New Web Site Explains National Security Personnel System
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2004 The Defense Department has launched a new Web site to educate civilian employees about the new National Security Personnel System that will introduce sweeping changes in the way the department hires, pays, promotes, disciplines and fires civilian employees.
Brad Bunn, acting deputy program executive officer, NSPS Program Executive Office, explained the site is meant to help DoD employees understand the new personnel system.
"Change is difficult, and lack of information about coming changes often leads to stress and anxiety and, unfortunately, misperceptions about what those changes really mean," he said. "We recognize that, and are committed to communicating to our employees about what NSPS will mean to them. The Web site is one communications tool in our toolbox to do that," he said. "We will be open, honest, and clear about NSPS, and our Web site is designed to encourage employee involvement and interest, and minimize misconceptions."
He also emphasized the site will help those affected by the changes to understand the "rationale and benefits" of NSPS and that it will be "extremely useful" in keeping employees informed and updated as the system evolves.
Congress authorized the new personnel system as part of the fiscal 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, allowing the Defense Department new authority to develop new civilian human resources, labor-management relations and employee appeals systems.
The new Web site offers an overview of what DoD employees can expect from the new personnel system, as well as information regarding issues of labor- management and employee unions, and links to NSPS-related documents.
One of the more powerful features of the NSPS Web site is a mechanism for visitors to submit comments and ideas about NSPS directly to the NSPS Program Executive Office, Bunn said. "We continuously monitor the input from visitors, and the ideas and comments we receive through the Web site will help us gauge what employees and other stakeholders are really concerned about," he said.
Bunn said the site will be a primary NSPS communication vehicle, and it will be used throughout all phases of the NSPS design and implementation process.
"It certainly won't be our only means of communications, but it's a central source of information on NSPS," he explained. "We want to ensure DoD employees have a reliable, continuing source of information as the system develops."
The Web site is the second attempt by NSPS to get the word out about the new personnel system. A previous Web site was taken down as a result of the three- week strategic review of the NSPS design and implementation process directed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in April.
Bunn said the new site reflects a conscious effort to minimize confusion about plans for NSPS. "We decided to completely redesign the site," he said, "giving it a new look and feel, to ensure that it reflects the results of that strategic review, including leadership's commitment to openness and transparency in the NSPS process."
But, as with any Web site, there is always room for improvement, he said. "So we encourage our Web site visitors to offer their comments and suggestions about how the new site can become even better."