TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF CERTAIN NEW EMPLOYEES
(§ 9811 of S.610)
PURPOSE: Current Federal rules pertaining to travel and transportation provide limited reimbursement to “new hires” – individuals who are relocating to accept their first Federal position. Since relocation expenses can be costly, NASA has been at a disadvantage in competing with nonfederal employers who are able to offer generous and flexible relocation benefits to attract top talent. This provision authorizes NASA to pay the same travel, transportation, and relocation expenses for a new appointee that can be offered to a Federal employee who transfers to a new duty location in the interest of the United States Government. This is a valuable recruitment incentive that is particularly effective in hiring individuals who face substantial relocation expenses and/or are relocating to high-cost areas.
• This provision extends the travel and transportation provisions of Title 5, United States Code that apply to employees being transferred from one permanent duty location to another to new appointees. When it is determined to be in the interest of the United States Government, new appointees may be authorized the same “full” transportation entitlements as current employees who relocate at Government expense.
• The decision to authorize travel for new appointees must be communicated to all potential applicants for the position for which the new appointee is selected. Normally this will be accomplished by including the information in the job vacancy announcement.
• Examples of the types of travel and transportation benefits that may now be paid for new hires include: a house-hunting trip, travel costs and a per diem allowance for family members, reimbursement for specified residence sale and purchase expenses, temporary quarters subsistence allowance, and a miscellaneous expense allowance.
• The enhanced travel and transportation provision may be used in connection with career or career-conditional appointments, excepted service appointments to continuing positions, term appointments, excepted service appointments that provide for noncompetitive conversion to career or career-conditional status, career or limited term Senior Executive Service appointments, NASA Excepted (NEX) appointments, Senior Level (SL) appointments, Scientific and Professional (ST) appointments, and student trainee conversions.