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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 498-04
May 24, 2004

National Security Personnel System Appointment Announced

The Department of Defense announced today that the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) senior executive, Secretary of the Navy Gordon England, has named Mary E. Lacey as the program executive officer for the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). Lacey takes over this position from the Interim Program Executive Officer, Peter F. Brown. As the head of the NSPS Program Executive Office (PEO), Mrs. Lacey will report directly to England, who was asked by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide guidance and oversight as the programs senior executive.

"Mary Lacey will lead the comprehensive policy and program management office that will complete the design, planning, assessment, and implementation of NSPS, " England said. "She will be working with our partners at OPM to lead broad collaboration within an open process; one that provides opportunities for employee, manager and union input and dialog."

Following the recent strategic review of the NSPS, the Defense Department created PEO-NSPS to design and implement the new civilian personnel system. The creation of this office was one of several recommendations approved by Rumsfeld in mid-April.

Currently serving as the technical director of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Lacey began her civil service career during college and has been a full-time DoD civilian employee since 1978. She is a recognized technical, management and business leader within the Departments research and development community. During her career she has led several large field organizations with both technical and industrial workforces. In her current assignment, she is responsible for a business base of more than $4 billion, with more than 16,000 employees. More than 9,000 of these employees are currently in one of the Departments personnel demonstration projects.

I think this will be an incredibly important and challenging assignment, said Lacey. NSPS will truly impact everybody military and civilian serving in the Department of Defense. I am committed to ensuring that the future of NSPS will include an open and two-way dialog; will recognize and respect the value to the nation of our civil servants; and will protect their rights.

The fiscal year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 108-136 on November 24, 2003, authorized NSPS. This new personnel authority allows the Department of Defense to develop new civilian human resources, labor management relations, and employee appeals systems. Gaining that authority was significant, and the PEO-NSPS mission will be to ensure that the new system benefits our employees and managers assigned around the globe.

The Department is working hand-in-hand with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the development and implementation of NSPS. At a recent luncheon, DoD and OPM leaders met with union representatives, and asked for their recommendations for the way ahead in the developmental stages of NSPS. Along with our unions, managers and OPM, we will soon create the process by which the final NSPS will be developed. DoD officials have also provided NSPS updates to Congress. One such update is being provided today to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The PEO-NSPS organization will include a variety of subject matter experts from all of the services and from other major DoD agencies. Within the staff, teams will work on human resources, labor relations, training, appeals, pay for performance, and a number of other key elements of NSPS. Lacey said PEO-NSPS will work with the Departments partners and stakeholders to develop a dynamic and flexible system that will make DoD the employer of choice for the federal governments civilian workforce for the 21st century.

We have selected a leader with proven expertise both in managing large workforces and in leading and sustaining that workforce for new challenges, said England. Mary Lacey has the experience, recognition and respect of the Departments leadership and its workforce. She is the right person to lead the team at this critical juncture.

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