NSPS Do-Over Not Enough, Says Union

A Pentagon task force is recommending that the Defense Department go back to work on its National Security Personnel System, but the union which represents the bulk of federal employees says that is not the solution. According to a July 16 statement from the American Federation of Government Employees, the Defense Business Board task force “acknowledged that the controversial personnel system is overly complex and lacks transparency, but appears to believe that these flaws can be corrected by the same career ideologues who invented them in the first place.” The board’s task force, led by a former deputy secretary of defense Rudy DeLeon, on Friday shared a preview of its findings, which are to be released later this year, saying that its first recommendation is that NSPS must undergo “reconstruction” preceded by “a significant amount of diagnosis.” The Defense Department has, so far, put less than a third of its 865,000-strong civilian workforce under NSPS, which has come under repeated fire from unions, prompting Congress and courts to tell DOD to modify the plan’s employee bargaining rights, and, earlier this year to call for a halt in converting any new employees. De Leon believes the department must overhaul its general schedule system and that pay-for-performance is the way to go. But, of the original NSPS approach, he said, “Trying to do something too quickly, too ambitiously, may not produce the desired result.” (Include AFPS report by Jim Garamone)