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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 1258-05
December 05, 2005

DoD Announces Certification of SES Appraisal System

The Department of Defense announced today that its Senior Executive Service (SES) performance appraisal system for fiscal 2006 received provisional certification from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget.

With this certification, DoD is now authorized to raise the senior executive pay cap from the rate for executive level III ($149,200) to executive level II ($162,100).

In a Nov. 17, 2005, letter to DoD, OPM stated that the department's SES performance appraisal system warranted "provisional certification for 2006, because the system as designed and implemented complies with the certification requirements" and criteria found in OPM federal regulations governing the SES workforce.

"This is an important milestone in DoD's ongoing efforts to attract, retain, and reward top talent for the DoD mission. Provisional certification for the SES pay system ensures that our cadre of senior executives is positioned to lead the way in the department's transformation to a performance-based pay system under the new National Security Personnel System (NSPS), said David S. Chu, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, who is responsible for the effort in obtaining this certification. It is the department's goal with both the new SES pay for performance system and NSPS to create a performance-based, results-driven culture, where employees see the link between pay and performance, understand how their results align and contribute to DoD's organizational goals, and trust their supervisors to be fair and credible in the evaluation process."

Provisional certification is given to federal agencies with performance appraisal systems meeting five of nine criteria established by the federal regulations, including accountability, balance, consultation, results and strategic alignment.

Full certification requires that an agency meet all nine criteria in the areas of accountability, assessment and guidance, balance, consultation, oversight, performance differentiation, pay differentiation and strategic alignment.

The secretary of defense, as the head of the Department of Defense, exercises overall responsibility for the department's Executive Pay and Performance Management System.

There are about 1,217 SES members within the Department of Defense.