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112th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     112-686

======================================================================



 
                 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 21, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Issa, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 6016]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 6016) to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to provide for administrative leave requirements 
with respect to Senior Executive Service employees, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     3
Section-by-Section...............................................     4
Explanation of Amendments........................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Roll Call Votes..................................................     5
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     6
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     6
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     6
Committee Estimate...............................................     6
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8
Minority Views...................................................    11

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Government Employee Accountability 
Act''.

SEC. 2. ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE 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:

  ``SUBCHAPTER VI--ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE FOR SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE 
                               EMPLOYEES

``Sec. 7551. Definitions

  ``For the purposes of this subchapter--
          ``(1) `employee' has the meaning given such term in section 
        7541; and
          ``(2) `administrative leave' means an absence from duty 
        administratively authorized, for disciplinary reasons, of a 
        period not greater than 90 days.

``Sec. 7552. Actions covered

  ``This subchapter applies to administrative leave.

``Sec. 7553. Cause and procedure

  ``(a)(1) Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
Management, the head of an agency may place an employee on 
administrative leave, without loss of pay and without charge to annual 
or sick leave, only for misappropriation of funds, misconduct, neglect 
of duty, or malfeasance.
  ``(2) If the head of an agency determines that such employee's 
conduct is serious or flagrant, the head may place such employee on 
administrative leave under this subchapter without pay.
  ``(b)(1) At the end of each 2-week period during a period of 
administrative leave implemented under this section, the head of the 
relevant agency shall review the investigation into the employee with 
respect to the misappropriation of funds, misconduct, neglect of duty, 
or malfeasance.
  ``(2) Not later than 5 business days after the end of each such 2-
week period, such head shall submit a report describing such review to 
the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs of the Senate.
  ``(3) At the end of a period of administrative leave implemented 
under this section, the head of the agency shall--
          ``(A) remove an employee placed on administrative leave under 
        this section;
          ``(B) suspend such employee without pay; or
          ``(C) reinstate or restore such employee to duty.
  ``(4) At the discretion of the agency head, an employee may be placed 
on one additional period of administrative leave with respect to an 
action under this subchapter.
  ``(c) An employee against whom an action covered by this subchapter 
is proposed is entitled to, before being placed on administrative 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 head determines that the employee's 
                conduct with respect to which an action covered by this 
                subchapter is proposed is serious or flagrant;
          ``(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) For purposes of subsection (c)(1)(A), the head of an agency may 
determine that there is reasonable cause to believe that an employee 
has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment can be 
imposed if the head receives a report from such agency's Inspector 
General, or, in the case of an agency without an Inspector General, 
from an employee of the agency designated by such head to carry out 
duties similar to duties of an inspector general for purposes of this 
subsection, indicating that such employee has committed such a crime.
  ``(e) 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).
  ``(f) An employee against whom an action is taken under this section 
is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under 
section 7701.
  ``(g) 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.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after 
the item relating to section 7543 the following:

  ``subchapter vi--administrative leave for senior executive service 
                               employees

``7551. Definitions.
``7552. Actions covered.
``7553. Cause and procedure.''.

SEC. 3. 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,'';
          (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 head determines that the employee's 
                conduct with respect to which an action covered by this 
                subchapter is proposed is serious or flagrant;''; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following:
  ``(f) For purposes of subsection (b)(1)(A), the head of an agency may 
determine that there is reasonable cause to believe that an employee 
has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment can be 
imposed if the head receives a report from such agency's Inspector 
General, or, in the case of an agency without an Inspector General, 
from an employee of the agency designated by such head to carry out 
duties similar to duties of an inspector general for purposes of this 
subsection, indicating that such employee has committed such a 
crime.''.

