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Pay & Leave Recruitment, Relocation & Retention Incentives

Fact Sheet: Oversight and Accountability

Under 5 U.S.C. 5753 and 5754, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may authorize the head of a Federal agency to pay recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives (3Rs). Recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives are additional monetary payments that may be used to help recruit and retain eligible employees. By regulation, OPM has delegated discretionary authority to approve 3Rs payments to heads of agencies (or authorized agency officials acting on behalf of agency heads). (See 5 CFR part 575, subparts A, B, and C.)

In administering the 3Rs program, OPM and agencies have certain oversight and accountability responsibilities. These include adhering to the provisions in the 3Rs statute and regulations, the requirements governing OPM's delegation authority of personnel management in 5 U.S.C. 1104 and 5 CFR part 250, subpart A, and the applicable workforce reporting requirements in 5 CFR 9.2.

OPM Responsibilities

  • OPM must establish standards and requirements governing an agency's use of the 3Rs. OPM's 3Rs standards and requirements are found in regulations at 5 CFR part 575, subparts A, B, and C.
  • OPM must establish an oversight program to ensure that an agency's use of delegated human resources authorities, including the 3Rs, is in accordance with the merit system principles, law, regulations, and the agency's 3Rs plan. When OPM finds that an agency is not making 3Rs payments consistent with the agency's plan and the criteria in the statute and regulations, OPM may-
    • Require an agency to take corrective actions based on a written finding that an agency's use of the 3Rs is contrary to statute, regulations, or the agency's 3Rs plan.
    • Direct the agency to revoke or suspend the authority granted to any organizational component in the agency and, with respect to any category or categories of employees, require that the component obtain approval from the agency's headquarters level before paying a 3Rs payment to such employees.
    • Revoke or suspend the authority granted to the agency under the 3Rs regulations for all or any part of the agency and, with respect to any category or categories of employees, require that the agency obtain OPM's approval before paying an incentive to such employee.
  • OPM may provide assistance on the use of the 3Rs authorities at the request of the head of an agency.
  • OPM may require agencies to report information relating to civilian employees, including information on the use of the 3Rs authorities. OPM must establish standards for such workforce information submissions. OPM may exempt a specific agency or group of employees from such reporting requirements when appropriate because of special circumstances.

Agency Responsibilities

  • Before making 3Rs payments, an agency must establish a plan that includes the coverage, approval, and payment criteria specified in OPM's regulations.
  • An agency must make 3Rs payments in accordance with statute, regulations, the agency's plan, and OPM processing, documentation, and reporting requirements.
  • Each agency must monitor the use of the 3Rs authorities to ensure that its 3Rs plans and 3Rs payments are consistent with the requirements and criteria in the statute and regulations. This includes determining whether changes in staffing conditions make continued use of the incentives appropriate.
  • If OPM makes a finding based on information obtained under an OPM or agency-led oversight program that an agency's use of the 3Rs is contrary to law, regulations, or the agency's plan, the agency must-
    • Take any corrective action OPM may require.
    • Revoke or suspend the authority granted to any organizational component in the agency if directed by OPM and require that the component obtain approval from the agency's headquarters level before paying a 3Rs payment.
    • Obtain OPM approval before making a 3Rs payment if directed by OPM.
  • Each agency must keep a record of each determination to pay a 3Rs payment and make such records available for review upon OPM's request.
  • Agencies must ensure their 3Rs workforce reporting submissions meet OPM's reporting standards and are consistent with the Privacy Act.

References

  • 5 U.S.C. 5753, 5754, and 1104
  • 5 CFR part 575, subparts A, B, and C
  • 5 CFR part 250, subpart A
  • 5 CFR 9.2
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