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Is pay-for-performance truly dead?

Guest entry by writer Brian Robinson.

Is the government always going to be unable to make pay-for-performance work?

It seems strange that no proposal yet has been able to unseat the General Schedule system, said Howard Risher, an independent consultant. There's not one true advocate for the GS system in government, and many critics, yet it persists as the best available option.

The most visible recent effort to tie pay to job performance, the Defense Department's National Security Personnel System, crashed and burned, just like most of the large-scale efforts before it.

“The DOD didn’t get buy-in early on for this,” said John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. “It ended up being an overly elaborate system and managers were spending all of their time on it.”

However, Congress now seems content to just continue the current pay freeze and ignore the big issues, said Jon Desenberg, senior policy director for the Performance Institute. The people who really care about the issue have left government, he said, “and I have not been impressed by the depth of knowledge of the current freshman group of congressmen.”

Posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 12:18 PM


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