October 23, 2003


TO:      FDA Chapter Presidents

RE:       Voluntary Foreign Inspection Incentives

SUMMARY:  NTEU and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding Voluntary Foreign Inspection Incentives. 

            Pursuant to an April 1, 2003 interim MOU, a joint FDA (Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)) NTEU Voluntary Foreign Inspection (VFI) workgroup was formed to develop options to improve the Voluntary Foreign Inspections Program.  The workgroup submitted recommendations to the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs (ACRA), who adopted those recommendations in full.  A copy of the MOU and the adopted recommendations are attached for your reference.  Highlights of the MOU are as follows:

·           Employees will be given $300 incentive pay for each standard foreign inspection trip (defined as three weeks in length).

·           Employees will be given the option to use a total of six hours per trip of FWAP before the trip to prepare.

·           Solicitation of volunteers will be sent to all employees.

·           Develop and establish a module in ORAU to complement the foreign inspection cadre training course.

·           Employees will be allowed to use an AWS and/or participate in the FWAP program for the first week upon return from the trip.

·           Establish a pilot for FY’04 for a Foreign Inspection GS-13 position for CSO/Analyst.

·           Up to 15 hours of overtime or compensatory time per week will be authorized in advance for workdays in excess of eight hours for all trips involving transoceanic travel.  Employees will be authorized up to ten hours per week in excess of eight hours for all other trips.

·           Annual leave may be approved at two days per week not to exceed a total of five days per trip.

·           The parties will evaluate the recommendations within 12 months.

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, please contact Barbara Sheehy, National Negotiator, at bsheehy@nteu.org.


                                                                              Colleen M. Kelley

                                                                              National President