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    Frequently Asked Questions::Can an employee receive two awards for the same accomplishment or contribution?

    Can an employee receive two awards for the same accomplishment or contribution?

    Yes, under certain circumstances. In the Federal Government, awards may take four forms — cash awards, time off awards, honorary awards, and informal recognition awards. You may use any combination of award forms to reward a specific contribution. For example, an employee might receive both a certificate and a cash award as recognition for a single contribution. However, the overall value of the award in its combined forms should not exceed the value to the organization of the contribution recognized. Thus, the award should be commensurate with the contribution of the employee.

    The same principle applies whether you are combining award forms or granting two awards of the same form for a single contribution. For example, an employee might receive two awards in the form of cash for a single contribution when, upon evaluating the contribution recognized, the organization realizes the value of the contribution to the organization is greater than originally determined and deserves a larger award than the amount of the original award recognizing it. This situation tends to occur most frequently with employee suggestions. However, the total value of both awards should not exceed the value of the contribution recognized.

    When the total award(s) is over $10,000 for a single contribution, agencies must seek OPM approval. In a case where an individual receives an initial award of $5,000 for a contribution, then receives another award for $6,000 upon re-evaluation by the agency for the same contribution, the aggregate amount is now $11,000. The agency must request approval for $1,000 from OPM before granting that amount of the second award.

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