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house Bill H.R. 5290

Should Federal Agencies Disclose the Bonuses They Pay Out?

Argument in favor

It’s wrong for federal agencies to dole out more than $1 billion in employee bonuses without being transparent about who got bonuses and what they were awarded for. This bill would shine a light on the process to ensure taxpayers are getting what they pay for.

Christopher's Opinion
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04/05/2018
Any and all taxpayer dollars should be accounted for and disclosed to “We The Taxpayers!”
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anatidae's Opinion
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04/05/2018
Transparency within government is desirable.
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iRyan's Opinion
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04/05/2018
Of course there should be accountability for where tax dollars are being spent.
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Argument opposed

Federal agencies should be empowered to pay performance-based bonuses to employees without having to disclose how much each employee received or what they did to earn it. That’s information the general public doesn’t need to know.

William 's Opinion
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04/05/2018
This more micromanaging that is just not needed. Performance Bonuses should be justified in detail in the annual performance evaluation reviewed and approved through HR channels and in accordance with government policy.
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Dale's Opinion
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04/05/2018
Individual bonuses should not be available to the public. But it should be more structured to prevent corruption, and have an independent group keep tabs on it. I wouldn't want my bonus to be available for just anyone to see.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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04/06/2018
Federal agencies should not be paying bonuses.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 5290?

This bill — the Federal Employee Bonus Disclosure Act — would require federal agencies to disclose performance bonuses awarded to employees within 30 days of the end of the fiscal year, along with the name of the employee and the amount of the bonus. For all bonuses equal to or greater than $10,000 an agency would have to include a detailed description of why the bonus was awarded and the metrics used to determine the size of the bonus. Under current law, not all bonuses paid by federal agencies are publicly disclosed, of the $1.5 billion in bonuses paid in fiscal year 2016 only $351 million was disclosed.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) would be required to publish a list containing this information on a public website and provide a report to Congress on bonuses exceeding $10,000 before January 1 of each fiscal year.

Impact

Federal employees receiving bonuses and the general public; federal agencies; and OPM.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5290

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) introduced this bill to make information about all federal employee bonuses publicly available and require reports to Congress on any performance-based bonuses over $10,000:

“As a taxpayer, I like to know what I’m paying for, and that’s a sentiment that I often hear from people at home. Accordingly, it’s bothersome and frustrating that federal performance bonuses are undisclosed. Indeed, in fiscal year 2016, less than 25 percent of the $1.5 billion in bonuses were made public, equating  to a $1.1 billion tab for one million performance bonuses. In some cases, the payments being withheld are egregious, like, for example, $1.7 million in bonuses to IRS employees despite their record of serious misconduct. With oversight one of Congress’s main roles, simply observing a problem is not enough. We have to do something for oversight to mean anything, and making this area of federal spending more transparent is the first step in bringing better accountability to how taxpayer dollars are used.”


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: WLDavies / iStock)

AKA

Federal Employee Bonus Disclosure Act

Official Title

To amend title 5, United States Code, to require the disclosure, public documentation, and reporting of Federal employee bonuses, and for other purposes.

    Any and all taxpayer dollars should be accounted for and disclosed to “We The Taxpayers!”
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    This more micromanaging that is just not needed. Performance Bonuses should be justified in detail in the annual performance evaluation reviewed and approved through HR channels and in accordance with government policy.
    Like (30)
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    Transparency within government is desirable.
    Like (63)
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    Of course there should be accountability for where tax dollars are being spent.
    Like (39)
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    Vote YEA!
    Like (33)
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    Yes I support this bill. Transparency promotes honesty.
    Like (31)
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    Yes they should, why should they not? If CEO’s bonuses are reported federal agencies should be required as well.
    Like (22)
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    Why the hell are any federal agents giving one another bonus shares of my money anyway? Definitely publish it, so I know who my biggest leeches are.
    Like (22)
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    Individual bonuses should not be available to the public. But it should be more structured to prevent corruption, and have an independent group keep tabs on it. I wouldn't want my bonus to be available for just anyone to see.
    Like (16)
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    We pay for all the federal agencies jobs & we should see how our tax payer money is going.
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    Federal agencies should not be paying bonuses.
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    I can't believe this wasn't already required. That's our money and we should know what's being done with it.
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    OMG. Bonuses for federal employees? As a taxpayer, that’s news to me. I say not only disclose all bonuses, but eliminate them altogether. I’m all for cutting waste from government spending! Next up: pensions and benefits for legislators. Oh, and term limits. Trim the fat. And then feed the poor and save the planet.
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    I want to know what my taxes are paying for. Every cent. I pay out enough. When government officials already make twice what I do and I'm pinching pennies to pay for ridiculously high healthcare costs I have a problem with bonuses going to these people.
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    Yes I believe as a taxpayer we should see the bonuses and how they come about. Congressmen talk about transparency in government and this would be a start. It would be interesting to see if the transparency would change how much people would get in bonuses. Bonuses should be based on the performance of their job.
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    You bet!
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    Tax paying citizens are entitled to this information.
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    Why are we giving bonuses when we are trillions in debt?
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    Yes, and any bonus amount over $500 should be use to support the infrastructure and community outreach programs it was created to protect. This should include all bonuses over $500 any elected official receives being used to support the needs of the community the elected official is from.
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    21 Trillion in debt and we’re giving out billions in bonuses—often to agencies that are incompetent and wasteful. Geesh. What’s wrong with this picture? I say freeze all bonuses until we get a balanced budget! Having once worked under the Dept. of the Navy, I saw firsthand the attitude of most civil servants toward the use of funds that employed them—it may as well have been Monopoly money. If bonuses were frozen for years, maybe our civil servants would help to be better stewards of our money! THEN, yes, once able and bonuses are restored, they should all be transparent.
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