Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO)

225 FW 8
FWM Number
225 FW 8, FWM 397, 05/20/2002
Originating Office
Division of Human Capital


General TopicsSections


8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

8.2 What is administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO)?

8.3 What is the Service’s overall policy on AUO?

8.4 What is the scope of this chapter?

8.5 What authorities govern availability pay?

8.6 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

RESPONSIBILITIES8.7 Who is responsible for overseeing AUO pay?

8.8 How does the Service determine AUO eligibility?

8.9 What kind of duty qualifies for AUO?

8.10 What are examples of duty that does not qualify as AUO?

8.11 How do managers determine what AOU rate to use?

8.12 What conditions affect eligibility and rates?

8.13 What is the relationship of AUO to other payments?


8.14 How are AUO payments initiated and modified?

8.15 What documentation and controls are required in the administration of AUO?


8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) policy and procedures for the administration and payment of administratively uncontrollable overtime.

8.2 What is administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO)? AUO is one of a number of pay options available to management for accomplishing work. AUO is a type of premium pay that is paid on an annual basis as a flat rate to an employee to ensure his/her/their availability for unscheduled duty beyond the 40-hour workweek. AUO guarantees compensation to employees who are faced with unique conditions of employment.

8.3 What is the Service’s overall policy on AUO? Our policy is to ensure that managers:

A. Administer AUO in accordance with governing regulations and the guidance in this chapter, and

B. Use AUO only when they determine that it is the most appropriate method of compensating employees for performing irregular or occasional overtime (i.e., overtime hours not scheduled in advance of the employee's administrative workweek).

8.4 What is the scope of this chapter?

A. This chapter applies to all Service employees who:

(1) Hold a position in which the hours of duty cannot be controlled administratively (e.g., by hiring additional personnel, by rescheduling duty hours, or by granting compensatory time to offset overtime hours);

(2) Perform substantial amounts of irregular or occasional overtime (i.e., an average of at least 3 hours a week) to satisfactorily fulfill their duties. The need for irregular or occasional overtime work must be a continual requirement generally averaging more than once a week. The manager must also anticipate that the required duration and frequency of this overtime will continue for at least 3 months; and

(3) Are responsible for recognizing, without supervision, compelling circumstances that require them to remain on duty. The responsibility for remaining on the work site must be a definite, official, and special requirement of the position, where it would be negligent not to remain or return. This requirement does not include such clear-cut instances as, for example, an employee recognizing that he/she/they must remain at work because a relief fails to report as scheduled.

B. This chapter does not apply to Criminal Investigators in the GS-1811 series. Criminal Investigators are authorized and paid availability pay under 5 U.S.C. 5545a, Availability Pay for Criminal Investigators (also see 225 FW 10, Availability Pay). Because they’re covered elsewhere, Criminal Investigators are not eligible to receive AUO.

8.5 What authorities govern availability pay?

A. Pay Administration (5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) & (2)).

B. Administrative Personnel, Administratively Uncontrollable Work and Relationship to Other Payments (5 CFR Parts 550.151 – 154 and 163).

8.6 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

A. AUO is one of a number of pay options available to management for accomplishing work. AUO is a type of premium pay that is paid on a pro-rated annual basis as a flat rate to an employee to ensure his/her/their availability for unscheduled duty beyond the 40-hour workweek. AUO guarantees compensation to employees who are faced with unique conditions of employment. Employees who receive AUO are responsible for recognizing, without supervision, circumstances which require that they remain on duty or return to duty after the end of the regular workday.

B. AUO certification is the required written certification for each employee indicating that he/she/they must work or be available to work (and is expected to work) during a 1-year period for an average of at least 3 hours beyond the regular 8-hour workday. See section 8.15 for more information on documenting these certifications.

C. AUO hours are the hours on a regular workday that are not part of an employee's basic workweek (i.e., were not scheduled in advance of the administrative workweek) that a manager designates as the period during which the employee must be available to perform unscheduled duty. During the designated AUO period(s), the employee must be reasonably accessible to perform unscheduled duty based on Service needs. Placing an employee in AUO status is not the same as scheduling the employee for overtime hours.

