DoD Directive 1400.25 "DoD Civilian Personnel Management System" (November 1996) delegates authority, assigns responsibility, and establishes requirements for awards and awards programs for civilian employees within the Department of Defense.
Per Subchapter 451 of DoD 1400.25-M (December 1996), the following is provided with regard to DoD civilian suggestion awards:
To be considered for an award, a suggestion must:
- Identify an improvement in the quality of operations, a cost reduction opportunity, or an improvement in the timeliness of service delivery that results in tangible or intangible benefits to the U.S. Government; and
- Be adopted in whole or in part for implementation. The Suggestion should set forth a specific proposed course of action to achieve the improvement or cost reduction.
- Ideas or suggestions that point out the need for routine maintenance work, recommended enforcement of an existing rule, propose changes in housekeeping practices, call attention to errors or alleged violations of regulations, or result in intangible benefits of "good will" are not eligible for consideration.
- DoD personnel who make suggestions concerning improvement of materials or services purchased from a contractor may be paid a monetary award only if the improvement results in tangible benefits or intangible benefits to the Government.
- The suggestion must be processed through Government channels to identify correctly the origin of the proposal and the benefits to the Government. Government employees or members of the Armed Forces shall not be paid awards based upon benefits to the contractor.
In addition, DoD Administrative Instruction No. 29, "Incentive and Honorary Awards Programs"
(1 Jul 99), provides the authority to recognize civilian employees, members of the Armed Forces, and private citizens, groups and organizations for accomplishments achieved through suggestions, inventions, superior accomplishments, or other personal effort that contributes to the efficiency, economy, or other improvement of Government operations or achieves a significant reduction in paperwork or a special act or service in the public interest.
If you have any questions or concerns about DoD incentive awards, you are encouraged to speak with your supervisory chain-of-command, your office Human Resources representative, and/or the program manager who handles the incentive awards program for your office.