From Steve Losey at the Pentagon:
The National Security Personnel System Task Force is about to recommend the Defense Department continue with NSPS with some major revisions, such as improved communications between managers and employees and improved transparency for the pay pool process.
Check back with FederalTimes.com later today for Steveâ€™s full report on the task force’s NSPS recommendations.
The House passed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act in a 389-22 vote today.
The House version of the bill would suspend the use of public-private competitions for federal jobs for three years, end the department’s pay-for-performance system and direct new contracting reforms.
UPDATE: The official release is now online here. Written comments should be sent to:
Defense Business Board
ATTN: Ms. Phyllis Ferguson
2521 South Clark Street, Room 650
Arlington, VA 22202
ORIGINAL POST: The three-man board reviewing the National Security Personnel System is about to formallyÂ announce its two-day schedule of public meetings. The second day — June 26 — will be devoted to hearing the thoughts of Defense Department employees and managers under the controversial pay-for-performance system.
Pentagon spokesman Les’ Melnyk just told me that the board wants anyone interested in testifying to write a letter — not an e-mail, not an online comment, but an old-fashionedÂ paper-and-envelope letter — with their thoughts, concerns and suggestions regarding NSPS. The board will pick the best-argued letters and invite their writers to the all-day meeting, which will be heldÂ in Arlington, Va. Melnyk said the review board will not accept electronic forms of communication because it doesn’t want to get spammed by multiple copies of form letters.
The board will consider all letters received before June 18. The first hearing, June 25, will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature experts who have previously testified before Congress, such as NSPS program executive officer Brad Bunn and representatives of the American Federation of Government Employees.
The review board is chaired by former deputy secretary of Defense Rudy deLeon. The other two members are Michael Bayer, chairman of the Defense Business Board, and Robert Tobias, an American University professor and former president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
Federal Times wants to hear from employees and managers under the National Security Personnel System about how the program should be improved. Do you think it’s working or not? Where are its weaknesses? What can be done to fix those problems, now that the Pentagon and Office of Personnel Management are putting NSPS under the microscope? Or do you think the system is too flawed to repair, and that it’s time to return to the General Schedule?
E-mail me at email@example.com if you’d like to talk. If you’d prefer that your name not be published, that would be fine.
Update, 5:05 p.m.: A quick (and supportive) reaction from John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees:
“We have said consistently that this system is inherently flawed. It lacks transparency and fairness. It is a system that is completely untenable and should never have been pursued… I am pleased that [Lynn] has decided to take immediate action.”
Original post: The Defense Department announced a major review of the National Security Personnel System today.
The announcement came from William Lynn, the deputy secretary of defense. The pay-for-performance system has been controversial for years; President Barack Obama said during the campaign that he was unhappy with it.
Here’s what Lynn said announcing the review today:
“This administration is committed to operating fair, transparent, and effective personnel systems, and we are undertaking this review to assess whether NSPS meets these objectives.”
The review means DoD will temporarily stop adding new agencies to NSPS. Defense is conducting the review along with the Office of Personnel Management.
Brad Bunn, the program’s executive officer, is speaking at the Federal Managers Association conference this afternoon; Steve Losey is there, and he hopes to get some more information about the review.
I’m about to join a conference call with the American Federation of Government Employees to get their thoughts on what an Obama administration will mean for federal workers. But we already know that Obama could make some significant changes inÂ the Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System.
Obama in September told unions that he was unhappy with how NSPS was set up, and pledged to alter its regulations or even repeal the controversial program. Obama has not said how he might alter NSPS.
There will beÂ roughly 205,000 Defense employees under NSPS by the time Obama takes power, though observers don’t expect NSPS to go away entirely under his administration. (Removing hundreds of thousands of employees from a major pay-for-performance system would be far from easy, they say.)
But Obama is far from an opponent of the concept of pay-for-performance. In July 2007, he told the National Education Association that teachers should be put under merit pay –Â a proposal that didn’t win him many friends there.
John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service told me yesterday that he expects Obama will move toward pay-for-performance in the federal government. But Palguta expects Obama to engage unions and other groups that the Bush admininstration excluded during previous pay-for-performance attempts.
Check www.federaltimes.com later today to see what AFGE, one of the biggest opponents of NSPS, has to say.