Federal Executive Pay

T-GGD-87-1: Published: Nov 3, 1986. Publicly Released: Nov 3, 1986.

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GAO provided its views on the need to adjust the salaries of top government officials. GAO noted that: (1) salary levels have not kept up with inflation; (2) the new federal employee retirement system that will go into effect next year will provide little incentive to federal employees to remain with the federal government, and will likely result in an increase in civil service turnover; (3) fewer people are interested in federal employment due to the level of federal compensation, declining morale, and the image of public service; (4) the Commission on Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Services should consider how to achieve more competitive executive salaries in the face of overall constraints on salaries during the past several years; and (5) federal employees' salaries are approximately 24-percent lower than those of private sector employees. GAO concluded that it would be difficult to examine the comparability of federal executives' salaries with those of private sector executives without addressing the issue of pay adequacy for the entire federal work force.

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