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Senior Executive Service (SES) was designed to ensure 
accountability for honest, economical, and efficient 
government.\1\ H.R. 6016 provides agencies with an additional 
tool to hold SES employees accountable for their actions. The 
legislation allows an SES employee to be fired for 
misappropriation of funds and gives agencies discretion to 
place SES employees on unpaid leave, while maintaining existing 
due process rights. The legislation responds to the Committee's 
review of the planning and execution of the General Services 
Administration's (GSA) 2010 Western Regional Conference, 
including GSA's response to employee misconduct. The bill 
represents an important step in ensuring senior leaders are 
held to a high standard, especially when their conduct is 
flagrant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\5 U.S.C. 3131(10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In April 2012, the Committee held a hearing concerning the 
excessive, wasteful, and in some cases impermissible spending 
that occurred during the preparation for and implementation of 
GSA's 2010 Western Regional Conference.\2\ The GSA spent more 
than $820,000 on a conference originally budgeted at $250,000. 
The GSA had no triggers or controls in place to stop the 
flagrant spending.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Addressing GSA's Culture of Wasteful Spending: Hearing before 
the H. Comm. on Oversight and Gov't Reform, 112th Con. (April 4, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    GSA employees, including Mr. Jeff Neely, Regional 
Commissioner, Public Buildings Service Pacific Rim Region, 
failed to follow GSA policy and Federal procurement law.
    In May 2011, GSA Inspector General Brian Miller personally 
briefed then-GSA Administrator Martha Johnson and then-Senior 
Counselor to the Administrator Steve Leeds on an investigation 
into the Western Regional Conference.\3\ The Office of 
Inspector General (OIG) subsequently presented GSA leadership 
with the final management deficiency report concerning the 
conference on February 17, 2012.\4\ The agency typically has 30 
days to review and respond. In this case, GSA requested an 
additional 30 days. Despite having 60 days to consider taking 
action from receipt of the final management deficiency report, 
then-Administrator Johnson took no action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Briefing by Gen. Serv. Admin. Office of Inspector Gen. for H. 
Comm. on Oversight & Gov't Reform staff (Apr. 4, 2012) [hereinafter OIG 
briefing].
    \4\OIG briefing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Washington Post broke the news of then-Administrator 
Johnson's resignation on April 2, 2012, the same day the OIG 
released the report.\5\ On April 20, 2012, GSA provided notice 
of its intent to terminate Mr. Jeff Neely for misconduct. Mr. 
Neely was placed on paid administrative leave. Rather than 
attempting to contest the charges, Mr. Neely retired.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Lisa Rein & Joe Davidson, GSA Chief Resigns Amid Reports of 
Excessive Spending, Wash. Post (Apr. 2, 2012).
    \6\E-mail from Deputy Associate Admin. for Legislative Affairs to 
H. Oversight & Gov't Reform Comm. staff (Apr. 10, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 established the Senior 
Executive Service and clarified the grounds for taking action 
against SES employees whose conduct was unacceptable.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\P.L. 94-454.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    The short title of the bill is the ``Government Employee 
Accountability Act.''

Section 2. Administrative leave for Senior Executive Service employees

    Section 2 establishes a new subchapter within chapter 75 of 
title 5. The new subchapter provides the head of an agency 
authority to use administrative leave when disciplining a 
member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). For purposes of 
the new subchapter, administrative leave is defined as an 
authorized absence from duty for a period not to exceed 90 
days, for disciplinary reasons. The administrative leave 
options available to agencies under the new subchapter VI are 
in addition to agencies' existing authority to grant employees 
excused absences and place them on administrative leave for 
reasons determined to be in the government's interest.
    Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
Management, the head of an agency may place an SES employee on 
administrative leave, with pay, for misappropriation of funds, 
misconduct, neglect of duty, or malfeasance. SES employees 
whose misconduct is determined to be serious or flagrant may be 
placed on administrative leave without pay.
    Not later than 5 business days after the end of the two-
week period of administrative leave, the agency head must 
review the investigation into the employee's conduct and 
describe the review to the House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs.
    At the end of the period of administrative leave, the 
agency must: (1) remove the employee; (2) suspend the employee 
without pay; or (3) restore the employee to duty. The agency 
head has discretion to place the employee on one additional 
period of administrative leave.
    Employees retain their existing due process rights afforded 
to them under chapter 75, including the right to appeal to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board.
    An agency head may use an Inspector General report that 
states an SES employee has committed a crime as the basis for 
removing or suspending the employee without pay. An agency head 
may also determine the conduct is serious or flagrant. In these 
instances, the employee is not entitled to 30 days' advance 
notice of administrative leave.

