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   104th Congress 1st            SENATE                 Report
         Session
                                                       104-151
_______________________________________________________________________



                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 197

         FEDERAL EMPLOYEES EMERGENCY LEAVE TRANSFER ACT OF 1995

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

         COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                 S. 868

 TO PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR LEAVE TRANSFER FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE 
 ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY DISASTERS OR EMERGENCIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES




  September 29 (legislative day, September 25), 1995.--Ordered to be 
                                printed
                   COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

   TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
JOHN GLENN, Ohio                     WILLIAM V. ROTH, Jr., Delaware
SAM NUNN, Georgia                    WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 FRED THOMPSON, Tennessee
DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas                THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut     CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        BOB SMITH, New Hampshire
    Albert L. McDermott, Staff 
             Director
  Leonard Weiss, Minority Staff 
             Director
  Michal Sue Prosser, Chief Clerk
                                 ------                                

             SUBCOMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE

   TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas                THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        BOB SMITH, New Hampshire
    Patricia A. Raymond, Staff 
             Director
 Kimberly Weaver, Minority Staff 
             Director
    Nancy Langley, Chief Clerk
                                                       Calendar No. 197
104th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                    104-151
_______________________________________________________________________


 
     S. 868, FEDERAL EMPLOYEES EMERGENCY LEAVE TRANSFER ACT OF 1995

                                _______


  September 29 (legislative day, September 25), 1995.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

_______________________________________________________________________


Mr. Stevens, from the Committee on Governmental Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

    The Committee on Governmental Affairs, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 868) to establish a Federal employees 
emergency leave transfer program, reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and summary..............................................1
 II. Background and need for legislation..............................2
III. Legislative history..............................................2
 IV. Summary of the legislation.......................................3
  V. Estimated cost of legislation....................................4
 VI. Regulatory impact of legislation.................................6
VII. Changes in existing law..........................................6

                         i. purpose and summary

    S. 868 provides the authority for the President to direct 
the Office of Personnel Management to establish an emergency 
leave transfer program when a substantial number of Federal 
employees are adversely affected by a disaster or emergency, 
including natural disasters and emergency situations such as 
that created by the Oklahoma City bombing.
    Under the emergency leave transfer program, employees in 
any agency could donate leave for transfer to employees in the 
same agency or any other agency, and the recipients would be 
allowed to use donated leave without having to first exhaust 
their own leave. Further, leave recipients could include 
employees who do not face a medical emergency, but need leave 
because of other adverse effects from the emergency, such as 
employees whose homes were destroyed by a flood or other 
natural disasters. In addition, current agency leave banks 
would be allowed to donate leave to the emergency leave 
program. The Office of Personnel Management would establish 
appropriate requirements for the operation of the program.

                ii. background and need for legislation

    In 1988, Congress authorized a five-year test of voluntary 
leave transfer and leave bank programs within Federal agencies 
(Public Law 100-566). These programs were designed to help 
employees faced with a medical or family emergency who had 
already exhausted all available leave. This five-year 
experiment was very successful and both programs were made 
permanent in 1994 (Public Law 103-103).
    In 1991, Congress created a special leave bank under which 
Federal employees could donate leave for use by their fellow 
employees who, as members of the Armed Forces reserves, had 
been called to active duty during the Persian Gulf conflict and 
who would now be able to use the donated leave to ease their 
reentry into civilian life (Public Law 102-25). The leave 
donated by many Federal employees for this special program 
significantly assisted these Persian Gulf veterans. This 
experience has shown that special leave transfer programs which 
operate outside of the normal programs can be appropriate.
    In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, affected 
employees were excused from duty without charge to leave or 
loss of pay. Further, the Office of Personnel Management 
coordinated the use of agencies' current leave transfer 
programs, and these measures were effective in assisting the 
affected employees. However, the Committee believes that it 
would be appropriate to establish in law the necessary 
authority for special leave transfer programs to address needs 
created by declared disasters and emergencies.

