PAY.—If an agency determines that the alleged conduct of an employee is serious or flagrant, the agency may place the employee on investigative leave without pay.

“(b) Review.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—At the end of each 45-day period during a period of investigative leave, the agency employing the employee on investigative leave shall review the investigation of the alleged misconduct, neglect of duty, malfeasance, or misappropriation of funds by the employee.

“(2) REPORT.—Not later than 5 business days after the end of each 45-day period described in paragraph (1), an agency shall submit a report describing the review under paragraph (1) to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

“(3) ACTION.—At the end of a period of investigative leave implemented under this section, the agency shall—

“(A) remove an employee placed on investigative leave under this section;

“(B) suspend the employee without pay; or

“(C) reinstate or restore the employee to duty.

“(4) EXTENSION OF PERIOD.—An agency may extend the period of investigative leave with respect to an employee for 1 additional period not to exceed 90 days.

“(c) Procedure.—An employee against whom an action under this subchapter is proposed is entitled to, before being placed on investigative leave under this section—

“(1) at least 30 days advance written notice, stating specific reasons for the proposed action, unless—

“(A) there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment can be imposed; or

“(B) the agency determines that the conduct of the employee with respect to which an action covered by this subchapter is proposed is serious or flagrant, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management;

“(2) a reasonable time, but not less than 7 days, to answer orally and in writing and to furnish affidavits and other documentary evidence in support of the answer;

“(3) be represented by an attorney or other representative; and

“(4) a written decision and specific reasons therefor at the earliest practicable date.

“(d) Hearings permissible.—An agency may provide, by regulation, for a hearing which may be in lieu of or in addition to the opportunity to answer provided under subsection (c)(2).

“(e) Appeal.—An employee against whom an action is taken under this section is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 7701.

“(f) Materials.—Copies of the notice of proposed action, the answer of the employee when written, and a summary thereof when made orally, the notice of decision and reasons therefor, and any order effecting an action covered by this subchapter, together with any supporting material, shall be maintained by the agency and shall be furnished to the Merit Systems Protection Board upon its request and to the employee affected upon the employee’s request.

§ 7561. Definition

“For purposes of this subchapter, the term ‘employee’ has the meaning given such term in section 7541.

§ 7562. Removal of Senior Executive Service employees

“(a) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the head of an agency may remove an employee for neglect of duty, misappropriation of funds, or malfeasance if the head of the agency—

“(1) determines that the employee acted in a manner that endangers the interest of the agency mission;

“(2) considers the removal to be necessary or advisable in the interests of the United States; and

“(3) determines that the procedures prescribed in other provisions of law that authorize the removal of the employee cannot be used in a manner that the head of the agency considers consistent with the efficiency of the Government.

“(b) Procedure.—An employee removed under this section—

“(1) shall be notified of the reasons for such removal;

“(2) is entitled to submit, within 30 days after the notification, to the official designated by the head of the agency statements or affidavits to show why the employee should be restored to duty;

“(3) shall be provided a written response by the head of the agency if statements and affidavits are submitted under paragraph (2); and

“(4) may be restored to duty if the head of the agency determines it appropriate.

“(c) Notice.—If the head of an agency removes an employee under the authority under this section, the head of the agency shall notify Congress of the removal and the reasons for the removal.

“(d) Appeal.—An employee against whom an action is taken under this section is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 7701.

“(e) Records.—Copies of the notice of proposed action, the answer of the employee when written, a summary of the answer when made orally, the notice of decision and reasons therefor, and any order effecting an action covered by this section, together with any supporting material, shall be maintained by the agency and shall be furnished to the Merit Systems Protection Board upon its request and to the employee affected upon the request of the employee.

“(f) Other employment.—A removal under this section shall not affect the right of the employee removed to seek or accept employment with any other agency if that employee is declared eligible for such employment by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

“(g) No delegation.—The authority of the head of the agency under this section may not be delegated.”.

(b) Clerical amendment.—The table of sections for chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after the item relating to section 7543 the following:


“7551. Definitions.

“7552. Actions covered.

“7553. Cause and procedure.

“7561. Definition.

“7562. Removal of Senior Executive Service employees.”.

SEC. 4. Suspension of Senior Executive Service employees.

Section 7543 of title 5, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (a), by inserting “misappropriation of funds,” after “malfeasance,”; and

(2) in subsection (b), by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

“(1) at least 30 days’ advance written notice, stating specific reasons for the proposed action, unless—

“(A) there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment can be imposed; or

“(B) the agency determines that the conduct of the employee with respect to which an action covered by this subchapter is proposed is serious or flagrant, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management;”.

SEC. 5. Misappropriation of funds amendments.

(a) Reinstatement in the Senior Executive Service.—Section 3593 of title 5, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (a)(2), by inserting “misappropriation of funds,” after “malfeasance,”; and

(2) in subsection (b), by striking “or malfeasance” and inserting “malfeasance, or misappropriation of funds”.

(b) Placement in other personnel systems.—Section 3594(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking “or malfeasance” and inserting “malfeasance, or misappropriation of funds”.