DOD needs better plan to move off of performance-pay system

GAO calls for better-defined goals and timeline

The Defense Department needs to improve its goals and a timeline for designing a new performance management system, the Government Accountability Office has determined.

The recommendation came as part of an April 28 report that looked at the status of DOD’s transition of employees out of the defunct National Security Personnel System , how well the cost of the transition is being supported and documented, and what DOD is doing to design and implement a new performance management system.

In its examination of DOD’s progress toward planning a new system, GAO said DOD is doing a good job in involving stakeholders in the planning stages of the effort, and is seeking input from everyone who may be affected.

For example, the department hosted a union-management conference last year to generate ideas for the system, and to establish a relationship with DOD unions, GAO said. Also, DOD pushed the date of the conference back to accommodate the unions and to ensure their greater involvement in the planning process, the report said. In the past, under NSPS, labor unions had complained that the system was inequitable and not transparent enough.

However, other parts of the effort need work, the report said. Specifically, DOD hasn't established a plan with documented goals and a timeline to guide its near-term efforts in designing the new system, GAO said.

“Now that the department has begun to involve stakeholders, having a strategic plan outlining goals, resources, and milestones would facilitate assessments of the department’s progress going forward,” the report said.

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