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www.huh?/Personnel System Goes Virtual

By Doug Gillert
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 1998 – Ever wonder:

  • How your personnel office classified that job you wanted -- or the one you already have but would like to see upgraded?
  • If your active military service gives you special "return" privileges to your former civil service position?
  • What qualifies as compensatory time off and how you go about getting it?
  • What real estate assistance DoD will provide you during a move to a new job at a new location?

There always are regulations you can pore through, personnel specialists you can query by phone or, if you're lucky enough to get the address, e-mail. But chances are, if you've ever changed jobs or moved in civil service, you've encountered some pretty stubborn obstacles.

Here's a surprise: DoD wants to make it easier for you to get the answers to the civil service questions haunting you. In fact, the Civilian Personnel Management Agency -- DoD's civilian personnel command central -- has made answers to these and many, many other questions "virtually" a mouse click away.

Welcome to VIP -- Virtual Interactive Personnel -- now available on the Internet at http://www.cpms.osd.mil. Here, you'll find an A-Z listing of virtually any civilian personnel question you have, without being put on hold or having to wait beyond human endurance for an e-mail response.

So, here's the skinny on a few of the useful tidbits found therein:

  • The General Schedule classification system consists of 22 broad occupational groups, with each group including separate series. Levels of duties and responsibilities determine grades. This site contains full details for both General Schedule and Wage Grade system positions.
  • Civil servants who subsequently enter the military have return rights after up to five years of active duty.
  • Agencies alone can grant compensatory leave in lieu of overtime payment.
  • DoD will help you sell your home at your current location and purchase a home at your new one -- and you have two years to file reimbursement claims.

The Civilian Personnel Management Agency recommends use of Virtual Interactive Personnel by employees, employers, supervisors and managers. The agency also recommends you contact your human resources office before making any career-changing decisions.

I recommend anyone in Civil Service bookmark this Web site and routinely consult it for facts that will help you make the most of your government career.

Questions or comments? E-mail djgille@hq.afis.osd.mil.

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