D. Commissioned Law Enforcement Officers within the Serviceinclude Federal Wildlife Officers (FWO) and FWO/Pilots within the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) and Conservation Law Enforcement Officers (CLEO) or CLEO/Pilots within the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) who:

(1) Are subject to the General Schedule and are occupying properly classified and Department of the Interior (Department)-certified positions covered by special retirement (see 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) and 5 U.S.C. 8412(d));

(2) Know investigative techniques, laws of evidence, rules of criminal procedure, and precedent-setting court decisions concerning admissibility of evidence, constitutional rights, search and seizure, and related issues;

(3) Recognize, develop, and present evidence that reconstructs events, sequences, and time elements for presentation in various legal hearings and court proceedings;

(4) Demonstrate skills in applying surveillance techniques, “plain clothes” work, and advising and assisting the United States Attorney in and out of court;

(5) Demonstrate the ability to apply the full range of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for cases that are complex and unfold over a long period of time (as distinguished from certain other occupations that require the use of some investigative techniques in short-term situations that may end in apprehension, detention, or investigation);

(6) Know criminal laws and Federal rules of procedure that apply to cases involving crimes against the United States, including:

     (a) Knowledge of the elements of a crime,

     (b) Evidence required to prove the crime,

     (c) Decisions involving arrest authority, and

     (d) Methods of criminal operations; and

(7) Are able to follow leads that indicate a crime will be committed and investigate crimes afterwards.

E. Compelling circumstances means:

(1) The need to remain on duty must be a definite, official, and special requirement of the position;

(2) The need is not merely because it is desirable, but because of reasons inherently related to continuance of the employee’s duties and of such a nature that failure to carry on would constitute negligence (see section 8.9); and

(3) The employee has no choice as to when or where he/she/they may perform the work.

F. Regularly scheduled work means work that is scheduled in advance of an administrative workweek (see 226 FW 1, Hours of Duty).

G. Regular workday means a day in the basic administratively scheduled 40-hour workweek in which an employee performs at least 4 hours of actual work. Actual work excludes:

(1) Overtime hours compensated under 5 U.S.C. 5542 and 5 CFR 550.111,

(2) Approved training hours,

(3) Approved leave or absence hours, and

(4) Hours when traveling away from the official duty station under official travel orders.

H. Unscheduled duty hours are hours worked outside the 40-hour basic workweek during which an employee performs work or is required to be available for work. Unscheduled duty hours include times when an employee isn’t expected to be accessible (e.g., during approved absences, travel status, training status, etc.), but is still required to work. It does not include regularly scheduled overtime hours (i.e., overtime scheduled in advance of the employee's administrative workweek).

I. Workweek for AUO must be prescheduled, and it includes the basic 40-hour, flexible, and compressed work schedules. Allowable work schedules include five 8-hour workdays and alternative work schedules (e.g., 5/4-9, 4/10, or other preapproved starting and stopping times within established flexible hours).   


8.7 Who is responsible for overseeing AUO pay? See Table 8-1.

Table 8-1: AUO Pay Responsibilities

These employees...Are responsible for...
A. The DirectorApproving or declining to approve Servicewide policy.
B. The Assistant Director – Budget, Planning and Human CapitalAdministering the policy and procedures for AUO pay.
C. The Chief, Division of Human Resources

(1) Developing, implementing, and managing Service policy and procedures on the administration and use of AUO;

(2) Ensuring that AUO use is appropriate and complies with governing statutes and regulations; and

(3) Serving as the technical advisor to the Director on matters concerning AUO.

