WASHINGTON — Four top officials of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board are receiving special treatment that gives two of them salaries that are thousands of dollars above the federal pay cap and provides the other two with job security unavailable to most top officials.
The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the Civil Service system and the appointment of many top officials, says it will launch an inquiry today because the special treatment may violate federal laws and regulations.
Officially, the bank board, which regulates the nation's savings and loan institutions, has filled four key positions with "acting" or temporary appointees. But, based on an internal agency memo and statements by officials, the four appointees are far from temporary.
Federal law permits temporary appointees--usually of tenures not to exceed 18 months--to be hired only for unexpected vacancies that urgently need filling while a permanent replacement is sought. OPM said that temporary appointees are allowed more pay and the privilege of returning to their former government jobs, but that a temporary appointment violates federal rules if made solely to protect benefits that would be lost through a permanent appointment.