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News Release

Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Testifies on Pay-for-Performance in the Federal Government

Issues SES Report

Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Linda M. Springer testified today before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia on the positive impact of pay-for- performance in the federal government. During her testimony, Springer noted alternative pay systems provide agencies with the ability to recruit and retain top talent because they reward high performers with greater pay.

"I remain firmly convinced pay-for-performance is critical for attracting a 21st Century workforce," said Springer. "Results demonstrate that given time and proper implementation, performance-based pay systems can be effective for the federal workforce."

Since the establishment of these systems, OPM has evaluated and analyzed the Senior Executive Service (SES), National Security Personnel System and other alternative pay systems. Earlier this year, OPM conducted a survey of career Senior Executive Service (SES) members which revealed 93 percent of SES members believe their pay should be based on performance and 91 percent responded they should be held accountable for achieving results. In addition, the majority are satisfied with the recognition they receive for their accomplishments.

Today, OPM issued its annual SES Pay-for-Performance report which shows that federal agencies are distributing higher performance awards and pay adjustments to their top performers. The report shows that agencies continue to improve the pay-for-performance systems, using them to link executive performance with organizational goals and results. The report may be found at

OPM evaluations of the Department of Defense National Security Personnel System (NSPS) highlight how it has strengthened the link between pay and performance, and has provided Pentagon management the ability to promote broader skill development and advancement opportunities within and across pay bands. Because the system requires employee participation, communication had increased between managers and their workforce.

In addition, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council has played an important role in OPM efforts to implement pay-for-performance systems. The Council's Subcommittee on Performance Management holds sessions on pay-for-performance where leaders share best practices or lessons learned.

For more information on OPM initiatives and reports, please visit

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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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