Air Force Audit Agency to work under new personnel system|
by Joel Fortner
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
4/24/2006 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- Nonbargaining unit employees of the Air Force Audit Agency here will become the first employees here to work under the long-awaited National Security Personnel System April 30.
While Wright-Patterson, in general, isn't slated to roll out NSPS until January, NSPS officials said they will watch the Audit Agency to learn what works and what needs to improve.
"I'm thrilled about having the Audit Agency in (Spiral 1.1) because these are folks who know how to look at things critically and analyze them," said Mary Lacey, NSPS program executive officer, who met with AFAA employees April 11. "And what better group of people to give you feedback on a system than people who are used to investigating and analyzing for a living."
Garnering feedback to improve systems as they grow is the reason NSPS is in "spiral," or incremental, development, she said. NSPS is a performance-based system. During the initial spiral, 11,000 of the almost 500,000 Department of Defense civilians will be put into the system.
"I am trying to get out all across the country to visit the (Spiral) 1.1 organizations," Ms. Lacey said. "I want to know them better. I want to make sure they are aware of the resources we can bring to the table, and that we are really looking for their feedback."
NSPS is a flexible system that has been built to incorporate changes and allow for improvements, she said.
In this initial phase, more than 3,000 Air Force employees will be brought into the system, along with approximately 8,000 more Department of Defense employees.
"If there are things we ought to improve right up front, we want to know about them as quickly as possible," Ms. Lacey said.
Employees are encouraged to learn all they can about NSPS and talk with their supervisors to find out how to best leverage the pay-for-performance system. Ms. Lacey said this goes to the heart of a largely underreported message.
"Good solid performers will do fine under this system," she said.
Regarding the General Schedule, or GS, system, it is not going to simply disappear as NSPS spirals in, she said. The "GS scaffolding" will be around for five or six years as NSPS takes hold.
Ms. Lacey said this is expected to relieve some anxiety because people will still be exposed to a familiar system, and see they are not falling behind under NSPS, which has been an expressed area of concern.
Many strong performers are expected to even do better under the new system, she said.
Another underreported part of the story is that the DOD has promised to protect pay and not allow those dollars to be diverted for other means, Ms. Lacey said.
"Money for civilian pay is money for civilian pay," she said.
An NSPS Web-based course was launched in March to provide an overview of the human resources elements of NSPS, including conversion to the system, classification, compensation, performance management, staffing flexibilities and work force shaping. For more information on the course, go to www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps/nsps101/nsps/index.htm.
(Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)