14 January 2003



SUBJECT: National Security Personnel System for Civilians

1. Purpose: To inform TRADOC Leaders about provisions of the new DOD civilian human resource system.

2. Facts:

a. The FY 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 108-136 authorizes the Department of Defense (DoD) to create a National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for its civilian employees. The legislation creates a framework of principles and processes, but not the rules. DoD, with participation by all components, will develop the specific features, regulations, and policies. TRADOC is an active participant with Department of Army/DOD.

b. NSPS will change many aspects of key civilian personnel functions. These include:

1. Streamlined staffing flexibilities for hiring, reassignments, advancements, removals

2. New reduction in force rules based on performance instead of longevity

3. Changed performance management system linking pay to performance

4. Simplified classification system using broad pay banding

5. New labor relations system with collaborative, issue-based approach with National Union representatives instead of bargaining with unions at the installation level.

6. Streamlined employee appeals process

7. SES members will enter a pay band system; will no longer receive locality pay or automatic raises. Effective 11 January 2004, SES members are subject to new pay rules.

8. Permanent authority for voluntary early retirement and separation incentives

9. Elimination of pay offset for reemployed annuitants


c. By law, the design of NSPS must: be flexible and contemporary; not waive or modify merit system principles or prohibited personnel practices; ensure that employees may organize, bargain collectively; include a performance management system that is fair, credible, and transparent; links performance management to the agency’s strategic plan; provide adequate training and retraining on performance management; provide effective safeguards to ensure that the system is fair and equitable.

d. NSPS cannot change the following civil service matters; appeals to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; antidiscrimination laws; leave and attendance; travel and subsistence expenses; pay for political executives and firefighters; training; personnel demonstration projects; incentive awards; insurance and annuities; access to criminal history record; laboratory Demonstration projects; employees’ rights to petition Congress; and services to employees like safety and drug abuse programs.

e. NSPS will be prescribed jointly by DoD (with the components participation) and the Office of Personnel Management. Implementation requires a collaboration process at the national level with employee representatives (unions) that have exclusive recognition. Designated organizations representing substantial numbers of employees may also be included in the collaboration process.

f. DoD expects to begin partial implementation very quickly and fully implement the system within two years. Projected timelines transition Air Force and Navy to NSPS in June 04, with Army to follow in Oct 04.

Mr. Atwell/ATBO-C/5224

APPROVED by Ms. Ward