H.R. 2579, Government Employee Accountability Act

Cost Estimate
July 30, 2013

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 24, 2013

CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2579 would not have a significant impact on federal spending. Enacting the bill could affect revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any effects would be insignificant for each year.

H.R. 2579 would allow agencies to place federal employees who are part of the Senior Executive Service (SES) on unpaid leave for up to 180 days if they are being investigated for misappropriation of funds, misconduct, neglect of duty, or malfeasance; serious violations would lead to immediate termination. 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 or terminated. Agencies do not track administrative leave for misconduct separately, so CBO cannot determine how many times such suspensions have occurred in the past. According to the Office of Personnel Management and other federal agencies, such situations are very uncommon. CBO assumes that even under H.R. 2579, suspensions for misconduct would continue to be uncommon and therefore only a few SES employees would be subject to unpaid leave or termination over the 2014-2023 period.

Implementing this bill would lead to lower discretionary spending for salaries and expenses for those placed on unpaid administrative leave or terminated, but CBO estimates that such reductions would be small because of the small number of employees likely to be affected. Because some 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 also would not be significant.

H.R. 2579 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.