House passes bill making it easier to fire senior execs

House passes bill making it easier to fire senior execs

From the Federal Times:

Agencies would be able to more easily fire or suspend members of the senior executive service, under legislation passed by the House on a voice vote Sept. 16.

The Senior Executive Service Accountability Act would double the probationary period for new SES employees to two years, expand the grounds for suspension and firing to include the efficiency of the SES and not just poor performance, and reduce a required firing or suspension notice from 30 to 15 days.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and co-sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The bill is an attempt to chip away at SES job protections and turn federal employees into an “at-will” workforce, SEA president Carol Bonosaro said in a letter to House lawmakers Sept. 15. She had urged the House to vote against the legislation.

She said agencies already have the power and authority to fire poor performers within the SES, and a few high-profile bad examples should not weaken the federal civil service system.

SEA fully supports holding employees at all levels of government accountable and it may be that reforms are needed, Bonosaro wrote in the letter. “However, any attempts to reform the SES system or the civil service as a whole should be comprehensive, should strengthen the federal workforce, ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations and should provide an opportunity for stakeholder input.”

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