GAO: DOD personnel system needs better outreach

“Human Capital: DOD’s National Security Personnel System Faces Implementation Challenges

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Defense Department officials should improve communication and evaluation efforts related to the military’s new personnel system, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued this week.

DOD's communications strategy for the National Security Personnel System does not identify key people interested in the personnel reforms, nor does it identify their concerns and tailor key messages to them. DOD also did not include employees on the working groups that drafted the system’s design options, according to the report, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-730">“Human Capital: DOD's National Security Personnel System Faces Implementation Challenges."

“Failure to adequately consider a wide variety of people and cultural issues can lead to unsuccessful transformations,” the GAO report says. And the report notes that 10 federal labor unions filed suit alleging DOD officials failed to abide by statutory requirements to include employee representatives in the development of DOD’s new labor relations systems as part of the new personnel system.

In February, labor organizations representing DOD’s 650,000 civilian workers condemned the new personnel system’s regulations as “union busting” after department officials published its rules in the Federal Register.

GAO commended DOD for using many key practices for successful organizational transformations. They cited their development of a process to design a system supported by department and White House officials and a set of guiding principles and key performance parameters that guided the new personnel system’s design process.

GAO said DOD must also devise a way to evaluate the affect of the new personnel system after it gets implemented. The report says that DOD leaders did not concur with one of their recommendations and partially concurred with two others.

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