NOAA Workforce Management Office
Serving NOAA's Most Valuable Asset - People
Special Act or Service Awards
Special Act or Service awards 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. 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. Special Act or Service Awards may be appropriate in situations such as:
- 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;
- maintaining exceptional productivity during a period of time.
All NOAA employees are eligible to receive Special Act or Service Awards with the exception of the following:
- Presidential Appointees (advice and consent of Senate)
- Senior Executives
- NOAA Corps Officers
- Volunteers or Private Citizens
To be eligible to receive awards, employees must have current ratings of "Meets or Exceeds," or "Eligible."
Employees under the Commerce Alternative Personnel System (CAPS) CAPS employees are eligible to be awarded with annual performance bonuses which can be granted for achievements outside of the employee's performance plan, thus replacing the Special Act or Service Awards. 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, but should be rare.
Award Values and Limitations
- Appendices B and C of the Department of Commerce Performance Management Handbook, Performance Recognition Section provide a scale to use in determining award amounts.
- Assistant Administrators (AAs) and NOAA Staff Office Directors may approve cash awards of up to $5,000. This authority may be further delegated as determined by the individual Line or Staff Office.
- Special Act Awards exceeding $5,000 and up to $10,000 are submitted through the Director, Workforce Management (WFMO), and the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere before being forwarded to the Director for Human Resources Management, Department of Commerce, for approval by the Secretary of Commerce.
- Awards in excess of $10,000 require approval by the Office of Personnel Management.
Submitting a Nomination
- Nominations may be made by supervisors on the Recommendation for Recognition Form (CD-326) – instructions for completing the form are available on the second page of the form
- The form must be signed by the nominating official, the rating official (if different from the nominating official), and an approving official with delegated authority for approving Special Act or Service Awards
- Send an email with the subject line: "Special Act or Service Award - Last Name of Recipient" to Awards@noaa.gov, with the CD-326 form attached.
Page last edited: December 27, 2016