HR Order DOJ1200.1: Part 2. Compensation Chapter 2-13, Advance Payments for New Appointees (Sept. 22, 2009)

A. References.

Statute 5 U.S.C. 5524a
Code of Federal Regulations 5 CFR Part 550, subpart B
DOJ Order DOJ Order 2120.3C

DOJ Order 2120.4F
Guidance National Finance Center (NFC) Publication:
Title 1, Payroll/Personnel Manual,
Chapter 8, Special Payroll Processing System (SPPS

Sample Application for an Advance Payment to a New Appointee
Key terms

Basic pay

Component Head

New appointee

B. Policy.

  1. The Department of Justice (DOJ) may pay an advance payment of basic pay, including any locality payment, covering not more than two pay periods to a newly appointed individual, except for appointment as Agency Head.
  2. The individual, having a scheduled tour of duty (including part-time employees), may receive an advancement of pay no earlier than the date of appointment but no later than 60 days after the date of appointment.
  3. Approving officials
    1. Employees other than Senior Executive Service (SES), Executive Schedule, Senior Level, Immigration Judges, Presidential Appointees, Attorneys, and Law Clerks. Component Heads have authority to approve advance payments to these employees, and may redelegate this authority in writing to a level no lower than the official authorized to approve personnel actions for the new appointee's position.
    2. SES (including Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) SES, but excluding the Deputy Director, FBI) Executive Schedule (excluding the Director, FBI), Senior Level, Immigration Judges, and Presidential Appointees. The Deputy Attorney General or his or her designee approves advances to employees in these categories.
    3. Director and Deputy Director, FBI. The Attorney General approves advances to employees in these categories.
    4. Attorneys and Law Clerks. Except as provided in paragraph B.3.a. above, Bureau General Counsels and Heads of the Offices, Boards, and Divisions have authority to approve advance payments to attorneys and law clerks, and may redelegate this authority in writing.

  4. Approval Criteria. In considering a request for an advance payment, an approving official shall consider:
    1. Whether the employee meets the criteria of 5 CFR § 550.202 for being "newly appointed;" and
    2. The new appointee's written request for advance pay that includes detailed information regarding the financial need.

  5. Employee Notice. Before making an advance payment to a new appointee, a Component shall provide a written notice to the employee that includes:
    1. A statement indicating the method of recovery of the advance payment, including whether it is by lump sum or withholding and that the Department reserves the right to collect funds not timely paid by offset or other means as stated in DOJ Order 2120.3C;
    2. The terms of the advance including: 1) total amount before deductions of the advance payment; 2) where the advance is to be paid in a lump sum, the date of repayment; or 3) where the repayment is to be in withholding installments, the number of pay periods for repayment, when repayment will begin to be deducted, and the amount of the deduction from pay each pay period to effect recovery;
    3. A statement that the new appointee may prepay all or part of the balance of the advance payment at any time; and,
    4. A statement advising the employee that the amount of the advance in pay not yet repaid by an employee or waived by the agency head will become due and must be repaid by the employee if the employee transfers to another agency or the individual's employment with the agency is terminated for any reason, and that failure to repay will result in recovery by salary offset or any other method provided by law.

    This form should be in the format of an acknowledgement of the terms of the advance and should be signed by the employee prior to the advance being paid.

    Note: Providing the new appointee with an approved copy of the Sample Application for an Advance Payment to a New Appointee satisfies this notice requirement.

  6. Processing a Request. Servicing human resources offices will process an approved application for an advance payment through the NFC's SPPS. The cost center is the direct accounting code for the office.

  7. Recovering an Advance Payment. Unless waived under paragraph B.8., recovery of an advance payment is either through lump sum recovery or through withholding of no more than seven installments (for advances of one pay period's pay) or 14 installments (for advances of two pay periods' pay). The employing office honors the employee's written selection of one of these methods. If the employee makes no election as to the payment method, the presumption is that the balance will be paid in a lump sum at the close of the seventh or 14th pay period following payment of the advance, depending upon whether the advance is for one or two pay periods. An employee may repay the entire balance at any time.
  8. Waiving Recovery. In accordance with 5 CFR § 550.206, DOJ Order 2120.4F, if recovery would be against equity and good conscience or against the public interest, Bureau Heads may waive in whole or in part the recovery of an advance payment for employees in their Bureau, and the Assistant Attorney General for Administration may waive recovery for employees of the Offices, Boards, and Divisions.

C. Documentation for Reports and Records.

Components must document the request and approval of an advance payment in writing. The new appointee receives a copy of the written request and approval. Components file copies of the written request and approval in the new appointee's official personnel file.

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Updated September 1, 2016

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