Public Law 104-208, dated September 30, 1996, Section 636, granted authority to executive agencies which permitted the payment of up to 50 percent of professional liability insurance premiums on behalf of qualified employees. When enacted, the law authorized but did not require agencies to pay a portion of the premiums. Public Law 106-58, September 29, 1999, amended PL 104-208 by requiring agencies to pay a portion of a qualified employee's professional liability insurance premiums. Generally, when an employee is sued while acting in the scope of his or her job responsibilities, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) assigns an attorney at no cost to the employee. However, in certain limited circumstances, DOJ may determine that defending the employee is not in the best interest of the Government, and therefore, may refuse to defend the employee. In such instances, an employee would be responsible for the payment of his or her own defense.
The Professional Liability Insurance Reimbursement Policy applies to civilian law enforcement officers, supervisors and management officials whose decisions have an impact on civilian employees. Civilians covered by this policy are those paid from Appropriated Funds. A determination of the eligibility of military members is still being discussed. Non- Appropriated Fund (NAF) civilian employees are not covered.