                        iii. legislative history

    S. 868 was introduced by Senator Ted Stevens on June 21, 
1995 at the request of the Office of Personnel Management and 
was referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs. The 
Subcommittee on Post Office and Civil Service unanimously 
approved the bill on June 29, 1995.
    The Committee on Governmental Affairs met on August 10, 
1995 to consider S. 868. The bill was ordered reported without 
amendment by a voice vote.
    The text of S. 868, as reported, is as follows:

 A BILL To provide authority for leave transfer for Federal employees 
 who are adversely affected by disasters or emergencies, and for other 
                                purposes

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this 
Act may be cited as the ``Federal Employees Emergency Leave 
Transfer Act of 1995''.
    Sec. 2. (a) Chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, is 
amended by adding after subchapter V the following new 
subchapter:

      ``SUBCHAPTER VI--LEAVE TRANSFER IN DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES

``Sec. 6391. Authority for leave transfer program in disasters and 
                    emergencies

    ``(a) For the purpose of this section--
          ``(1) `employee' means an employee as defined in 
        section 6331(1); and
          ``(2) `agency' means an Executive agency.
    ``(b) In the event of a major disaster or emergency, as 
declared by the President, that results in severe adverse 
effects for a substantial number of employees, the President 
may 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 adversely 
affected by such disaster or emergency.
    ``(c) The Office of Personnel Management shall establish 
appropriate requirements for the operation of the emergency 
leave transfer program under subsection (b), including 
appropriate limitations on the donation and use of annual leave 
under the program. An employee may receive and use leave under 
the program without regard to any requirement that any annual 
leave and sick leave to a leave recipient's credit must be 
exhausted before any transferred annual leave may be used.
    ``(d) A leave bank established under subchapter IV may, to 
the extent provided in regulations prescribed by the Office of 
Personnel Management, donate annual leave to the emergency 
leave transfer program established under subsection (b).
    ``(e) Except to the extent that the Office of Personnel 
Management may prescribe by regulation, nothing in section 7351 
shall apply to any solicitation, donation, or acceptance of 
leave under this section.
    ``(f) The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe 
regulations necessary for the administration of this 
section.''.
    (b) The analysis for chapter 63 of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

      ``SUBCHAPTER VI--LEAVE TRANSFER IN DISASTERS AND EMERGENCIES

``6391. Authority for leave transfer program in disasters and 
          emergencies''.

    Sec. 3. The amendments made by section 2 of this Act shall 
take effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

                     iv. summary of the legislation

    In the event of a major disaster or emergency, the 
President would have the authority to direct the Office of 
Personnel Management to create a special leave transfer program 
for Federal employees affected by the disaster or emergency.
    Under this Act, the emergency leave transfer program would 
extend to employees who do not face a medical emergency but 
need extra leave because of other effects of the disaster or 
emergency.
    It would allow agency-approved recipients to use donated 
leave without having to first exhaust their own accumulated 
leave.
    It would allow employees in any Executive agency to donate 
leave for transfer to affected employees in the same agency or 
other agencies.
    It would allow current agency leave banks to donate leave 
to an emergency leave transfer program established under this 
Act.
    OPM would have the authority to establish appropriate 
operating requirements for an emergency leave transfer program, 
including appropriate limits on amounts of leave that may be 
donated and used under the program.
    This leave transfer program permits employees to help other 
employees, at no cost to the taxpayer (other than incidental 
administrative costs), since no additional leave is provided 
beyond what would already be credited.
    This Act shall become effective upon the date of enactment.

