The Office of Personnel Management has started an effort to enhance the oversight of the recruitment, relocation, and retention (also known as 3R) bonuses. OPM Director John Berry stated that he was concerned about the growth of the bonuses in a memo on Wednesday, February 3rd.
Berry noted the bonuses necessary to find and retain the most skilled and valuable employees, but that agencies might be overpaying them, especially in this dismal job market. He is also concerned about the fact that many agencies outsource the administration of the incentive programs. In other words, they are being paid without higher-level review or oversight.
In Berry’s memo he stated, “It appears the problem for many agencies is that there is neither detailed knowledge nor adequate overview at the headquarters level of [bonus programs] in the subordinate organizations and field offices.”
The Office of Personnel Management wants to include more oversight by monitoring the incentive payments more closely. They will also issues new regulations that each agency will be expected to review and decide whether their incentives should be continued or altered.