Rep. Hice Praises Passage of Official Time Reporting Bill
“The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Jody Hice (R-GA) today praised the passage of H.R. 1293, legislation requiring the Office of Personnel Management to submit an annual report to Congress relating to the use of “official time,” a practice by which federal employees are legally permitted to conduct union-related activities – during the work day – instead of performing their jobs.
Prior to its passage, Hice delivered remarks in support of the legislation sponsored by Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL). Hice’s floor speech can be viewed online here.
“The American people have a right to at least have a reasonable expectation that the federal government knows what its employees are doing,” said Congressman Hice. “Unfortunately, we all know that doesn't always happen, particularly when it comes to the practice of official time. It's amazing to me how little information there is as it relates to the reporting aspect as to what is happening under official time.”
“H.R. 1293 grants the OPM the ability to get necessary information from federal agencies so that we have a more comprehensive understanding of the official time usage,” Hice continued. “Currently there are no standards for OPM to find that kind of information. This bill does not eliminate nor does it restrict official time usage. It simply shines light on the practice. I believe we can find common ground that the American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent. This is good governance.”
In March, Representative Hice introduced H.R. 1364, the Official Time Reform Act, which would prohibit federal employees from grassroots lobbying while on official time. The bill would also prohibit employees who spend more than 80% of their work on official time within a given year from counting that time as creditable service under the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employee Retirements System and would prohibit those employees from receiving bonuses.
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