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A Rush to Judgment: Implementing Pay for Performance Not So Smooth for the Department of Defense

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Introduction

Pay for performance has been intriguing to the federal service for years. George W. Bush, who was elected in 200 and his administration were ambitious about bringing a reformation to a personnel system, General Schedule, which they considered old-fashioned and well behind this 21st century. The horrific as well as tragic day of September 11, 2001, that claimed the lives of close to 3000 United States citizens and brought about the demise of the twin towers in the state of New York stamped that eagerness of this administration. The civil services laws affecting the Department Of Homeland Security and the Department Of Defense were changed by congress in 2003. Taking on a host of new regulations the two Departments now possessed the autonomy to exercise disciplinary that management felt was suitable, monitor and direct rights of appeals, manage the obligations of bargaining with unions, monitor notes of the third party agencies and adopt pay for performance and performance appraisal systems. However, research will administration's will to radically implement new statutes would in so many cases infuriate a host of the same 700,00 federal civilian workers and eventually bring about the demise of the two new systems National Security Personnel Systems Max HR that were put in place to substitute the GS system.

Pay for Performance and DOD

Establishing a pay for performance module was actually an effort of former President Jimmy Carter. Research prints out that this was a concept that he changed while campaigning to become President. After being elected this is something that would be incorporated in the Civil Service Act of 1978. Federal agencies have the responsibility to establish and set a mark the employee is expected to reach. Pointing out and compensating them based on their performance are some things included in this law, which is still in effect today along with the overarching principles that link performance and compensation.

The Pay for Performance Labor-Management Committee was created to provide the Office of Personnel Management with information regarding the design and creation of systems for strengthening the linkage between the performance of General Schedule employees and their pay. Their findings indicated the basic differences between private firms and federal agencies. They also saw the General Schedule as a workable pay for performance system. The committee's recommendations implied that rather than changing the pay system, the improvement of GS management should be the primary focus.

Linking pay and performance was something advocated by the General Accounting Office (GAO) A quote from controller David M. Walker as he testified before congress in 2003, stating that "There is growing agreement on the need to better link pay to performance. Establishing such linkage is essential if we expect to maximize and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American People." Pay banding and the performance-base pay was also recommended by the Merit System Protection Board's report, making the Public Service Work: Recommendations for Change, in 2002.

Furthermore, Dr. David Chu, the undersecretary for personnel and readiness in the Pentagon testified before about his experience with the pay for performances model and basically explaining how those highly qualified and motivated civilian employee gladly welcomes pay for the performance. He would elaborate more on the need for new authority to acquire exemplary, skillful and talented individuals for the future security of this nation. At that particular moment in the eyes he was right on point.

However, the creation and implementation of this particular pay for performance pay band would gradually come crumbling down for the Department of Defense and also create a dark shadow for other Departments and Federal agencies. Experimenting with alternative personnel systems that were authorized by the Civil Service Reform Act permitted the G.A.O to see the results of the Pay for Performance Model. This particular study involved:

 Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake - July 1980

 Naval Research Laboratory

 Naval Sea System Command Warfare Centers

 Civil Acquisition Workforce Personnel

 Department of Commerce

 National Institute of Standards & Technology- January 1988\

The Government Accountability Office reports in 2004 also

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