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that federal law-enforcement improve both their recruitment and retention rates.

While Congress lias long been cognizant of the problem of different expenses in different regions of the

country, and have tried to remedy the problem through pay locality increases, the inadequacies of the pay

system continue to impact not only agencies, but everyday law enforcement office. Our antiquated system

does not adequately adjust for the realities of life in some of America's high-cost metropolitan areas.

For example, today the salary of a starting Agent in San Francisco does not qualify him for even half the

median cost of a home. As a result, Agents commonly face 4 hour daily commutes on top of their regular

ten-hour-plus workday. This problem is not limited to the Bay area, but reaches Agents nationwide. And

since assignments are based on the needs of the nation, not the finances of an Agent, many senior Agents

are forced to leave the bureau when they are reassigned to one of these financial hardship cities.

Junior agents also face tough choices. One recent, true example illustrates just how outrageous our system

has become. A GS 14 Supervisory Special Agent assigned to Houston transferred to DC about 18 months

ago. She was making approximately $114,000. When she moved to FBIHQ, in a GS 14 position, her pay

dropped to $107,000. Her experience with a shrinking paycheck continued as she lost another 5% through

the imposition of a state income tax. She also saw her house payment increased $1700 per month. I'm

certain that if you reflect upon your first days as a Member of Congress this committee can relate to her


As a single woman with no dependents she is able to afford this sudden reduction in salary, but many with

a family could not, and would be forced to choose between a diminished quality of life for their family, or a departure from public service. But more importantly, it is contrary to the interests of the agency and the

government to attach a $14,000 surcharge to a lateral move to Headquarters. Keep in mind that even with

a proniotion lo GS 15, the shift from a state with no income tax to a region with one results in dramatically

less take home pay. I encourage you to seriously consider this point hecause the ris cvetem does not

Three separate administrations have also indicated there is need for a separate pay and personnel system.

In the early 1990s, Congress mandated an enhancement of the federal law enforcement payment system.

The Federal Employees pay Compatibility Act of 1990 directed OPM to develop a plan to establish a

separate federal law enforcement personnel system.

OPM and the statutorily chartered National Advisory Commission on Law Enforcement (NACLE) studied

the issue of a law enforcement specific pay system. Both OPM and NACLE concluded that a separate

system should be created. However, circumstances and administrations changed and this suggestion never

became law,

Office of Personal and Management Director Kay Coles James publicly invited national discourse on

addressing the flaws of the federal pay system. Paving the way for reform, OPM reported that the

antiquated General Schedule system does not reflect market pay levels; address new and unprecedented

management challenges; encourage achievement and results; or tailor pay programs to agency specific

missions and labor markets. A law enforcement pay system would address the concerns raised by the


It is because of my increasing concem with the nation's federal law enforcement pay system that I have

introduced H.R. 1676, the Comprehensive Federal Law Enforcement Pay Equity and Reform Act. My

legislation seeks to reform federal law in three areas.

First my bill provides inimediate relief for those law enforcement officers who need it most. Specifically

H.R. 1676 provides a locality pay adjustment for federal law enforcement officers located in thirteen

metropolitian areas. Those thirteen areas are: Boston-Lawrence-Salem, 24.4%, Chicago-Gary Lake

County, 24.5%, Detroit-Ann Arbor- Flint MI, 18.5%, Hartford, CT, 20.3%, Los Angeles-Anaheim

Riverside, 27.1%, New York-New Jersey-Long Island, 26.1%, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Trenton, 20.3%

Portland-Salem, 20.3%, Sacramento-Yolo, CA, 21.0%, San Diego, 27.1%, San Francisco-Oakland-San

Jose, 32.03%, Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA, 27.5%, Washington-Baltimore, 24.3%.

Second, it lifts the cap on overtime pay for federal law enforcement officers, thereby eliminating a serious

disincentive to seeking promotion.

Third, and most importantly, my bill sets Congress and the administration on the path toward a new pay

system. H.R. 1676 directs the OPM to study and submit to Congress, not later than 6 months after the date

of enactment, a report containing its findings and recommendations regarding the need for and potential

benefits of a separate pay, evaluation and promotion system for Federal law enforcement officers. In

carrying out this study, the OPM is directed to take into account the valuable work and recommendations

done by OPM in their 1993 report titled “A Plan to Establish a New Pay and Job Evaluation System for

Federal Law Enforcement Officers."

Mr. Chairman, Madame Chairwoman, today's realities underline the need for more law enforcement

personnel, as well as the need for highly skilled, and specially trained agents. Yet despite the signals of

support from three consecutive administrations we still do not adequately pay for people with special

skills, nor do we adjust pay to reflect the high cost of living in the metropolitan areas most in need of

federal law enforcement.

I think that every federal law enforcement officer deserves a raise, but with the understanding that the

govemment has limited means. My legislation allows us to live within our means, while paying law

enforcement agents a respectable wage they deserve, and law enforcement agencies the relief they need.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today, and for your interest in this issue. /temp/-c108666dq8

HR 1676 IH


1st Session

H. R. 1676

To amend chapter 55 of title 5, United States Code, to exclude availability pay for Federal criminal investigators from the limitation on premium pay; to modify levels of special pay adjustments for Federal law enforcement officers in certain areas, and for other purposes.


April 8, 2003

Mr. ROGERS of Michigan (for himself, Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia, and Mrs. EMERSON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform


To amend chapter 55 of title 5, United States Code, to exclude availability pay for Federal criminal investigators from the limitation on premium pay; to modify levels of special pay adjustments for Federal law enforcement officers in certain areas, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the 'Federal Law Enforcement Officers Pay Equity and Reform Act.

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(a) IN GENERAL- Section 5547 of title 5, United States Code, is amended

(1) in subsection (a), by striking '5545a,';

(2) in subsection (c), by striking ‘or 5545a'; and

(3) in subsection (d), by striking the period and inserting or a criminal investigator who is
paid availability pay under section 5545a.'.

(6) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect as if included in
the enactment of section 1114 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002
(Public Law 107-107; 115 Stat. 1239).


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