Many federal employees have a tenure of at least 15 years which entitles them to twenty-six days of annual leave each year. Federal statutes/regulations limit employees to a maximum of 240 hours of accumulated leave at the end of each year. As such, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of employees are taking the equivalent of one month off each year. Agencies are required to have adequate staffing on hand each day despite the large number of employees on leave, and fellow employees are must cover the workload for employees on leave. In effect, agencies must maitain certain number of full-time equivalents to simply cover for the portion of their staff on annual leave at any given time. By allowing carryover of annual leave (and application of some portion to creditable service for retirement), there would be an immediate decrease in the amount of annual leave taken by employees. The federal government could cut thousands of positions that have become necessary to basically cover for employees on leave. While there would be some deferred cost to the retirement program, it would be more than offset by the immediate annual savings in personnel costs. I estimate that a five percent staffing reduction would be possible with no impact on the level of service delivery.
Idea No. 1562