Here’s a few new details on the Defense Authorization Bill’s repeal of the National Security Personnel System that lawmakers on a House-Senate conference committee have agreed upon:
- All 205,000 employees currently under NSPS will be transferred back to their original pay system by Jan. 1, 2012, according to a statement from Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y. The bulk of NSPS employees were originally under the General Schedule system.
- American Federation of Government Employees President John Gage — who in June compared NSPS to Dracula — thinks the Defense Authorization Bill will be the final stake in the heart of the program.
- But it’s not a done deal yet. Army Times reporter Rick Maze tells me that other issues could scuttle the authorization bill. Rick said that one provision in the bill, which would authorize more spending for Joint Strike Fighter engines, could get the whole thing vetoed. Also, Republican opposition to a Hate Crimes Prevention Act rider could trip the bill up in the Senate.
- And Gage told me that the bill provides one slim chance for the Defense Department to save NSPS. According to Gage, language in the authorization bill says that if the Pentagon manages to “reconstruct,” or radically overhaul, NSPS to Congress’ satisfaction within a certain time period, and if Congress passes a bill saying it’s satisified with the NSPS reconstruction, the system could be saved. But, of course, that’s an awful lot of “ifs,” and at this point, it’s not looking good for NSPS.
- Gage said that new department-wide flexibilities on hiring, assigning personnel and appraising employee performance will be subject to collective bargaining.
Keep watching www.federaltimes.com for more information.