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Human Capital Legislation
PAY AUTHORITY FOR CRITICAL POSITIONS (§ 9807 of S.610)
• Similar to the existing critical pay authority, NASA’s new authority may be used only when necessary to recruit or retain an exceptionally well-qualified individual for a position that requires expertise of an extremely high level in a scientific, technical, professional, or administrative field. The position must be critical to successful accomplishment of an important mission. In addition, use of the enhanced authority is limited to positions that meet a critical need, as defined in NASA’s Workforce Plan.
• The NASA Administrator is granted the authority to set pay under this provision.
• This authority can be used to recruit new (non-Federal) employees and to retain current NASA employees. It cannot be used in connection with a transfer of an employee to NASA from another Federal agency.
• Under this provision, an employee’s salary can be set at a rate up to that authorized for the Vice President. If the salary is set below this rate, the employee cannot receive an allowance, bonus, or other payment during any calendar year that would cause his or her total salary to exceed the Vice President’s annual salary.
• To ensure that this authority is used for truly exceptional cases, it is limited to ten employees at any one time.
• This provision of the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 supplements the existing authority for critical position pay provided by Title 5 USC section 5377; it does not replace that authority.