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ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The members of the NCUA Board have decided not to award their personal Schedule C appointees cash bonuses, as is currently permitted by the Bush administration. Former-President Bill Clinton halted the awarding of cash bonuses for upper level federal government appointees due to the potential for an appearance of favoritism, according to NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar. Career employees at NCUA have a shot at receiving somewhere between $200 and $1,000 performance bonuses for going above and beyond their regular job duties. Dollar also pointed out that because NCUA is a FIRREA (Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act) agency, its pay scale is different, and was allowed to give bonuses even during the Clinton years. Dollar said that while former NCUA Chairs Norm D’Amours and Yolanda Wheat had paid out bonuses to their Schedule Cs in the past, he never has. At the agency, the chairman is allotted six Schedule Cs, while the other two board members are given two. Each board member is delegated authority over their individual appointees. Dollar has used four of his Schedule Cs for Chief of Staff Kirk Cuevas, Special Assistant to the Chairman for Public Relations Nick Owens, Public and Congressional Affairs (PACA) Director Cliff Northup, and PACA Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs Gail Galvan. The chairman said, in the interest of fiscal responsibility, he has no plans to fill the remaining two spots, but reserves the right to do so as necessary. NCUA Board Member JoAnn Johnson brought Executive Assistant Julie Starnes and Administrative Assistant Heather Graham on as Schedule C employees in her office. NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz has only appointed one Schedule C, Executive Assistant Nancy Smith. Her administrative assistant, Patty Jenkins, is a career NCUA employee and makes up for the absence of a second Schedule C appointee. Matz and Johnson also said that though their appointees work very hard and long hours, they, too, do not plan to grant cash bonuses to them. Regarding the cash bonuses, Dollar commented, “It has been my policy not to because of the appearance of favoritism.” He said that he has fully explained to his Schedule C appointees why he will not be handing out bonuses and added that their annual review and pay raises take into account their performance. He also said that the bonuses could create resentment between the career and appointed staff. Although the chairman’s policy is in conflict with President George W. Bush’s, Dollar acknowledged that the decision is the prerogative of the president and he sees the potential benefit. “I certainly don’t question his decision in that regard,” Dollar said. Matz, a political appointee during the Clinton administration, went into her prior job when the bonuses were not permitted and agrees with that policy because of the opportunity for abuse. “You don’t want to send the message that you’re showing favoritism and the pool of money is for career people,” she said. Matz also remarked that appointees get other perks in their jobs. While Matz said she really had not thought about the subject before, she does not plan to give a bonus. Bonuses were a non-issue for Johnson; it did not even occur to her when she joined the NCUA Board. “I came in under the idea of evaluating my staff under the annual review process and that’s what I intend to do,” she explained. She also said that employees know coming into the job what their salary is going to be, and Johnson said she believes they receive fair compensation. She added that she has not studied President Bush’s bonus to political appointees policy enough to either agree or disagree with it. The board members are not eligible for the bonuses. [email protected]

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