D. Directorate members (or their designees)

(1) Reviewing and approving requests for AUO on a case-by-case basis based on the results of periodic reviews of its use and alternatives for reducing or eliminating it;

(2) Ensuring the appropriateness, propriety, and continuance of AUO payments for their employees;  

(3) Ensuring that the appropriate officials submit Annual Verification Reports (AVR) for all employees for which they are responsible; and

(4) Sending copies of AVRs for FWOs to the Chief, Headquarters Division of Refuge Law Enforcement.

E. Immediate Supervisors

(1) Exploring alternatives to AUO (e.g., changes in tours of duty and rotational assignments) to avoid unnecessary expenditures of funds for AUO;

(2) Ensuring that only qualifying AUO hours are considered when determining AUO percentage rates; and

(3) Completing required documentation to support the use and payment of AUO and sending it to the appropriate officials as we describe in section 8.14. (For FWOs, the “appropriate official” is the Regional Chief – NWRS Law Enforcement, who sends it to the Assistant Regional Director (ARD) – NWRS. The ARD – NWRS reviews the documentation and sends it to his/her/their supervising Directorate member.)

F. Chief, Headquarters Division of Refuge Law EnforcementReviewing AVRs for all FWOs Servicewide to ensure consistency with this policy.
G. Employees who receive AUO

(1) Familiarizing themselves with the regulations governing AUO and the Service policy related to its use,

(2) Accurately and completely documenting AUO work situations in a daily diary (see section 8.15),

(3) Giving documentation to the appropriate supervisor(s) as we describe in sections 8.14 and 8.15, and

(4) Accurately recording all AUO hours worked on their time and attendance reports.

H. Regional Human Resources Officers and the Chief, Branch of Human Resources, at Headquarters

(1) Conducting personnel management functions associated with the administration and payment of AUO, and

(2) Ensuring that there is appropriate documentation to support personnel actions that affect or terminate AUO.


8.8 How does the Service determine AUO eligibility?

A. An employee is eligible for AUO if the position he/she/they is assigned requires irregular or occasional overtime work as we describe in section 8.4A and is characteristic of the examples we describe in section 8.9 below. Just because an employee is assigned to such a position does not mean he/she/they qualifies for AUO. The employee must also perform an average of 3 hours of qualifying work weekly to meet the minimum eligibility requirement for AUO.

B. Work qualifying for AUO is based on compelling circumstances or reasons inherently related to continuing one’s duties. These include special events, conditions, or situations that cannot be postponed to the next workday, and that require employees to recognize, generally without supervision, the need to remain on duty or to return to duty. The need to function outside of normal duty hours must be so compelling that the employee would be negligent if he/she/they failed to do so. The supervisor decides the compelling nature of the work before, not after, it is performed.

C. When determining whether or not overtime meets AUO criteria, supervisors must consider the reason for which a duty is being performed, and not necessarily what the duty is.

D. When an employee meets all other requirements for AUO, but fails to meet the minimum eligibility requirement, the employee may be entitled to time and one-half overtime for the irregular or occasional overtime work performed. (See 225 FW 7, Premium Pay, for more information.)

8.9 What kind of duty qualifies for AUO? Following are examples of duties that may qualify for AUO (this list is not all-inclusive):

A. FWO, FWO/Pilot, CLEO, and CLEO/Pilot enforcement and investigative activities. In this broad area of duty, there are many situations that arise that could compel an employee to work overtime that could qualify as AUO:

(1) Continuation of patrol. This includes circumstances requiring an officer to patrol and respond to complaints or requests for assistance to enforce law and order and to protect the lives, property, and rights of individuals through the prevention and detection of criminal acts. An example might be an officer conducting evening patrols in an area after receiving information/complaints about a reoccurring criminal activity in that area during specific hours.

(2) Surveillance of suspects. Although the officer may have some control over when surveillance begins, it is often important that he/she/they continues on duty until a crime has been committed or other evidence has been obtained. Overtime performed as a result of the need for continued surveillance is creditable as AUO work.

(3) Meeting with informants. A meeting with an informant qualifies as AUO when the officer has no control over the time or place, and the officer's failure to meet with him/her/them would constitute negligence.

