NOAA Workforce Management Office
Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People
Special Act or Service Awards
This award may be granted to an employee, or group of employees, to recognize accomplishments in the public interest related to official duties, suggestions, inventions, or personal efforts which contribute to the efficiency, economy, or improvements in Government operations.
Submit a Nomination
- All NOAA employees, except employees in the Senior Executive Service and NOAA Corps Officers*, are eligible for Special Act Awards.
- To be eligible to receive awards, employees must have current ratings of "Meets or Exceeds," or "Eligible."
- A note on Commerce Alternate Personnel System (CAPS) Employees
- Special Act Awards may be granted for specific achievement(s) or a period of exceptional productivity at any time during the performance year, for accomplishments that may or may not be covered in the individual's performance plan.
- Examples of meritorious achievements:
- completing an absent co-worker's major assignment with exceptional skill and success so that organizational goals are met;
- identifying an innovative solution to an issue outside an employee's planned work assignment but which benefits the
organization as a whole;
- saving significant money for the organization or government as a whole;
- using new technologies or methods to greatly improve an organization's (or a government-wide) product or service;
- streamlining a process which helps the organization provide its products and services, or meet
its goals, more effectively;
- directing a team effort with exceptional skill and sensitivity;
- handling an unforeseen problem with minimal disruption to the overall work assignment; or
- maintaining exceptional productivity during a period of time.
- The employee's expected future level of performance should not be a major consideration.
- Assistant Administrators (AAs) and NOAA Staff Office Directors may approve cash awards of $5,000 or less for general workforce employees and NOAA Corps Officers. This authority may be further delegated as determined by the individual Line or Staff Office.
Award Amounts and Limitations
B and C of NAO 202-451 provide a scale to use in determining award amounts.
- Special Act Awards exceeding $5,000 and up to $10,000 are submitted through the Director for Workforce Management, NOAA, and the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere before being forwarded to the Director for Human Resources Management, DOC, for approval by the Secretary. Awards in excess of $10,000 require approval by the Office of Personnel Management.
A Note on Commerce Alternative Personnel System (CAPS) Employees
Employees under the CAPS employees are eligible to be awarded with annual bonuses. These bonuses basically replace
the Special Act or Service Awards given to other Federal Employees. However, CAPS employees may be eligible to receive Special Act or Service awards under special circumstances when the special act or service performed is beyond the employee's performance plan.
*A Note on NOAA Corps Officers - As of April 19, 2004, NOAA Corps Officers are no longer eligible for Special Act Awards.
Page last edited: April 26, 2012