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News Release

Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Contact: Peter Graves
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Deputy Director Discusses Strategic and Operational Plan/ NSPS & DHS Personnel Issues at 68th Annual Federal Managers Association Convention

Shares Highlights of New OPM Strategic and Operational Plan with Attendees/ Provides Updates on NSPS/ DHS Reforms

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Deputy Director Dan G. Blair shared highlights of OPM's new Strategic and Operational Plan with attendees of the Federal Managers Association 68th Annual National Convention in Arlington, Va. Blair also updated those in attendance on the status of transferring Defense Department employees to the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) and the Department of Homeland Security's new MAX-HR personnel system.

"OPM's new Strategic and Operational Plan is more than just a plan, it's an instruction manual on how to run an efficient, accountable government agency," Deputy Director Blair said. "We believe American citizens and the Federal civilian workforce expect us to get things done and achieve results. It's what this plan is about."

Blair told conference participants the Strategic and Operational Plan was designed to be clear and succinct, outlining reachable goals to help ensure the Federal government has an effective civilian workforce.

"Our Strategic and Operational Plan goals are straightforward and readily identifiable," Blair said. "Many have a date by which they will be accomplished. We will know when we reach our goals and so will the rest of government."

Blair said a main objective of OPM as outlined in the plan is to find ways to ensure federal agencies will be employers of choice for college graduates and mid-career professionals. Blair said as more and more current Federal employees begin to retire, agencies will need to consider new methods of attracting and retaining talent within the Federal workforce.

"The new generation of employees entering the labor market are not necessarily interested in a traditional career," said Blair. "Many newcomers want the option of working part-time, telecommuting, working off-hours, or moving in and out of agencies as opportunities for advancement arise."

Blair also provided conference attendees with an update on Department of Defense (DoD) progress in converting its employees from the seniority-based General Schedule pay system to the performance-based NSPS system, and informed the audience that OPM had joined DoD in requesting the Department of Justice to appeal a recent lower court decision blocking the implementation of some NSPS provisions.

Blair also said Federal court challenges are hampering full implementation of the MAX-HR personnel system for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but new performance based rules will begin applying to non-bargaining unit employees at several DHS administered agencies soon. OPM supports DHS plans to implement performance based pay systems for its employees as well, Blair said.

"It's time to retire a 50-year-old General Schedule system that rewards longevity over performance," said Blair.

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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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