'Frustrated' unions say failure to kill NSPS 'illogical,' 'baffling'


The American Federation of Government Employees wasted no time in firing back at the Defense Business Board task group’s final report on the National Security Personnel System, and its recommendation to rebuild — but not abolish — the controversial system. In a letter sent to the task group less than an hour after the report was posted online, AFGE President John Gage said the decision to drastically reform NSPS left the union “perplexed, angered and frustrated:”

The recommendation to keep NSPS is illogical and does not flow from your findings. The task group has miscalculated the intensity of hatred toward this system. […] We wonder why DoD isn’t holding those responsible for NSPS accountable and terminating them for this colossal failure. Instead, the task group asks them to try again, while the employees continue to suffer and many good employees lose money. […]

The evidence of complete failure and serious injustice to many loyal, hard-working DoD employees is overwhelming. It leads to no other conclusion that termination.

Gage also is taking offense at the task group’s recommendation that the Pentagon work together with employees and unions as it creates the new NSPS. “The original law required collaboration from the onset, but DoD leaders and staff were dismissive and arrogant,” he said.

And though the task group cited NSPS’ performance management system as a success and reason to keep from scrapping the whole thing, Gage said it too “is overly complicated, not trusted by employees, and no better than other federal sector systems in accurately evaluating performance. It certainly is no reason to retain NSPS.”

The National Federation of Federal Employees echoed AFGE’s outrage.

“We don’t want a ‘do-over’ on NSPS, and that is what the report’s recommendation amounts to,” said NFFE National President William Dougan. “The Pentagon has had six years to get NSPS right, and they have failed miserably to do so.”


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  1. DCIPS and other “pay for performance” are fruit from the same poisened tree as NSPS and should be abolished as well.

    NSPS is the broken model that these pay systems came from. It is time to treat Federal Employees with the dignity and respect that we are due.

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