NOTE: The Asbury Park Press analysis found agencies that handed out the most bonus money were the Veterans Health Administrations and the Federal Aviation Administration, $27.9 million and $24 million, respectively.
$332 Million In Federal Worker Bonuses And Searchable Individual 2012 Payroll Records
By Russ Ptacek
A new federal payroll database obtained by WUSA9 and the Asbury Park Press shows $105 billion in federal wages including $332 million in 2012 bonuses and identifies the government's biggest payouts going to workers who deal with natural disasters.
The searchable database shows individual payroll records for fiscal year 2012, including some bonuses, for about three out of four government workers.
The figures, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests to the Office of Personnel Management indicate the federal government has trimmed its bonus program since 2011, but they don't represent a full disclosure of government bonuses.
In FOIA responses to WUSA9, OPM has acknowledged it doesn't include all bonuses information because it considers an unknown amount of bonuses to be protected from disclosure under agency guidelines.
The Asbury Park Press estimates the numbers include about 73% of government workers, but excludes Department of Defense, CIA, FBI, Congress, The White House and some security agencies.
Individual or agency payroll records for fiscal year 2012 are searchable at www.DataUniverse.com, the Asbury Park Press' public records site. Look under "What's new" for the link.
WUSA9, Asbury Park Press and DataUniverse are all owned by Gannett.
See the Asbury Park Press full analysis here: http://app.com
According to an analysis by Asbury Park Press, the 2012 database shows non-defense federal employee payroll has shrunk in fiscal year 2012, by $932 million, to $105 billion.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency dished out $10.9 million in bonuses and other awards in fiscal year 2012, up from $1.3 million the year before - a seven-fold increase.
For FEMA employees, officials say the huge bonus spike came about because the agency ran out of money in FY 2011 (fiscal years end Sept. 30) and were making up for it.
The Asbury Park Press analysis found agencies that handed out the most bonus money were the Veterans Health Administrations and the Federal Aviation Administration, $27.9 million and $24 million, respectively. FEMA came in seventh, at $10.9 million, but had the single largest year-over-year increase. It's paid just $1.3 million in 2011, according to the pay records. The second largest increase was at the patent office, at $9.4 million.
The recipient of the single largest bonus was Medical Officer Stephen M. Friedman of the Indian Health Services in New Mexico. He received an award of $66,078 on top of his $290,000 a year salary. He is also one of the highest paid federal employees in the nation. The highest paid is a doctor with the Veterans Health Administration, who made $398,322 last year - just $1,678 less than President Obama's paycheck.
The payroll records reflect fiscal year 2012, which was October 2011 through September 2012.
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