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Legislative Updates

House passes official time reporting bill

On May 24, the Housed passed by voice vote H.R. 1293, a bill that would require that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit an annual report to Congress outlining the use of official time by federal employees.

H.R. 1293 was introduced in March by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), who serves on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Under the bill, each agency would provide to OPM an annual report that includes:

  • total amount of official time granted to employees
  • average amount of official time expended per bargaining unit employee
  • pecific types of activities or purposes for which official time was granted
  • the impact of granting official time had on agency operations
  • the total number of employees to whom official time was granted
  • the total amount of benefits and compensation for those granted official time, and
  • a description of designated spaced used for official time activities.

Passage of this bill comes amidst major interest in official time legislation. There are currently two other House bills on the subject pending:

  • The Official Time Reform Act (H.R. 1364), offered by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), would tie official time use to retirement calculations, and
  • The VET Protection Act (H.R.1461), offered by Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX), seeks to limit official time use by employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

NALC actively opposes any legislation that weakens worker protections.

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