(4) Observation of suspected illegal activity. An officer may be aware of circumstances or evidence that is part of a continuing violation or suggestive of pending violations (such as a baited waterfowl hunting area), but he/she/they may not have identified subjects or determined when the violations will occur. Sometimes an officer has to work several days that are longer than 8 hours before apprehending a subject and completing an investigation.

(5) Working in a plain clothes capacity or providing backup in a covert case. FWOs and CLEOs assigned to a plain clothes role or who are assisting as backup in a covert investigation can seldom plan the time of day when, or where, they may have to report to or remain on duty. 

(6) Responding to crime-in-progress reports and requests for assistance. This includes any call an FWO or CLEO receives from another law enforcement officer or from a private citizen who reports a crime in progress or requests assistance. An officer would be negligent if he/she/they failed to respond.

(7) Examination of records and evidence. Examining records and evidence qualifies as AUO work when an FWO or CLEO must start or continue to work after regular working hours, and they cannot do so at a later date or during normal working hours (e.g., a third party witness could make the material unavailable at any time). Because records and evidence are often critical to criminal cases, an officer's failure to take advantage of the limited opportunities for such examinations could be construed as negligence.

(8) Preparation of Reports. Generally, an FWO or CLEO can prepare reports during a normal 8-hour workday or during periods of regularly scheduled overtime. This duty qualifies for AUO only when compelling circumstances require an officer to prepare reports during unforeseen overtime hours.

     (a) For example, the United States Attorney's Office may require an officer to submit a completed case report or other documents on relatively short notice (i.e., the request was made after the beginning of the officer's administrative workweek), and overtime is needed to prepare and assemble the report or to otherwise respond to the request within the prescribed deadline. This example qualifies for AUO because the request was made after the beginning of the officer's administrative workweek, and the response involves the immediate analysis, preparation, and dissemination of investigative information supporting critical, time-sensitive actions and the use of irregular or occasional overtime.

     (b) Another example of report preparation that qualifies as AUO is when an officer has to make an immediate record of an interview of a witness or an informant to ensure an accurate account of the meeting for prosecution purposes.

B. Executing search and arrest warrants. Usually an FWO or CLEO knows or can reasonably plan the time for executing or assisting in the execution of warrants. However, if time outside of duty hours is required to complete the search, inventory and secure evidence, transport a prisoner, secure the premises, or complete essential case documents, the time would qualify for AUO.

C. Courtroom duty. Participation in a grand jury proceeding or giving testimony in a court case before or after duty hours is creditable as AUO when the officer has no prior knowledge or control of the court schedule, and the duty is conducted during overtime hours.

D. Equipment maintenance. Although vehicles (including boats, all-terrain vehicles, snow machines, and aircraft) are typically cleaned, fueled, and made ready for emergency calls at the end of the workday during regular hours, it may be negligent to leave a vehicle or vessel in disrepair until the next operational shift. 

E. Animal care. The maintenance, care, feeding, and training of animals, including Service canines and horses, may qualify for AUO if other duties have kept the officer past normal business hours.

F. Program management. Program management may qualify for AUO when the nature of the management activities are intertwined with the enforcement and investigative process and must be performed to ensure the safety and welfare of the officers. Examples of this are answering emergency alerts, responding to “Be On the Look Outs (BOLOs),” and taking serious incident reports.

G. Travel. Travel outside the days and hours of the regularly scheduled workweek qualifies for AUO if it involves performing actual work (e.g., guarding prisoners in transport or conducting a mobile surveillance) or it is the result of an event that could not be scheduled or controlled administratively (e.g., time spent traveling with individuals directly related to the suspected or confirmed illegal activity or from remote locations or communities). Return travel from an event that could not be scheduled or controlled administratively also qualifies for AUO. These two examples are not all-inclusive, and other travel-related circumstances may qualify as AUO.

