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Report: GAO Finds Federal, Private Pay Comparisons Inaccurate

The Government Accountability Office has found various studies comparing federal pay and private sector pay are non-compatible because of conflicting research approaches.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Federal Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Dennis Ross originally requested the GAO to conduct the study to find out why federal and private pay gap reports conflict.

Through its research the GAO used three methods to compare pay, including the human capital approach, job-to-job approach and the trend analysis approach.

The report found there are currently two ways annual pay adjustments for General Services are determined: direct authority from Congress and through the processes outlined in the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990.

Sampling six studies, the GAO’s report argues different data, methods and approaches also produced varied results.

The report also found GS employees are eligible for three types of pay increase: within-grade, ratings-based cash awards and quality step increases.

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