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Pentagon's Pay-for-Performance Program Facing Fresh Round of Scrutiny

Pentagon's Pay-for-Performance Program Facing Fresh Round of Scrutiny

What does Uncle Sam do when he's thrown a hot potato?

By Joe Davidson | Federal Diary, Washington Post

Lynn’s memo lays out a broad canvas for task group members, allowing them to offer recommendations that range from simply tinkering at the edges to much more dramatic changes.

The abolition of NSPS is the change union leaders would like to see.

“We don’t need to study it any more. We’ve seen enough,” said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “It should die.”

He said he has urged members of the task group to move expeditiously because the rights of employees “are being trampled” in the meantime.

The task group will be led by Rudy deLeon, senior vice president of the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the Obama White House; Robert Tobias, an American University professor who is a past president of the National Treasury Employees Union; and Michael Bayer, the Bush administration appointed chairman of the Defense Business Board.

DeLeon said he hopes his group will have its recommendations ready by mid-July. And although as a candidate President Obama said he would “strongly consider a complete repeal” or substantial overhaul of NSPS, deLeon said there is no preconceived outcome for the panel.

Tobias echoed that, even though his former union is an outspoken opponent of pay-for-performance. “I don’t know what the facts are going to yield,” he said.

Although pay-for-performance programs have many vocal critics, there are others who back them.

Blair and Clapper strongly supported pay-for-performance systems in an April 23 letter to Orszag. They said they want no further delay in implementation of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System and the National Intelligence Civilian Compensation Program, as Reps. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, had urged in March.

Yesterday, Reyes and Skelton said the program should not be implemented until a careful evaluation of it has been completed. “We stand by our position that nothing should be done to advance this system until we receive the results of a thorough review,” Skelton said.

Staff writer Eric Yoder and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report. Contact Joe Davidson at >/i>

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