H. Migratory Bird Biologist/Pilot activity. These biologists/pilots conduct a wide variety of large-scale domestic and international aerial surveys and other flights that require a large amount of overtime. They also conduct other migratory bird monitoring activities that involve both aerial and ground-based components that are similarly timed to the life histories or biological cycles of migratory birds and other wildlife. Migratory Bird Biologists/Pilots conduct numerous core activities for the Migratory Bird program, but also cooperate with other Service programs, such as the NWRS and OLE, to provide flight support. In addition, they provide flight support for other State and Federal agencies on collaborative projects to maximize our utilization of our aircraft fleet and to help minimize Federal costs. Activities that qualify for AUO include:

(1) Low-altitude aerial surveys of migratory birds and other wildlife to estimate population size, distribution, and population trajectory, such as:

     (a) Breeding population surveys where a relatively brief interval exists when waterfowl are settled on breeding territories and before the incubation period when the population begins to redistribute and segregate into breeding, non-breeding, and post-breeding components, which makes sampling more difficult.

     (b) Non-breeding surveys of waterfowl and other waterbird populations (in the fall, winter, and early spring), often performed in cooperation with State and other Federal agency personnel. We must conduct these surveys over narrow time intervals to minimize bird movement that biases population estimates, they often must occur around very challenging weather conditions that limit suitable survey days, and we must also take into consideration the availability of qualified personnel from other Service programs and other agencies.

     (c) Other time-sensitive migratory bird surveys, such as bald and golden eagles, sandhill and whooping cranes, gulls, and cormorants.

     (d) Time-sensitive surveys of other wildlife, such as marine mammals, endangered species, and land mammals conducted in cooperation with other programs and agencies.

(2) Law enforcement surveillance operations to monitor easement compliance or other illegal activities in cooperation with NWRS and OLE personnel.

(3) Waterfowl and other migratory bird banding operations necessary to understand migratory connectivity and estimate survival, harvest, and reproductive rates, such as:

     (a) Preseason waterfowl banding in late summer when waterfowl concentrate in traditional areas and prepare for fall migration. Banding activities must occur over a very compressed schedule due to the timing of these pre-migrational concentrations and the start of hunting seasons in Canada and the northern United States.

     (b) Banding operations at other periods of the year that are designed to estimate seasonally partitioned vital rates and must be completed within narrow time windows also dictated by the timing of annual biological events.

     (c) Banding operations that must be supported by flight operations. We use reconnaissance flights to locate concentration areas, identify access routes, and target the operations of banding crews. Flights are also necessary to transport personnel, equipment, and supplies to and from remote banding stations.

(4) Remote sensing missions that are planned, coordinated, and conducted for the Migratory Bird program, other Service programs, and other agencies. We conduct these missions to image and generate estimates of wildlife population size, to measure and monitor habitat and critical resources, to assess damage from storms or other natural disasters, and to assess the impacts of pollution. We must time these missions according to biological events, seasonal phenologies, or emergencies, such as natural disasters and oil or chemical spills. 

(5) Mandatory flight monitoring of other Migratory Bird aircrews when centralized dispatch and flight monitoring services are otherwise unavailable or unreliable through the Service or an inter-agency dispatch service. The Department requires such flight monitoring.

(6) Other time-sensitive, mandatory activities that are necessary to support flight operations. These include flight proficiency, check rides, mission/project coordination and planning, flight coordination and planning, aircraft maintenance and airworthiness, flight documentation and use reporting, safety and survey equipment and personal protective equipment maintenance and inspection, observer/aircrew training and coordination, international diplomatic clearances and overflight authorities and logistical planning, and coordination associated with long and complex missions.

I. Supervision. Supervision or coordination of any of the above qualifying or similar activities also qualifies for AUO when performed outside of regular duty hours on an irregular or occasional basis, with the supervisory or coordinating official usually determining the need to remain on duty or to return to duty.

