Federal White-Collar Employee Salary Reform
T-GGD-90-22, Mar 14, 1990
GAO discussed the issue of federal white-collar employee pay reform and the need for employee pay-setting principles and processes. GAO found that: (1) the salary comparability principle adopted in 1962 has been ineffective; (2) increases necessary to maintain comparability with rates paid by nonfederal employers have not been granted for many years; (3) national average nonfederal salary rates used to determine comparability have little relevance to nonfederal rates in many localities where federal employees work; and (4) the comparability principle does not consider wide variances in the cost of living in different parts of the country. GAO noted that noncompetitive salary rates are the major reason for federal recruitment and retention difficulties, especially in high-cost, high-paying localities. GAO believes that federal salary rates must be restored to competitive levels in a fiscally responsible manner.