DCIPS employees: Tell us what you think


Our story Friday breaking the news that the Pentagon has abandoned the pay-for-performance elements of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System has generated a lot of interest, both on our main website and our blog. Responses ranged from exuberant and exclamation point-y (“THERE IS A GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11”) to regretful (“Unbelievable… back to the old way where you get paid for doing only as much as needed to not be fired?”).

Federal Times is working on a follow up story this week, and we’d like to hear from people who have worked under DCIPS. Where do you think it went wrong? What do you think it did right? What is the end of pay-for-performance going to mean for your workplace?

E-mail me at slosey@federaltimes.com to share your thoughts. If you don’t want to be quoted by name, that is fine.


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  1. Kris E. Hankinson on

    DCIPS is very paperwork intensive. My supervisor has had a huge paperwork load which keeps him from other duties. Many things in intelligence are difficult to quantify in order to measure success. Standards are written at 80% so that the employee can exceed them to excel, but do you consider a pilot with an 80% safe landing success rate to be successful? Also the old system had methods for punishing poor performance, but management didn’t want to do the work to implement them. Under DCIPS they have to work to reward good performance, but don’t want to the paperwork for that either. DCIPS has been a real morale killer. Besides, where I work the biggest problem is bad management, not bad workers.

  2. I agree with Kris. The GS system worked very well, and no one complained about goof offs getting a step increase. There were not that many goof-offs, no more that there are now, and no SYSTEM PREVENTS THAT. Superior workers did get bonuses, time-off awards, extra step increases, and other perks. It is NOT, as some say, just to reward you if you just show up. Step increases are designed to compensate and reward in some small way a worker who does his or her job in a fully functional and satisfactory manner. When you think about it, it is not that much more, and they are not every year. Sometimes you must wait three years between steps. With NGA’s system, they say they are committed to fairness, but far too often that is not the case. They can and have IGNORED documentation of work performed; there are appeals processes in place, but if managers choose to ignore it there is NOTHING that the employee can do. Then he or she is tagged as a troublemaker for standing up for himself. So far, at least $60 million has been soent on the implementation of DCIPS. To be fair, there are some decent managers at NGA, but they too, have to abide by what the higher-ups say. And just how fair is it when they take from the cost of living money to put it into bonuses for others? Robbing the poor to pay the rich! It’s no fun to be a LAB RAT. People were generally happier under the old system, because they weren’t demoralized like they are now. One more thing, if DCIPS is so great, why does only NGA keep it? It’s not just the “bad workers” who dislike it. And I resent when people say otherwise. DCIPS and NGA’s TPC systems just demoralize far too many workers. At least with the step increases, the DOD CAN HAVE A STEADY AND MEASURED AMOUNT TO BUDGET FOR SALARIES.

  3. While I have been in both systems and DCIPS worked out good for me there are many many people who have lost their cost of living raises every year ; under DCIPS it gets put in to a pot of money and is now called a bonus.
    While GS employees still receive their cost of living and step increases there are people out in the Federal Sector who have not had an increase in 8 years. Unfortunately some in upper management have gotten greedy and give themselves and their “friends” $10K bonuses while others are grateful for their locality pay.
    Going back to GS will be an adjustment to the people who have gotten used to huge bonuses and will help a lot of people who can not get a break no matter how hard they work. If you aren’t in the clique you get little to nothing of the huge pot of money that DCIPS gives out. There are many hard working people who receive nothing for their performance.

  4. DCIPS has done the following to me:
    – My job was initially graded at a GS-12 level, however my peers (doing less than what I do) where all graded at th 13-14 level. When DCIPS was being implemented, the unit had met a deadline for getting my job linked to the others at the 13 level. It had been approved through AFPC, however a pencil pusher at a MAJCOM decided that no promotions would go through since everyone was going to DCIPS. This affected about 20 people in my unit. We were then told, it would reflect in the pay for performance bonus.
    – Flash forward to Dec 2010. I just received my “estimate” for the performance award. I get a big fat “$0” in my award (although rated at #1 in my pay pool – or so I was told and others received 0ver $3400), but I did receive a QSI. A QSI is fine in the long term, but if I was going to be eligible for my step increase in 2011 anyway, then what’s the point? I also can’t find any dates anywhere of when my last step increase was (not on LES or on a system I have access to). And to top it off, my formal “estimate” shows a projected basic pay calculation that does not reflect a QSI.
    – We’ll see what my position rates at when it returns to the GG pay scale… So in my estimate, DCIPS was a system that should never have been implemented in the first place. The money saved in not promoting employees or giving their step increases was instead used to pay for implementation of a failed program from the start (How much did that actually cost?). The old system wasn’t broken, why the need to fix it?
    DCIPS was a bitter pill, I only wish they would get rid of the paperwork that goes along with it. It is too time consuming when we could all get to our work.

  5. Leslie, you’re quite correct. I was forced through the same ordeal: losing promotion to GS-13 because of a MAJCOM person who didn’t want to do the paperwork as we were about to convert to DCIPS, and so on.
    I also just received my “estimate” for performance too. While I was rated as Excellent (a 4), my award was ZERO. And unit statistics published said that nearly 50% of employees received an award greater than zero. So this means that my excellent performance is below the 50th percentile? Something is seriously wrong with this system. It has given me the incentive to back off and only work enough to get a 3 rating, since it’s all pre-arranged to pay bonuses to the inside clique only, and leave all the others, regardless of their performance, out in the cold.

  6. Joe, Leslie.

    Not to be mean. But just maybe your supervisor’s were being nice to you when giving you an “Excellent” rating when in all honesty, you were pretty worthless to the organization.

  7. Govguy,

    Not the case. Not when you take some leave and folks at work call you at least twice a day with questions on how to do something or what I think about a given issue. Not when you return from leave and fellow office team mates are excited that you’re back. Not when the supervisor holds certain tasks for you to work upon return from leave because they didn’t want it “messed up” by someone else.

    And, yes, you were being mean. Why else would you pre-condition your statement? Saying your not being mean as the pretext of a mean statement does not negate or excuse it. You know nothing about me or how I am regarded at the office, but immediately jump to that conclusion. You are passing judgement based on zero fact. This implies a delusional superiority complex.

  8. ALCON,

    Does anyone know if an organization has to hold a pay pool? I have been in the same position for two years and for two years rated at a 5 but my management does not know how to give me a bonus, a quality step increase, and I am being told there was no pay pool since I am the only DCIPS person in my organization. My CPO has never dealt with DCIPS persons and I receive no guidance or information on how to advance in my position. If anyone has any information, please share. I am helpless! Thanks!

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