Deputy Defense Secretary Signs New Personnel System Into Effect
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 28, 2006 Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signed a directive to implement the new National Security Personnel System during a roll-out ceremony here today.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signs a directive to implement the new National Security Personnel System during a roll-out ceremony at the Pentagon, April 28. Photo by Robert Ward
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"Today is a milestone event," England said during the Pentagon ceremony. "After two and a half years of very hard work, the Department of Defense is initiating the human resources phase of the National Security Personnel System."
About 11,000 Defense Department civilian employees from 12 DoD organizations will be part of the initial "Spiral 1.1" phase-in process of the new system.
England said the old civilian personnel system, which has been in place for 50 years, was not capable of keeping pace with the department's needs.
"As our military forces are reoriented to better address a changing landscape, the civilian workforce too needs to become more agile, adaptable and fully integrated with the efforts of our military forces," he said.
Employees will be converted to pay bands that replace the general schedule and will be given new results-focused performance plans that are clearly linked to their organization's mission and strategic goals, defense officials said.
The performance appraisal cycle for Spiral 1.1 employees begins April 30 and ends October 31. These employees will receive their first performance pay increases in January 2007. In addition, employees performing satisfactorily will receive an increase equivalent to the general pay and locality increase received by general-schedule employees in January 2007, according to a DoD press release.
England said he understood if some civilian employees had a little anxiety about the conversion, but he stressed that supervisors have been given a lot of training to help make sure people are comfortable with the new system. "This is not a fire-and-forget effort," he said.
Classroom and Web-based training covering the basics of NSPS, with special emphasis on performance management, has been in high gear for employees over the last several months, according to a DoD press release.
This is a critical time for the United States because the current security context is much more varied and uncertain than at any time in the past, England said, and to meet today's challenges the Department of Defense needs the right people in the right places, working in the right ways.
"People are our most valuable resource, and today we are improving the ability of the department's people to be successful," he concluded.