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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

335.7 - Professional Liability Insurance Reimbursement


OPR:  Office of Administration

Instruction:  Chapter is updated to reflect a change in responsibilities (6.A.).

1.  Purpose.  This chapter establishes USGS policy for the use of appropriated funds to reimburse USGS managers and supervisors for premiums paid for professional liability insurance. 

2.  Authority.
A.  Section 642 of Public Law 106-58, amended by Section 429 of Public Law 110-161 mandating the use of agency funds to reimburse qualified employees.

B.  Departmental Personnel Bulletin 08-07 delegates the authority to DOI Bureau heads to establish policy to reimburse qualified employees for premiums paid for liability insurance up to 50 percent of the premium paid.  

3.  Policy.  It is the policy of the USGS to reimburse any qualified employee up to one-half the costs of the professional liability insurance premium, or $150.00 per year, whichever is less. 

4.  Definition.

A.  Professional Liability Insurance.  Professional liability insurance means insurance which provides coverage for:

(1)  Legal liability for damages due to injuries to other persons, damages to their property, or other damage or loss to such other persons (including the expenses of litigation and settlement) resulting from or arising out of any tortuous act, error, or omission of the covered employee (whether common law, statutory, or constitutional) while in the performance of official duties as a qualified USGS employee.

(2)  The cost of legal representation for the covered employee in connection with any administrative or judicial proceeding (including any investigation or disciplinary proceeding) relating to any act, error, or omission of the covered employee while in the performance of official USGS duties, and other legal costs and fees relating to any such administrative or judicial proceeding.

5.  Coverage.  Employees eligible to receive reimbursement for professional liability insurance from the USGS are supervisors and managers as defined below: 

A.  Supervisor.  An individual as set forth in §7103(a) (10) of Title 5 of the United States Code, having authority in the interest of the USGS to hire, direct, assign, promote, reward, transfer, furlough, lay off, recall, suspend, discipline, or remove employees, to adjust their grievances, or to effectively recommend such action, if the exercise of the authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature but requires the consistent exercise of independent judgment.  Most team leaders do not meet the definition of a supervisor under the provisions of 5 USC 7103 (a) (10).  However, some individuals in positions designated as team leader positions may meet the definition of supervisor under 5 USC 7103.  Team leaders interested in purchasing liability insurance should consult with their servicing human resources office to determine their eligibility for reimbursement of premiums before purchasing liability insurance.

B.  Management Official.  An individual as set forth in §7103(a) (11) of Title 5 of the United States Code, who is in a position in which the duties and responsibilities require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the USGS.

C.  Qualified Employee.  An employee who meets the definitions in paragraphs A through B above. 
6.  Responsibilities.

A.  Associate Director for Administration.  On behalf of the USGS Director, the Associate Director for Administration is delegated authority to administer the USGS policy on reimbursing employees for liability insurance in accordance with policy established by the Department of the Interior and applicable Public Laws.

B.  Supervisors and Managers are responsible for:

(1)  Determining that a USGS employee requesting reimbursement for liability insurance is an eligible employee as defined in paragraph 5 above. 

(2)  Authorizing payment of claim for reimbursement for liability insurance.

C.  Servicing USGS Human Resource Offices.  USGS Human Resources Specialists are responsible for assisting USGS supervisors and managers in determining if an employee is eligible for reimbursement for professional liability insurance.

D.  Employees.  USGS employees are responsible for obtaining their own professional liability insurance and for submitting claims for reimbursement to their supervisor.  Requests for reimbursement should be submitted as soon as possible.

7.  Procedures.

A.  Employee.

(1)  Complete a Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business (SF-1164). (Reference Survey Manual Chapter 335.4 at the following Web site for guidance on completing the SF-1164: 

(a)  Attach a copy of the insurance invoice indicating that it is for professional liability insurance, the period of the policy, and the full amount of the policy.

(b)  Attach a copy of a paid receipt for the full cost of the insurance (if a check is used as the paid receipt, a copy of both sides of the cancelled check is required).

(2)  Forward completed SF-1164 with documentation to supervisor for verification and approval.

B.  Supervisors and Managers.

(1)  Will verify the employee's eligibility for reimbursement.

(2)  Will verify the account number and object code to be charged for liability insurance premiums.

(3)  Will sign and submit the approved SF-1164 to their cost center’s accounts payable technician or if the cost center does not have staff with payment capability, to the USGS Office of Accounting and Financial Management for processing.
C.  Accounts Payable Technician.  The accounts payable technician will input the required reimbursement information in order for the employee to be reimbursed through electronic transfer to the employee’s financial institution of record.


/s/ Jose R. Aragon                                                                              May 8, 2015
__________________________________                                        ________________
Jose R. Aragon                                                                                               Date
Associate Director for Administration

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