Managers to receive cash bonuses for battling blazes

Two federal agencies will give trained managers incentives in the form of cash bonuses to help firefighters battle the worst wildfire season in decades.

Last Friday, President Clinton ordered the Interior and Agriculture departments to send 2,000 federal managers and supervisors to western states to provide support to federal and local firefighters. USDA oversees the Forest Service.

"Additional managers and supervisors are needed to ensure additional firefighting crews have the proper supervision and management support that they need in the field. This action will immediately authorize individuals working long, stressful hours to be compensated appropriately," Clinton said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Office of Personnel Management said that not all managers are eligible for overtime pay due to caps and other restrictions-a disincentive for those with experience and training in fighting fires to join the ongoing effort.

However, agencies can offer cash bonuses for special service on the job under title 5 of the United States Code, and OPM has directed Interior and Agriculture to use those existing programs to reward experienced managers who join the firefighting effort.

Federal supervisors will provide logistical support to firefighters and will help manage fire crews.

Last year, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., introduced a bill (H.R. 1770) to revise the overtime pay limitation for federal employees. The bill is currently in committee.

"I am delighted that we are dealing with the disincentive that has drained experienced supervisory people away from managerial duties to work on the fire line. It is time for the Congress to act on the administration's proposals to establish a permanent solution to this problem," said OPM Director Janice R. Lachance.

According to the the Defense Department, more than 4,600 soldiers, Marines and airmen have joined forces with federal and local firefighters and law enforcement officials to battle the blazes.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.