8.10 What are examples of duty that does not qualify as AUO? Work that is not the result of compelling circumstances does not qualify as AUO, is not creditable for determining eligibility for AUO, and is not creditable for increasing the percentage rate of existing AUO. Some examples of work that does not qualify for AUO are:

A. Arriving early or departing late from the office without official cause or sanction. This includes situations where the employee can take work home or extend the regular workday to complete such work in the office. Also included are situations in which the employee can vary his/her/their arrival and departure times to better accomplish a given objective. Specific examples include:

(1) Changing a tour of duty to achieve an early arrival or late departure from the worksite to accommodate a carpool or to avoid transportation problems. These arrivals/departures are for the employee's personal convenience and benefit; they are not required for official reasons.

(2) Remaining late at the office to accomplish work (e.g., writing or preparing reports or cases) that the employee could perform during regular work hours or during periods of approved regularly scheduled overtime.

(3) Conducting routine liaison work with field offices in different time zones. If this presents a problem, the employee can work with the supervisor to change his/her/their hours to conform with those of the field office. This is not the same as needing to stay for an unforeseen occurrence (e.g., late-breaking raids or arrests) to coordinate investigative activities occurring at field offices that demand immediate attention.

B. Working through lunch hours for personal reasons, including eating lunch at your desk.

C. Performing work that the employee could schedule during regular duty hours or accomplish using regularly scheduled overtime.

D. Attending basic law enforcement training, including the time spent traveling to and from Government-sponsored training classes.

E. Spending time as a full-time instructor of a scheduled training course in cases where classroom instruction is the primary or only duty.

F. Working on a regularly scheduled day off when the employee is on a flexible work schedule (e.g., 5-4/9 or 4-10). If the employee routinely does this (i.e., 3 or more weeks in a row), his/her/their manager should reevaluate the work schedule or staffing levels to ensure appropriate coverage. Routine coverage implies prior approval and must be treated as overtime and not AUO hours.

8.11 How do managers determine what AUO rate to use? To determine what AOU rate to use, the supervisor reviews available records of similar positions, considers the amount of qualifying AUO work required in the past, and examines any other information that would provide a reasonable expectation of the number of AUO hours the position will require in the future. The AOU rate may be 10, 15, 20, or 25 percent of an employee's rate of basic pay. See Table 8-2.

Table 5-2: How to Determine AUO Rates

The rate must be this percentage of the employee’s rate of basic pay…When the employee works an average of this many hours of overtime per week…
25%> 9
20%>7 but ≤9
15%>5 but ≤7
10%at least 3 hours ≤5

8.12 What conditions affect eligibility and rates?

A. Newly Appointed or Assigned Law Enforcement Employees. Employees reporting for duty and immediately assigned to formal training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) must not receive AUO. They can only receive AUO after reporting for their first field assignment and performing work qualifying for AUO. Employees do not need to wait 1 year to receive AUO pay if the position has historically qualified for AUO.

B. Temporary Assignments to Other Duties or for Training.

(1) An employee who is on temporary assignment to perform duties that don’t qualify for AUO may only continue to receive AUO for up to 10 consecutive workdays. If the temporary assignment becomes more long-term, the employee may receive AUO for a total of no more than 30 workdays in a calendar year.

(2) If an employee is on temporary assignment to an advanced training program or other training directly related to his/her/their duties (not including on-the-job training), he/she/they may continue to receive AUO pay for an aggregate period of no more than 60 workdays.

(3) Employees cannot receive AUO for more than 60 days in a calendar year for combined periods of temporary assignments for work or training. Because this time does not qualify for AUO, managers must not use it as a basis for establishing the AUO percentage rate.

C. Periods of Paid Leave. AUO continues during periods of paid leave (e.g., holidays, court leave, sick and annual leave, military leave, or other excused absences) and periods covered by lump sum payments. For paid leave that is longer than 10 working days, AUO rates must be recomputed when the employee returns to duty.

D. Position Changes/Transfers. AUO payments continue when an employee transfers to another position only if the position requirements continue to warrant AUO, the employee meets the substantial hours requirement, and the new location/management allows the use of AUO.

