Concern With Scheduled Conversion of AFRTS Employees From a Nonappropriated Fund Status to GS Status

Gao ID: B-196392(RJH) November 1, 1979

Concern was expressed over the scheduled conversion of the employees of the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) from a nonappropriated fund status to a GS status, and the effect the conversion would have on their salaries and employee benefits. The House Committee on Appropriations recommended that AFRTS be retained as an appropriated fund activity, and recommended a $1,000,000 budget reduction in the Army Operation and Maintenance account to encourage the Army to terminate nonappropriated funding for the AFRTS operations. The Committee went on to state that, if the conversion took place, it would be willing to restore the $1,000,000. Under the conversion, the nonappropriated fund employees would not be considered as employees of the United States for the purpose of any laws administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), including those governing employee benefits, the purpose of this exclusion being to enable such activities to be operated in accordance with methods of private commercial enterprise. Thus, the Army action was a direct result of the congressional action and, since nonappropriated fund employees are generally not subject to the laws administered by OPM, legislation would be necessary to change nonappropriated fund employee entitlements.

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