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Washington, DC - The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DoD) conducted a recent briefing on the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for representatives of the American Legion. The briefing provided information on the NSPS development background, guiding principles, NSPS program management, current outreach initiatives, and a national schedule of activities. George Nesterczuk, OPM Senior Advisor on the Department of Defense, delivered opening remarks and Mary Lacey, Program Executive Officer, NSPS, delivered the technical briefing.
"Defending Merit System Principles, guarding against prohibited personnel practices and honoring Veterans' Preference governmentwide, especially for qualified and disabled veterans, are top priorities for OPM Director Kay Coles James," said Nesterczuk. "OPM is working with DOD to ensure that federal workers who will fall under the new system are fully protected by these foundational principles."
The NSPS, as authorized by the Defense Authorization Act of 2004, will streamline much of DoD's outdated personnel system and allows DoD, jointly with OPM, to modernize a broad range of civilian personnel rules. The NSPS represents the most significant change to the civil service since the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, with flexibilities never before afforded that have the potential to impact the entire federal work force. These new flexibilities are being married with pillars of the civil service, such as Veterans Preference, in order to create a new, agile personnel system.
"As a veteran-making organization, DoD appreciates the critical importance of taking care of our veterans," stated Lacey. "Veterans are a valued constituency of DoD. Our meeting with the American Legion was to solicit their input to ensure veterans' issues and concerns are heard."
DoD continues to conduct outreach meetings to gain valuable information on crafting labor relations, appeals, and human resources design elements. Over 100 focus groups have taken place in 40 DoD facilities worldwide with the participation of over 1,000 employees. The focus groups conducted to-date have consisted of employees, civilian and military supervisors and managers, human resources professionals along with legal and equal employment opportunity staff. In addition, over 60 town hall meetings with DoD employees have taken place.
OPM and DoD also have held briefings on NSPS with other stakeholders, including public interest groups and employee advocacy organizations.
To further enhance communications with employees, an NSPS website has been established at www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps. The site is continually updated and it addresses various NSPS issues of interest to employees including pay for performance, pay banding, and labor relations.
The final NSPS regulations will be published in the Federal Register for public comment in December 2004.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.