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News Release

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Contact: Rusty Asher
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Praises Non-Coalition Unions for Productive Meeting on Defense Personnel System

Washington, DC - Experts from the Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense conducted two recent meetings with representatives of the National Association of Independent Laborers (NAIL) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to discuss issues related to the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) currently being designed for civilian employees at the Department of Defense.

James stated, "I appreciate the work the OPM and DoD teams, and the representatives of these two unions were able to accomplish. I have heard very positive remarks about the participation at the meeting by the representatives from NAIL and FOP. Union representatives produced tangible examples of performance management and pay for performance systems for the meeting. I am encouraged by their valuable contribution."

The NSPS, as part of the Defense Authorization Act of 2004, will modernize a broad range of civilian personnel rules for the Department of Defense. Within the statutory requirements of the NSPS is a mandate that a pay for performance system be established. Several topics relating to the creation of a personnel system were discussed at the meeting including performance standards and rating systems, pay systems, and hiring procedures.

While the OPM and Defense Department team creating NSPS have considerable flexibility to form a modern system to manage the Federal civilian workforce for the Defense Department, the merit system principles - such as whistle blower protections, protection from politically motivated favoritism and a commitment to veterans' preference - remains solid.

The NAIL and FOP unions and other unions are not a part of a coalition of DoD unions under AFL-CIO coordination to provide input to the NSPS team. Several meetings have been held with the coalition unions. The outreach to non-coalition unions was an effort to ensure all unions have the opportunity to contribute to the process.

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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