Following is the explanatory statement from Congress of personnel provisions in the annual DoD authorization bill.


TITLE XI–CIVILIAN PERSONNEL MATTERS

Subtitle A-Personnel

Amendments to Department of Defense personnel authorities (sec. 1101)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1101) that would make technical amendments to Department of Defense authorities in section 9902 of title 5, United States Code.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Provisions relating to Department of Defense performance management system (sec. 1102)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1102) that would make technical and clarifying amendments to the Department of Defense (DOD) performance management, training, and hiring authorities under section 9902 of title 10, United States Code.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

The conferees commend the Department for its efforts to bring together management and employee representatives in a joint effort, called “New Beginnings,” to design a new performance management system and hiring process pursuant to section 9902. This joint labor-management effort appears to have paved the way for the successful implementation of significant improvements to the DOD personnel system.

Repeal of sunset provision relating to direct hire authority at demonstration laboratories (sec. 1103)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1103) that would repeal the sunset provision relating to direct hire authority at demonstration laboratories.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 905(a)).

The Senate recedes.

One-year extension of authority to waive annual limitation on premium pay and aggregate limitation on pay for federal civilian employees working overseas (sec. 1104)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1106) that would extend the authorization to waive limitations on federal civilian pay for persons working overseas.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 1107).

The House recedes.

Waiver of certain pay limitations (sec. 1105)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1107) that would amend section 9903 of title 5, United States Code, to authorize highly qualified experts assigned in support of a contingency operation to receive similar benefits and compensation as other federal civilian employees serving in support of a contingency operation. This includes premium pay or danger pay allowances, compensatory time off, and other appropriate compensation or allowances authorized under chapter 59 of title 5, United States Code.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Services of post-combat case coordinators (sec. 1106)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1108) that would require the head of each agency to provide for the assignment of a post-combat case coordinator in the case of any employee of the agency who suffers an injury or disability incurred, or an illness contracted, while in the performance of the employee’s duties, as a result of a war-risk hazard or during or as a result of capture, detention, or other restraint by a hostile force or individual.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Authority to wave maximum age limit for certain appointments (sec. 1107)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1111) that would amend section 3307 of title 5, United States Code, to allow the Department of Defense to waive the hiring and retirement age limits for Federal law enforcement and fire fighter positions in certain circumstances.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment that would require consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Sense of Congress relating to pay parity for federal employees serving at certain remote military installations (sec. 1108)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1112) that would express the sense of Congress that the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense should develop procedures for determining locality pay for employees of the Department of Defense in circumstances unique to such employees.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Federal internship programs (sec. 1109)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1116) that would require the Office of Personnel Management to make publicly available on its website information on the availability of federal internship programs and to maintain a database of all individuals in such programs. In addition, each agency would be required to appoint an internship coordinator, conduct exit interviews and provide an annual report assessment on the internship program.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes with an amendment to clarify the definitions of internship programs and to remove the database and reporting requirements.

The conferees encourage the Office of Personnel Management to consider the feasibility of developing a centralized database. The conferees expect that agencies would, as a normal part of the internship program, conduct exit interviews and surveys to obtain data that would assist in improving the internship programs.

Extension and expansion of experimental personnel program for scientific and technical personnel (sec. 1110)

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1104) that would repeal the sunset provision for the experimental personnel management program established by section 1101 of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Public Law 105-261), increase the number of positions allocated to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and expand the program to include up to 10 new positions for the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

The House bill contained no similar provision.

The House recedes with an amendment that would authorize the program until 2016, and grant 10 new positions to DOT&E.

The conferees recognize the specialized hiring needs of agencies requiring a highly technologically competent workforce, such as DARPA. The conferees are concerned, however, that increasing the number of available billets for this specialized hiring authority for DARPA does not have a solid analytic basis, and does not fully account for the other means by which skilled personnel can be hired, such as Highly Qualified Expert (HQE) and Intergovernmental Personal Act (IPA) authorities. The conferees encourage DARPA to develop a better analytical framework for comprehensively detailing and justifying the human resource needs of the Agency, and the means by which those needs will be addressed.

The conferees understand that the Department recently rescinded the delegation of authorities for civilian senior executive positions, including those for HQEs and IPAs, and are concerned about potential delays this might cause. To address those concerns, the conferees encourage DARPA to become a member of the working group established by the Washington Headquarters Service that was established to determine business procedures for HQE and IPA actions.

Furthermore, the conferees direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and the Director of the Washington Headquarters Service, within 90 days of enactment of this Act, to provide the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives with an implementation plan for the centralized appointment of HQE and IPA positions. Further, the conferees direct DARPA to provide a report to the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the hiring timelines for any HQE or IPA positions they may fill in fiscal year 2012.

Authority of the secretaries of the military departments to employ up to 10 persons without pay (sec. 1111)

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1101) that would amend section 1583 of title 5, United States Code, to authorize the secretaries of the military departments to employ without pay up to 10 persons of outstanding experience and ability.

The House bill contained no similar provision.

The House recedes.

Two-year extension of discretionary authority to grant allowances, benefits, and gratuities to personnel on official duty in a combat zone (sec. 1112)

The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1106) that would authorize temporary discretionary authority to federal agencies to grant allowances, benefits, and gratuities to civilian employees on official duty in a combat zone.

The House bill contained no similar provision.

The House recedes.


Subtitle B-Other Matters

Modification of beneficiary designation authorities for death gratuity payable upon death of a United States government employee in service with the armed forces (sec. 1121)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1105) that would amend section 8102 of title 5, United States Code, to authorize a federal employee to designate anyone they choose to receive the entirety of a death gratuity if the employee dies of injuries incurred in connection with service with an armed force in a contingency operation.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 1105).

The House recedes.

Authority for waiver of recovery of certain payments previously made under civilian employees voluntary separation incentive program (sec. 1122)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1109) that would authorize the Secretary of Defense to waive repayment of the voluntary separation incentive pay (VSIP) for certain employees who accepted a reassignment with the Department of Defense during the period of June 1, 2004, to March 1, 2008, to support a declared national emergency related to terrorism or a natural disaster.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 1103).

The House recedes.

Extension of continued health benefits (sec. 1123)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1110) that would amend section 8905a of title 5, United States Code, to extend for 5 years the Department of Defense’s authority to pay the government’s share and administrative fees for Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) health insurance premiums for former employees enrolled in TCC based on separation due to a reduction in force.

The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 1102).

The Senate recedes.

Disclosure of senior mentors (sec. 1124)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1114) that would would require the Department of Defense to publicly disclose the names of senior mentors on a quarterly basis.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Termination of Joint Safety Climate Assessment System (sec. 1125)

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1115) that would terminate the Joint Safety Climate Assessment System of the Department of Defense.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The Senate recedes.

Legislative Provisions Not Adopted

Denial of certain pay adjustments for unacceptable performance

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1104) that would prohibit certain salary adjustments for employees who fail to achieve satisfactory performance ratings.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The House recedes.

Reports by Office of Special Counsel

The House bill contained a provision (sec. 1113) that would modify reporting requirements for the Office of Special Counsel under section 1213 of title 5, United States Code.

The Senate amendment contained no similar provision.

The House recedes.