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VOLUNTARY LEAVE TRANSFER PROGRAM: Additional Controls Are Needed to Strengthen Program Management

OIG-20-1 Published: Aug 17, 2020. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2020.
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Fast Facts

GAO’s voluntary leave transfer program helps ease employees’ financial burdens during medical emergencies.

We identified gaps in required documentation to support leave recipients’ eligibility. We also found that 9 of 34 leave recipients stayed in the program beyond the end dates in their medical certifications, and most of the others didn’t have end dates documented.

We recommended establishing procedures to help ensure that participants are eligible, that their participation ends when they become ineligible, and to improve timekeeping records for donated leave received and used. GAO is planning to address these and other issues we found.


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This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. This report addresses the extent to which GAO has established effective policies and procedures for managing its voluntary leave transfer program.

What OIG Found

While the program has functioned to facilitate leave donations to GAO employees, we found weaknesses related to the agency's ability to confirm leave recipients' initial or continued program eligibility, and to ensure that leave balances reflect properly supported receipt and use of donated leave. Specifically, required documentation to support leave recipients' medical emergency and eligibility was missing or incomplete. Leave recipients with approved applications remained in the program beyond the dates determined in their medical certifications, and others did not have expected end dates documented. Donated leave hours received for some recipients were not supported by donor applications, while time and attendance records reflecting donated leave hours used for other recipients were inconsistently supported by Human Capital Office (HCO) timekeeper records or were inaccurately calculated.

What OIG Recommends

This report contains four recommendations. First, update HCO leave transfer program procedures to establish who is responsible for maintaining recipient applications, including medical documentation; ensuring their signed approval from unit managers; and overseeing the implementation of established responsibilities. Second, issue guidance for responsible HCO staff to help GAO confirm that the medical certifications address the nature, severity, and duration of leave recipients' medical emergencies. Third, establish procedures to be followed by approving officials to monitor recipients' medical status and continued program participation. Fourth, develop and implement written procedures and recordkeeping requirements for manual donated leave calculations and time and attendance recording. GAO agreed with our findings and recommendations and outlined planned actions to address them.

For more information, please contact Adam R. Trzeciak at (202) 512-5748 or

Full Report

GAO Contacts


Eligibility determinationsInternal controlsLeave sharingPolicies and proceduresProgram managementTime and attendance recordsAnnual leaveHealth care standardsPay periodHuman capital management