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White House Suspends Awards Program for Top Federal Executives

WhiteHouseThe White House has decided to suspend a federal program which gives cash awards to senior agency executives for exemplary performance, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Lisa Rein writes the Presidential Rank Awards program has recognized top-performing executives since 1978 with one-time bonuses of between 20 and 35 percent of their salary.

“In light of the reduced budgetary resources, expending funds on employee performance awards at this time would in many circumstances not be the most effective way to protect agency mission to the extent practicable,” an administration official said.

The Obama administration is now considering non-monetary methods to reward executive excellence.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, objected to the program’s cancellation and said rank awards were required by law.

“While we understand the concern for both budget and optics during the sequester [budget cuts], it seems rather short sighted to sacrifice a program designed to encourage and reward excellence in government – especially one which is completely justified given both the accomplishments of the awardees and the savings they secure for government,” Bonosaro said in a statement.

There were 46 managers given 2012 awards in April for saving a combined $94 billion last year.

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