Example: If an employee transfers to a position that doesn’t qualify for AUO or his/her/their current position changes to one that doesn’t qualify, the payments terminate. If AUO will continue, the rate must be adjusted for the new duty location.

E. Beginning and Ending AUO. Except as we describe above, AUO payments begin on the date an employee enters on duty in the position and terminate on the date the employee is no longer paid basic pay in a qualifying position. When an employee is no longer eligible for AUO, his/her/their manager may terminate payment at the end of the review period or at the end of the pay period. Officials make adjustments in percentage rates of AUO payments at the beginning of the next review period.

Example: If AUO discontinues when an employee’s position changes or he/she/they transfers, we stop the AUO entitlement the day before the effective date of the change. If AUO continues, the AUO rate adjustment will be put into effect on the date of the position change/transfer.

8.13 What is the relationship of AUO to other payments? AUO pay continues during periods of approved absence on sick or annual leave; officially approved training, except for initial basic training; and official travel.

A. Hazard pay. We cannot pay hazardous duty pay for hours of work for which we pay an employee AUO.

B. Holiday pay. If a supervisor directs an employee who receives AUO to perform work on a holiday and approves the necessity for the work in writing, the employee receives holiday pay.

(1) Holiday pay cannot exceed 8 hours.

(2) If the employee works more than 8 hours, the extra hours are overtime if the work can be scheduled administratively. The same hours would be counted toward AUO only when the reasons meet the “compelling circumstances” criteria we describe in sections 8.8 and 8.9.

C. Overtime pay. Although payment of overtime is appropriate for hours of work that can be scheduled and approved in advance of working them, 5 CFR 550.163 prohibits paying irregular or occasional overtime to an employee who is already receiving premium pay on an annual basis. We may only pay overtime for employees receiving AUO under conditions in 5 CFR 550.113.

D. Compensatory Time Off (CTO). CTO is time off with pay in lieu of overtime pay. 5 CFR 550.163 prohibits employees receiving AUO from earning CTO. Hours in excess of AUO must be paid as regular overtime.

E. Benefits and deductions. AUO is base pay for CLEOs/FWOs for purposes of retirement, including Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions, life insurance, and workers' compensation benefits. It is not base pay for employees who are not CLEOs or FWOs.

F. Lump-sum leave payments. If an employee who receives AUO is leaving the Service and is due a lump-sum leave payment, he/she/they gets AUO in the computation of the payment.


8.14 How are AUO payments initiated and modified?

A. After the appropriate official (i.e., Directorate member or his/her/their designee, and the Chief, Division of Refuge Law Enforcement for all FWOs) approves payment of AUO and the percentage rate, he/she/they must annually review the use and administration of this premium pay. The objectives of the review are to:

(1) Determine if the AUO continues to be necessary to accomplish work demands,

(2) Explore other alternatives to using AUO, and

(3) Adjust AUO percentage rates, as appropriate.

B. After the review, management adjusts the AUO percentage rate if necessary. The supervisor determines the amount of the rate only after considering the number of hours of AUO actually worked during the previous period and the number of hours he/she/they deems necessary to contend with anticipated events and other work demands for the 12-month period following the review.

C. To determine eligibility and rates, supervisors compute weekly averages by totaling all hours of AUO the employee worked during the review period and dividing the sum by the number of weeks of qualifying duty. He/she/they determines the number of weeks of qualifying duty by subtracting the number of days and hours of non-qualifying duty from 260, and dividing the result by 5. See FWS Form 3-2094 Annual Verification of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime, to help you with the computation.

D. Supervisors must include or exclude periods of paid leave and the time spent in temporary assignments from the computation of weekly average hours of AUO as we describe in section 8.12.

E. Supervisors document determinations to initiate, discontinue, or adjust the percentage rate of AUO on FWS Form 3-260, Authorization to Initiate, Modify, or Terminate Annual Premium Pay for AUO, and send it to their servicing Human Resources (HR) office.

