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1438Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 1999 / Notices

This project not only provides a system that retains, recognizes, and rewards employees for their contribution, but also supports their personal and professional growth.

B.  Problems with the Present System

One of the goals of the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) is to create well-trained, multi-skilled professionals who can effectively manage multi-million-dollar programs.  Additionally, Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) require multi-skilled personnel who can function in a dynamic team environment.  The current personnel system must be re-engineered to provide incentives and rewards to employees who exhibit these characteristics and who increase their contribution to the acquisition mission accordingly.  Hiring restrictions and overly complex job classifications unduly exhaust valuable resources and unnecessarily detract attention from the acquisition mission.  Managers must be able to compete with the private sector for the best talent and be able to make timely job offers to potential employees.  Those same managers need the tools to reward employees for excellence so that the acquisition systems produced reflect the quality of such a workforce.  A contribution-based compensation system will help managers acquire these tools and provide a forum in which to apply them.  The acquisition process is continually changing and is moving more toward a team environment; therefore, managers must be given local control of positions and their classification in order to move employees freely within their organization when demanded by the mission, and to provide developmental opportunities for employees.  Additionally, managers have only limited tools to shape the workforce to ensure continued growth of new ideas, perspectives, and state-of-the art skills for the 21st century.  In summary, today's acquisition workforce management problems appear to be largely outside the control of the acquisition managers.  The inflexibility of many of today's personnel processes and the diffused authority, accountability, and approval chains throughout the organizations, result in a workforce that cannot posture itself for the rapidly changing technological and business environment.  Also, the current personnel system does not provide an environment that motivates employees to continue to increase their contribution to the organization and the mission.  This demonstration is designed to provide an encouraging environment that promotes the growth of all employees and to improve the local acquisition manager’s ability and authority to manage the acquisition workforce effectively.

C.  Changes Required/Expected Benefits

This project will demonstrate that a human resources system tailored to the mission and needs of the DoD acquisition workforce will result in: (a) increased quality in the acquisition workforce and the products it acquires; (b) increased timeliness of key personnel processes; (c) workforce data trends toward higher retention rates of  “excellent contributors” and separation rates of “poor contributors”; (d) increased satisfaction of serviced DoD customers with the acquisition process and its products; and (e) increased workforce satisfaction with the personnel management system.

The DoD acquisition workforce demonstration program builds on the features of demonstration projects at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of the Navy (China Lake), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The long-standing Department of the Navy (China Lake) and NIST demonstration projects have produced impressive statistics on job satisfaction for their employees versus that for the Federal workforce in general.  Therefore, in addition to the expected benefits mentioned above, it is anticipated that the DoD acquisition workforce demonstration project will result in more satisfied employees as a consequence of the demonstration’s pay equity, classification accuracy, and fairness of performance management.  A full range of measures will be collected during project evaluation.

D.  Bargaining Requirements

Employees within a unit to which a labor organization is accorded exclusive recognition under Chapter 71 of title 5, United States Code, shall not be included as part of the demonstration project unless the exclusive representative and the agency have entered into a written agreement covering participation in and implementation of this project.  The parties may use mediation or any other mutually acceptable means to resolve disputes over the implementation of the project with respect to unit employees.  Neither party may request the assistance of the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve

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