Executive Bonuses:

Information on FDIC's and RTC's Executive Bonus Programs

GGD-94-15: Published: Oct 1, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed bonuses paid to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) executive-level employees, focusing on whether FDIC and RTC: (1) were justified in awarding bonuses to attract and retain talented public-sector employees; and (2) had adequate internal controls to ensure that the bonuses attracted and retained talented public-sector employees.

GAO found that: (1) FDIC and RTC bonus decisions are a matter of executive judgement; (2) FDIC and RTC have the authority to set employees' compensation and federal laws do not limit bonuses or the amount paid to executive-level employees; (3) both agencies have taken different approaches regarding employee bonuses; (4) the 1992 executive bonuses were within existing policy limits; (5) although Congress oversees bonus decisions, each agency has the responsibility of judging whether bonus decisions are appropriate; (6) although FDIC and RTC bonus programs generally incorporate Senior Executive Service (SES) bonus program controls, FDIC and RTC bonus programs do not establish formal performance review boards or set individual executive performance plans at the beginning of each performance period; and (7) it could not determine whether FDIC and RTC 1991 bonus decisions would have been different if RTC and FDIC had applied SES program controls, since performance appraisals are subjective by nature and agency heads have the authority to make final bonus decisions.

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