F. Servicing HR offices create and process personnel action(s) to initiate, modify, or terminate employees’ AUO pay.

8.15 What documentation and controls are required in the administration of AUO? The following documents are essential to the proper administration of AUO:

A. Daily Diary.

(1) All employees who receive AUO must maintain a daily diary that accurately reflects their hours of daily work. Each diary entry must include, but is not limited to:

     (a) The time the employee entered on duty,

     (b) A description of the duty,

     (c) The case number(s) of cases worked (if appropriate),

     (d) The general location(s) of the duty,

     (e) The time they went off duty,

     (f) The specific hours of AUO, and

     (g) The compelling reasons for the AUO work.

(2) Supervisors must review these diaries randomly to ensure that employees are maintaining them properly.

B. Monthly AUO Report.

(1) All employees who receive AUO must also prepare a report using FWS Form 3-2017, Monthly Report of Irregular or Occasional Overtime Work Qualifying for Premium Pay on an Annual Basis. The report includes a space for employees’ names, the date and specific times they performed AUO work, and a short narrative that describes where they performed the work and what circumstances required them to remain on or return to duty. The narrative should also include:

     (a) Case numbers and any other details that will help the supervisor to determine continuing eligibility for AUO, and

     (b) Those periods when the employee was absent on leave or when they didn’t perform qualifying AUO work, and briefly explain why (e.g., annual leave, holiday, training).

(2) On the first workday following the end of each month, the employee must complete and sign FWS Form 3-2017 and send the original and a copy to his/her/their immediate supervisor for review and verification.

(3) If the work meets AUO criteria, the supervisor signs both copies of the form to certify that all or part of the work qualifies. He/she/they should give the employee the duplicate.

(4) If a supervisor cannot resolve an issue related to qualifying work, he/she/they should refer the situation to the next higher level of line supervision to help make a determination.

C. Annual Verification Reports.

(1) All employees who receive AUO must complete an annual report on FWS Form 3-2094, Annual Verification of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime, at the end of the review period. The review period extends from October 1 through September 30 of each year (i.e., a fiscal year).

(2) The employee completes sections 1 - 4 of the form and sends the form, along with the monthly AUO report (i.e., FWS Form 3-2017) for September, to his/her/their immediate supervisor by the first workday of October.

(3) The immediate supervisor reviews the Annual Verification Report using the monthly reports to help with his/her/their analysis.

(4) After determining that the report accurately reflects the employee's accounting of time worked during the review period, the supervisor completes section 5 of the form and indicates approval by signing it.

(5) The supervisor sends the signed FWS Form 3-2094 the monthly reports for the review period to the appropriate Directorate member (or his/her/their designee).

D. Annual Certification Reports.

(1) Directorate members (or their designees) responsible for employees who receive AUO must annually certify the rate of AUO pay for each employee. They document this certification on FWS Form 3-2018, Annual Certification of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime.

(2) To do this, the immediate supervisor completes and signs FWS Form 3-2018 and sends it to the appropriate official at least by the 15th workday of October. This document is the final certification of the payment of AUO for employees the supervisor has managed for that period.

(3) The form includes space for an alphabetical listing of employees qualifying for AUO and the following information for each employee:

     (a) The total hours of creditable AUO work performed during the review period,

     (b) The average hours of creditable AUO work per week, and

     (c) The percentage of AUO pay for which the employee is qualified for the next period.

(4) Using the Annual Certification Report, the Directorate member (or his/her/their designee) certifies the accuracy of the AUO rate the Service will pay for the next period.

(5)They then send a copy of the Annual Certification to their servicing HR office by the 20th workday of October (for FWOs, the Directorate member must send copies of the Annual Certification Reports to the Chief, Division of Refuge Law Enforcement in Headquarters before they’re sent to the HR office). The servicing HR office staff:

     (a) Review the report to ensure that the percentage rate is properly assigned based on the average hours worked,

      (b) Initiate personnel actions to make any necessary changes, and

     (c) Maintain a copy of the report in the office's filing system.

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022