U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMS TRANSMISSION 05/25/2007
Instruction Memorandum No. 2007-128
To: Assistant Directors, State Directors and Center Directors
Attn: Human Resources Officers
From: Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management
Subject: Amendment to IM No. 2006-090 – Recruitment, Relocation and Retention Incentives
Program Area: Human Resources Management
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) amends policy for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for requesting approval for recruitment, relocation and retention (3Rs) incentives.
Policy/Action: All requests for approval to offer recruitment, relocation, and/or retention incentives, to specific individuals must be approved by the BLM, Deputy Director on a case-by-case basis. Such requests must be routed through the Assistant Director, Human Capital Management for review.
Requests to use this authority for positions filled under the Department of Interior National Fire Plan must be routed through the Assistant Director (AD), Fire and Aviation.
The AD, Fire and Aviation will review requests and make recommendations that help maintain consistency and prudence in the use of these authorities among bureaus and with the U.S. Forest Service. The BLM, Deputy Director has final approval authority for fire positions as well.
ADs and State Directors are delegated authority to determine when incentives may be necessary to attract and retain high quality candidates. Once a determination is made to use incentives as a recruitment tool, Human Resources Offices (HRO) can include a statement on the vacancy announcement indicating that use of incentives may be considered. For consistency purposes, the following statement must be used:
“The BLM may use certain incentives, currently offered by the Federal government, to attract high quality candidates.”
A recruitment incentive may be paid when a determination has been made that the position is likely to be difficult to fill, with a high quality candidate in the absence of an incentive. Relocation incentives may be paid to a current employee who must relocate to a different geographic area when the position otherwise would be difficult to fill with a high quality candidate in the absence of the incentive. A retention incentive may be paid when a determination is made that the unusually high or unique qualifications of the employee or a special need of the Bureau for the employee’s services makes it essential to retain the employee. It must be determined that the employee would likely leave Federal service without the incentive. Retention incentives may also be paid to a group or category of employees. Retention incentives must be reviewed annually to verify their continued need.
The DOI information and guidance on relocation, recruitment, and retention incentives can be found at www.doi.gov/hrm/guidance/curronly.htm At the minimum, employees awarded retention, recruitment or relocation incentives will be required to sign a 12-month service agreement, when applicable. Exceptions to the 12- month minimum service agreement period may be granted by the BLM, Deputy Director..
A service agreement is not required for employees who will receive retention incentive payments in biweekly installments of equal amounts. However, when an employee receives a higher retention incentive as a result of an Office Personnel Management (OPM) approved waiver, a service agreement is required. Relocation, Recruitment and Retention Incentive Service Agreements are attached. To ensure consistency throughout the BLM, HROs must use the attached agreements.
The required service period must begin upon commencement of service with BLM for a recruitment incentive and upon commencement of service at the new duty station for a relocation incentive. The required service period for recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives must begin on the first day of a pay period. If service with the BLM does not begin on the first day of a pay period, the HRO must delay the service period commencement date until the beginning of a pay period. The service period, for all incentives, must terminate on the last day of a pay period.
An employee will be notified, in writing, when a service agreement is terminated. Decisions to terminate agreements may not be grieved or appealed.
A copy of each approval, including the amount and justification will be maintained by the servicing HRO.
Timeframe: This policy becomes effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None
Background: Previously, the BLM Deputy Director, Operations approved requests to utilize incentives as a recruitment tool. This authority is now delegated to Assistant Directors and Center Directors. This IM also makes it optional rather than mandatory for HROs to include a statement on vacancy announcements when incentives may be used to attract high quality candidates.
Manual/Handbook Section Affected: Manual Chapter 1400-335 and 1400-575
Contact: For policy related questions, please contact Verda Sullivan, WO-710, at (202) 785-6598.