Response to Inspector General’s Review of Overtime for FBI Employees Deployed Overseas
|Washington, D.C. December 18, 2008|
We appreciate the work of the Inspector General (IG) on today’s report, “An Investigation of Overtime Practices of FBI and Other Department Employees Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.” In response, FBI Assistant Director John Miller issued the following statement:
“We accept that Headquarters management, in an effort to quickly develop a simple system to compensate FBI employees who volunteered to leave their domestic assignments and serve in war zones, allowed a flawed system to develop and remain in place too long.
“Early in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, FBI managers traveled to those war zones and saw first hand the challenges of a 24/7 threat environment. FBI employees lived with sniper attacks, mortar fire, and roadside bombs as part of their daily work environment. They attempted to adapt a long established, domestic pay system for domestic law enforcement to unprecedented wartime assignments for FBI personnel.
“Employees then utilized a pay and overtime policy they were told to use that clearly didn’t comply as structured with current law and regulation. While this may have been understandable as a short-term solution in the early deployments, a sensible long-term solution still was needed.
“As the Inspector General’s report points out, a system that both fairly recognized employees and complied with pay statutes and other personnel regulations should have been put in place, but wasn’t.
“Over the past year, we have implemented a number of changes and continue to work with the IG. The overtime policy described in the report was discontinued and the FBI accepts all of the IG’s recommendations, many of which have already been implemented. We commend those employees who came forward and questioned the policy, forcing the issue to the forefront and leading to the IG review and corrective actions. That’s the responsibility of every FBI employee, no matter the work environment. Management efforts continue which will give employees working in the war zones the clearest possible instructions on what activities are compensable, working within relevant law and regulation.”