Most CDC Bonuses Go To Non-Science Employees
Non-science CDC employees in recent years have received most of the cash awards and performance bonuses provided by the agency, according to CDC data, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The data includes records of all awards of at least $2,500 received by current and former CDC employees from 2000 to July 2006. CDC issues the awards for special acts and as annual performance bonuses (Young, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/17).
According to an analysis of the data conducted by the New York Times, CDC employees who worked in the office of agency Director Julie Gerberding and members of the Senior Executive Service -- a group of federal employees who have some of the highest salaries -- received the most awards in government (Harris, New York Times, 9/17). The Journal-Constitution also conducted an analysis of the data (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/17). The analyses find:
- Awards to CDC employees who worked in the office of the agency director increased significantly after the appointment of Gerberding in July 2002;
- CDC Chief Operating Officer William Gimson, a member of the SES, received performance bonuses of $147,863, which included seven awards of more than $2,500, and Barbara Harris, deputy director for accounting and finance at the agency and a member of SES, received performance bonuses of $89,894, which included six awards of more than $2,500 (Harris, New York Times, 9/17);
- Most of the 72 CDC employees who received five or more awards of at least $2,500 worked in non-science positions;
- Three CDC employees -- a financial systems branch chief, a deputy director of budget and management and a second budget official -- each received 10 awards that totaled $35,000, $34,326 and $32,000 respectively;
- Five CDC employees who worked in facilities operations, budget, accounting and technical information each received nine awards that totaled between $25,326 and $50,565; and
- Only one of the 16 CDC employees who received seven or eight awards was a health science supervisor.
Gimson said that non-science employees might have received a larger number of awards because "CDC budget and accounting staff for the last four years have been implementing a major $60 million accounting system."
CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner added that not all agency managers are aware of the use of the awards and that the President's Management Agency for improvement of federal agencies did not focus on science.
In addition, about 800 of the 4,200 CDC science employees are members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and do not quality for the awards, agency officials said.
Gimson said that CDC will continue to "re-evaluate and evaluate" the equitability of the awards process.
Skinner added, "We want to make sure that the system we have in place is equitable and that it rewards everyone, if in fact they are eligible for the award and if in fact they're deserving of it" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9/17).
In an e-mail to CDC employees on Friday, Gerberding wrote, "It is important to remember ... that those of you who have received a monetary award, or will in the future, received it for your superior performance and special acts, which merit these awards." She added that the CDC Executive Leadership Board recently voted to establish a committee to review the awards process and address "any shortcomings" (New York Times, 9/17).