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    Frequently Asked Questions::Can an employee receive both a rating-based award and an award for a specific contribution...

    Can an employee receive both a rating-based award and an award for a specific contribution (special act) in the same year?

    Yes. In some circumstances, an employee may receive both an award based on a rating of record and an award based on a specific contribution in a single year. Agencies must consider carefully all the circumstances and the impact of the awards when granting both types of award.

    First, an agency must consider whether the accomplishment recognized with a specific contribution award also was part of the employee's performance plan. When the accomplishment is not included in the performance plan (e.g., an employee's contribution to a special project not related to his/her expected performance), an agency would determine whether the accomplishment, on its own merits, deserves recognition without regard to whether it will grant a rating-based award to the employee.

    When the accomplishment is included in, or related to, the employee's performance plan, it generally is more appropriate to grant a rating-based award, which recognizes the employee's overall performance. However, an agency may want to consider the extent of the accomplishment's value to the organization to determine whether further recognition is appropriate. In very rare circumstances when the value of the accomplishment to the organization is so high that the rating-based award alone would not fully recognize it, both a rating-based award and a specific contribution award may be warranted.

    In all cases, the most important factor in deciding whether to grant multiple awards is that the total value of the awards must be commensurate with the value to the organization of the accomplishment recognized. In addition, agencies must ensure they comply with all applicable requirements, including OPM approval of awards over $10,000 for a single accomplishment.

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