                    v. estimated cost of legislation

    A copy of the cost estimate by the Congressional Budget 
Office follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 30, 1995.
Hon. William V. Roth,
Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed S. 868, a bill to provide authority for leave transfer 
for federal employees who are adversely affected by disasters 
or emergencies, and for other purposes, as ordered reported by 
the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on August 10, 
1995. CBO estimates that enacting S. 868 would have no 
significant budgetary impact. The bill would not affect direct 
spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would 
not apply. S. 868 also would have no cost to state or local 
governments.
    Under current law, federal employees are allowed to donate 
annual leave to co-workers who have exhausted their annual 
leave and sick leave as a result of a prolonged illness. Leave 
transfer programs allow employees to donate their annual leave 
directly to other federal employees. Leave bank programs allow 
employees to donate their annual leave to a leave bank, for use 
by any member of the bank stricken by a medical emergency. In 
addition, when disasters have occurred in the past, the 
President has granted paid administrative leave to federal 
employees affected by the disaster or working in direct 
disaster relief. This bill would provide a means for 
distributing additional leave to these employees.
    The program provided for under S. 868 would differ from the 
existing program in several respects. In particular, the bill 
would allow:
          The extension of salary and benefits to employees who 
        face no medical emergency, but require extra leave, 
        provided that the President declares a national 
        disaster and requests that the Office of Personnel 
        Management (OPM) establish a special fund for employees 
        affected by the disaster;
          Disaster recipients to use transferred annual leave 
        before exhausting any existing annual or sick leave;
          Employees currently not able to transfer annual 
        leave, such as employees of the Federal Bureau of 
        Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, to 
        participate under this program;
          Existing leave banks within agencies to donate 
        credits to an emergency transfer leave program; and
          transferred leave credits not used under a special 
        emergency leave program to be returned to the original 
        donors.
    The use of donated leave results in salary payments that 
could not have been made without the donation of leave. While 
S. 868 would allow employees to use transferred leave before 
exhausting their own leave credits, it is likely that any 
remaining leave would be used later in the year or carried over 
and used in another year. In this case, additional salary 
payments would be made that could not have been made without 
the donation of leave.
    Currently, the net impact on the government of transferring 
annual leave depends on how the donor would otherwise have used 
the transferred leave. If a donor would have accumulated and 
cashed in the accrued leave upon departing from government 
service, the government incurs additional costs for the 
recipient's salary and benefits and experiences reduced costs 
from lower payments when the donor departs. The net effect of a 
leave transfer of this type depends on whether the donor's rate 
of pay was higher or lower than that of the recipient. If the 
donor would have used the leave, the government incurs 
additional costs for the recipient's salary and benefits, but 
gains additional work days from the donor. Finally, if the 
donor would have forfeited the leave, the government incurs 
additional costs, but receives no benefit from additional work 
or reduced future costs. In the last two cases, the government 
incurs net costs from leave sharing.
    Under S. 868, the net impact on the federal government 
would depend on the number of times a major disaster or 
emergency occurs that results in a presidential request for a 
special leave program, and whether the credits donated would 
otherwise not have been donated under current law. CBO has no 
way of determining the likelihood of such disasters occurring, 
nor the response by employees to a special leave program. Past 
experience, however, shows that donations rise dramatically at 
the end of a leave year, when most employees otherwise forfeit 
leave in excess of 240 hours. We expect, then, that any 
donations made under S. 868 largely would represent a 
redistribution of credits otherwise donated to the leave 
program for medical emergencies. Hence, we expect that the new 
leave transfers would not result in any significant budgetary 
effect. Any additional costs that might result from a special 
leave program would be paid from appropriated funds and would 
not affect direct spending or receipts.
    CBO estimates that the administrative costs for 
implementing S. 868 also would be minimal and subject to 
appropriations. These costs would include the cost to OPM for 
establishing new regulations and administering any temporary 
programs, upon presidential request, and agency costs related 
to notifying employees of the special leave program and 
transferring any donated credits.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is John R. 
Righter.
            Sincerely,
                                           Rosemary Marcuss
                                   (For June E. O'Neill, Director).

                  VI. Regulatory Impact of Legislation

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory and paperwork impact of S. 868. The 
Office of Personnel Management has advised that the provisions 
of this Act can be implemented with minimal paperwork 
requirements.
    Therefore, the Committee directs OPM to develop 
implementing regulations that minimize any paperwork 
requirements placed on agencies, leave donors, and leave 
recipients.

                      VII. Changes in Existing Law

    Paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires that changes in existing law made by the bill 
be detailed in the Committee Report. Because S. 868 creates a 
new subchapter of chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, 
there is no existing law to be omitted.