Defense Research and Development:

Federal Centers' 1993 Compensation in Relation to Federal Levels

NSIAD-96-140: Published: Jul 10, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the fiscal year 1993 costs for professional staff, managers, and executives at the Department of Defense's (DOD) Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), focusing on: (1) salaries, other cash compensation, and benefits for FFRDC personnel; and (2) the average compensation paid by FFRDC to their personnel.

GAO found that: (1) the average base salary for FFRDC executives, managers, and professional staff was $73,000, with the individual average for each DOD FFRDC ranging from $67,000 to $81,000; (2) average executive base salaries varied from $123,000 to $183,000; (3) the average employer cost of benefits for all FFRDC personnel ranged from 16 percent to 24 percent of salaries; (4) executives' benefits had the greatest variance, ranging from 19 percent to 54 percent of salaries; (5) benefits for all federal and FFRDC executives, with two exceptions, were about the same as those provided to all other employees; (6) the average total compensation for all FFRDC employees was $90,000, which corresponded to the federal level of GS-14 step 8; (7) individual average total compensation ranged from $81,000 to $100,000; (8) average executive compensation ranged from $149,000 to $282,000, which was above federal levels at three FFRDC and at the cabinet level at the other FFRDC; (9) for managers, total compensation at five FFRDC was at the Senior Executive Service level and at the GS-15 level at three FFRDC; and (10) for professional staff, total compensation at four FFRDC was at the GS-14 Level and at the GS-13 level at the remaining FFRDC.

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