Section 3. Suspension of Senior Executive Service employees

    Section 3 allows for an SES employee to be terminated or 
suspended without pay for more than 14 days for 
misappropriation of funds. An agency head may use an Inspector 
General report that states a Senior Executive Service employee 
has committed a crime as the basis for removing or suspending 
the employee without pay. In this instance, the employee is not 
entitled to 30 days' advance notice of the proposed termination 
or suspension without pay. The agency head may also elect to 
waive the advance notice requirement if he determines the 
conduct to be serious or flagrant.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    Mr. Kelly offered a substitute amendment to make clear an 
agency could waive the advance notice requirement when placing 
a Senior Executive Service on unpaid leave or taking an adverse 
action against a Senior Executive Service employee if the 
conduct was serious or flagrant. In addition, the substitute 
amendment made a number of technical changes to the bill. The 
amendment was agreed to by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On June 27, 2012, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 6016, as amended, by 
roll call vote, a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were no roll call votes during consideration of H.R. 
6016.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill provides agencies with an additional tool to hold SES 
employees accountable for their actions. Legislative branch 
employees and their families, to the extent that they are 
otherwise eligible for the benefits provided by this 
legislation, have equal access to its benefits.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 6016 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of Rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R.6016. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides that 
this requirement does not apply when the Committee has included 
in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 6016 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 14, 2012.
Hon. Darrell Issa,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 6016, the 
Government Employee Accountability Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Santiago 
Vallinas.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 6016--Government Employee Accountability Act

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 6016 would not have a 
significant impact on federal spending. Enacting the bill could 
affect revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. 
However, CB0 estimates that any effects would be insignificant 
for each year.
    H.R. 6016 would allow agencies to place Senior Executive 
Service (SES) employees on unpaid administrative leave for up 
to 180 days if they are accused of misappropriation of funds, 
misconduct, neglect of duty, or malfeasance. Currently, 
investigations of such offenses generally require agencies to 
initially place employees on paid leave, but later those 
employees may be suspended indefinitely without pay. Since 
administrative leave for misconduct is not tracked separately 
it is difficult to quantify the number of instances that it has 
occurred, but according to the Office of Personnel Management 
and other federal agencies, it is very uncommon. CBO assumes 
that citations for such misconduct will continue to be uncommon 
and therefore only a few SES employees would be subject to 
unpaid leave over the 2013-2022 period.
    Implementing this bill would lead to lower discretionary 
spending for salaries and expenses for those placed on unpaid 
administrative leave, but CBO estimates that such reductions 
would be small. Because affected employees would not receive a 
salary for a period of time, they also would not make scheduled 
retirement contributions, resulting in a reduction in revenues. 
CBO estimates that those reductions would not be significant.
    H.R. 6016 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Santiago 
Vallinas. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART F--LABOR-MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                      CHAPTER 75--ADVERSE ACTIONS


               subchapter i--suspension of 14 days or less

Sec.
7501. Definitions.
     * * * * * * *

    subchapter vi--administrative leave for senior executive service 
                                employees

7551. Definitions.
7552. Actions covered.
7553. Cause and procedure.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER V--SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 7543. Cause and procedure

  (a) Under regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
Management, an agency may take an action covered by this 
subchapter against an employee only for misconduct, neglect of 
duty, malfeasance, misappropriation of funds, or failure to 
accept a directed reassignment or to accompany a position in a 
transfer of function.
  (b) An employee against whom an action covered by this 
subchapter is proposed is entitled to--
          [(1) at least 30 days' advance written notice, unless 
        there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee 
        has committed a crime for which a sentence of 
        imprisonment can be imposed, stating specific reasons 
        for the proposed action;]
          (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 head determines that the 
                employee's conduct with respect to which an 
                action covered by this subchapter is proposed 
                is serious or flagrant;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) For purposes of subsection (b)(1)(A), the head of an 
agency may determine that there is reasonable cause to believe 
that an employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of 
imprisonment can be imposed if the head receives a report from 
such agency's Inspector General, or, in the case of an agency 
without an Inspector General, from an employee of the agency 
designated by such head to carry out duties similar to duties 
of an inspector general for purposes of this subsection, 
indicating that such employee has committed such a crime.

   SUBCHAPTER VI--ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE FOR SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE 
                               EMPLOYEES

Sec. 7551. Definitions

  For the purposes of this subchapter--
          (1) ``employee'' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 7541; and
          (2) ``administrative leave'' means an absence from 
        duty administratively authorized, for disciplinary 
        reasons, of a period not greater than 90 days.

