Federal Personnel:

Documentation for Sick Leave Used by Retiring GSA Employees Not Always Available

GGD-88-29: Published: Jan 7, 1988. Publicly Released: Jan 7, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined General Services Administration (GSA) employees' use of sick leave in their last year of work before retirement, focusing on: (1) the amount of leave used; and (2) whether GSA properly authorized the leave.

GAO found that: (1) 714 GSA employees who took nondisability retirements in 1985 used an average of 30 sick-leave days during their last year of work, two and three times as much as the average GSA and federal employee, respectively; (2) 115 GSA employees who retired in 1985 had 187 sick leave instances in their last year of work, and averaged 66.2 days per employee; and (3) 89 of these sick leave instances, accounting for 3,067 days, lacked the required medical documentation. GAO also found that: (1) personnel responsible for maintaining sick leave records did not fully understand GSA regulations regarding sick leave documentation; and (2) GSA did not perform audits or internal management reviews addressing documentation. In addition, GAO found that GSA implemented internal controls to improve compliance with sick leave documentation requirements by: (1) requiring supervisors to review supporting documentation during semiannual reviews; (2) requiring that evaluations of its personnel management operations include reviews of sick leave documentation; (3) instituting a program to encourage employees to conserve their sick leave; and (4) monitoring employees' use of sick leave to determine if further corrective action was needed.

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