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H.R. 6160 (109th): More Border Patrol Agents Now Act of 2006


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 26, 2006 (Passed the House).


I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6160

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

AN ACT

To recruit and retain Border Patrol agents.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the More Border Patrol Agents Now Act of 2006.

2.

Border Patrol agent enhancement

(a)

Plan

In order to address the recruitment and retention challenges faced by the United States Border Patrol, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a plan to determine how the Border Patrol can better recruit and retain Border Patrol agents with the appropriate skills and training to effectively carry out its mission and responsibilities.

(b)

Contents

The plan shall include, at a minimum, the following components:

(1)

A strategy for the utilization of the recruitment authority provided in subsection (a) of section 9702 of title 5, United States Code (as added by section 3), as well as any other strategies the Secretary determines to be important in recruiting well-qualified Border Patrol agents.

(2)

A strategy for the utilization of the retention authority provided in subsection (b) of section 9702 of title 5, United States Code (as added by section 3), as well as any other strategies the Secretary determines to be important in retaining well-qualified Border Patrol agents.

(3)

An assessment of the impact that current pay levels for Border Patrol agents has on the Department’s ability to recruit and retain Border Patrol agents, especially in high cost-of-living areas.

(4)

An assessment of whether increased opportunities for Border Patrol agents to transfer between duty stations would improve employee morale and enhance the Department's ability to recruit and retain well-qualified Border Patrol agents.

3.

Recruitment and retention bonuses for Border Patrol agent enhancement

(a)

In general

Chapter 97 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

9702.

Border Patrol agent enhancement

(a)

Recruitment bonuses for Border Patrol agents

(1)

In general

In order to carry out the plan described in section 2(a) of the More Border Patrol Agents Now Act of 2006, the Secretary of Homeland Security may pay a bonus to an individual to recruit a sufficient number of Border Patrol agents.

(2)

Bonus amount

(A)

In general

The amount of a bonus under this subsection shall be determined by the Secretary, but may not exceed 25 percent of the annual rate of basic pay of the position involved as of the beginning of the period of service referred to in paragraph (3)(A).

(B)

Lump-sum

A bonus under this subsection shall be paid in the form of a lump-sum payment and shall not be considered to be part of basic pay.

(3)

Service agreements

Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent upon the individual entering into a written service agreement with the United States Border Patrol. The agreement shall include—

(A)

the period of service the individual shall be required to complete in return for the bonus; and

(B)

the conditions under which the agreement may be terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been completed, and the effect of such termination.

(4)

Limitation on eligibility

A bonus under this section may not be paid to recruit an individual for—

(A)

a position to which an individual is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate;

(B)

a position in the Senior Executive Service as a noncareer appointee (as defined in section 3132(a)); or

(C)

a position which has been excepted from the competitive service by reason of its confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character.

(5)

Termination

The authority to pay bonuses under this subsection shall terminate five years after the date of the enactment of this section.

(b)

Retention bonuses for Border Patrol agents

(1)

In general

In order to carry out the plan described in section 2(a) of the More Border Patrol Agents Now Act of 2006, the Secretary of Homeland Security may pay a retention bonus to a Border Patrol agent.

(2)

Service agreement

Payment of a bonus under this subsection is contingent upon the employee entering into a written service agreement with the United States Border Patrol to complete a period of service with the Border Patrol. Such agreement shall include—

(A)

the period of service the employee shall be required to complete in return for the bonus; and

(B)

the conditions under which the agreement may be terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been completed, and the effect of such termination.

(3)

Bonus amount

(A)

In general

The amount of a bonus under this subsection shall be determined by the Secretary, but may not exceed 25 percent of the annual rate of basic pay of the position involved as of the beginning of the period of service referred to in paragraph (2)(A).

(B)

Lump-sum

A bonus under this subsection shall be paid in the form of a lump-sum payment and shall not be considered to be part of basic pay.

(4)

Limitation

A bonus under this subsection may not be based on any period of service which is the basis for a recruitment bonus under subsection (a).

(5)

Termination of authority

The authority to grant bonuses under this subsection shall expire five years after the date of the enactment of this section.

(c)

Waiver authority relating to reemployed annuitants

(1)

In general

In order to help address the challenges faced by the United States Border Patrol, the Secretary of Homeland Security may appoint annuitants to positions within the United States Border Patrol in accordance with succeeding provisions of this subsection.

(2)

Exclusion from offset

An annuitant serving in a position within the United States Border Patrol pursuant to an appointment made under paragraph (1)—

(A)

shall not be subject to the provisions of section 8344 or 8468, as the case may be; and

(B)

shall not, for purposes of subchapter III of chapter 83 or chapter 84, be considered an employee.

(3)

Limitations

(A)

Appointments

The authority to make any appointments under paragraph (1) shall terminate five years after the date of the enactment of this subsection.

(B)

Exclusion

The provisions of paragraph (2) shall not, in the case of any annuitant appointed under paragraph (1), remain in effect—

(i)

with respect to more than five years of service (in the aggregate); nor

(ii)

with respect to any service performed after the end of the ten-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subsection.

(4)

No displacement

No appointment under this subsection may be made if such appointment would result in the displacement of any Border Patrol employee.

(5)

Definition

For purposes of this subsection, the term annuitant has the meaning given such term by section 8331 or 8401, as the case may be.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

The table of contents for chapter 97 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

9702. Border Patrol agent enhancement.

.

Passed the House of Representatives September 26, 2006.

Karen L. Haas

Clerk.