Sec. 7552. Actions covered

  This subchapter applies to administrative leave.

Sec. 7553. Cause and procedure

  (a)(1) Under regulations prescribed by the Office of 
Personnel Management, the head of an agency may place an 
employee on administrative leave, without loss of pay and 
without charge to annual or sick leave, only for 
misappropriation of funds, misconduct, neglect of duty, or 
malfeasance.
  (2) If the head of an agency determines that such employee's 
conduct is serious or flagrant, the head may place such 
employee on administrative leave under this subchapter without 
pay.
  (b)(1) At the end of each 2-week period during a period of 
administrative leave implemented under this section, the head 
of the relevant agency shall review the investigation into the 
employee with respect to the misappropriation of funds, 
misconduct, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.
  (2) Not later than 5 business days after the end of each such 
2-week period, such head shall submit a report describing such 
review to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate.
  (3) At the end of a period of administrative leave 
implemented under this section, the head of the agency shall--
          (A) remove an employee placed on administrative leave 
        under this section;
          (B) suspend such employee without pay; or
          (C) reinstate or restore such employee to duty.
  (4) At the discretion of the agency head, an employee may be 
placed on one additional period of administrative leave with 
respect to an action under this subchapter.
  (c) An employee against whom an action covered by this 
subchapter is proposed is entitled to, before being placed on 
administrative 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 head determines that the 
                employee's conduct with respect to which an 
                action covered by this subchapter is proposed 
                is serious or flagrant;
          (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) For purposes of subsection (c)(1)(A), the head of an 
agency may determine that there is reasonable cause to believe 
that an employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of 
imprisonment can be imposed if the head receives a report from 
such agency's Inspector General, or, in the case of an agency 
without an Inspector General, from an employee of the agency 
designated by such head to carry out duties similar to duties 
of an inspector general for purposes of this subsection, 
indicating that such employee has committed such a crime.
  (e) 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).
  (f) An employee against whom an action is taken under this 
section is entitled to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection 
Board under section 7701.
  (g) 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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    The purposes of H.R. 6016--to prevent the misappropriation 
of taxpayer dollars by Senior Executive Service employees and 
hold them accountable for such misconduct--are commendable. 
However, current law (Subchapter V of Chapter 75 of Title 5 of 
the United States Code) already provides authority for agencies 
to take disciplinary action against Senior Executives who 
misappropriate funds. In addition, although some of the bill's 
deficiencies were addressed prior to the Committee's 
consideration, other issues remain unaddressed. For example:
     It is unclear how ``serious or flagrant'' conduct 
would be defined and how such conduct differs from 
``misconduct, neglect of duty or malfeasance'' as set forth in 
current law.
     It is unclear how ``misappropriation of funds'' 
differs from ``misconduct or malfeasance'' as set forth in 
current law.
     It is unclear how administrative leave without 
pay, as redefined by the bill, differs from suspension, which 
is an available remedy under current law.
     It is unclear why the bill appears to eliminate 
agency authority to use administrative leave for non-
disciplinary reasons, which is a necessary management tool.
     It is unclear why the bill appears to force agency 
heads to decide whether to remove, suspend, or reinstate 
employees even if investigations have not yet been completed, 
which could interfere with ongoing investigations, jeopardize 
the due process rights of employees, and risk overturning 
disciplinary actions on appeal.
     It is unclear whether the bill provides sufficient 
due process rights for employees, especially in cases in which 
conduct is serious or flagrant or when there is reasonable 
cause to believe that an employee has committed a crime.
     It is unclear under the bill whether an Inspector 
General's report would be the sole basis for agencies to 
determine that employees may have engaged in criminal conduct.
    The Majority has acknowledged some of the problems in the 
bill, and we appreciate their commitment to work with the 
Minority to craft an appropriate solution.
    Any misuse of taxpayer funds is unacceptable, and Congress 
should help agencies hold federal employees accountable for 
waste, fraud, and abuse. However, the bad actions of a few 
individuals should not be allowed to undermine the reputation 
of our nation's dedicated federal employees. These honest and 
hardworking men and women devote their lives to serving the 
public, and the vast majority of federal workers are excellent 
stewards of the public trust.

                                                Elijah E. Cummings.