DHS pay system regs almost done

Regulations detailing operations of a new Homeland Security Department personnel system will be issued in the next several weeks, DHS Secretary Tom Ridge said.

Ridge, who testified before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee today about the proposed fiscal 2005 budget, said the agency is nearing completion on the regulations for the performance-based pay system, which could serve as a model for other human resource systems in the federal government.

The department requested $133.5 million for the system that will be rolled out in phases during the next two years. The budget specifically seeks $112.5 million to develop and implement the new pay system, including training, and $21 million to create its information technology framework.

Ridge said the money would not only be used to train managers but also educate employees so they can find out what's expected of them. "There's really no prototype within government," he said. "We've never been down that path."

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) said he was concerned about whether there was sufficient funding for the project. In an earlier statement, he said he was also "disturbed at what appears to be a trend in cuts to human capital and management functions."

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