Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 1999 / Notices
On March 24, 1998, OPM published this proposed demonstration project in the Federal Register (63 FR 14253). During the 60-day public comment period ending May 26, 1998, OPM received comments from 182 individuals, including 37 who presented oral comments at one of the three public hearings. All comments were carefully considered.
Some commentors suggested changes to areas that lie outside the project’s scope or the demonstration project authority of 5 U.S.C. chapter 47. These comments are not included in the summary below.
A number of commentors highlighted many instances of miscommunication and misunderstanding with the present system, as well as the project interventions. Others provided insight and encouragement to project developers. Still others emphasized the importance of training for all project participants.
The following summary addresses the comments received, provides responses, and notes resultant changes to the original project plan in the first Federal Register notice. Most commentors addressed several topics, which were counted separately. Thus, the total number of comments exceeds the number of individuals cited above.
General Positive Comments
Thirty-nine commentors were totally supportive of the demonstration and saw it as beneficial to employees, managers, the acquisition workforce, and the Federal civil service. One commentor thanked DoD, OPM, and Congress for making this project possible, saying it would greatly benefit workers at field-level installations. Several commentors said it would provide much-needed reform of workforce management. Others complimented the project’s streamlined personnel management systems and application of good business practices to Government. Finally, several commentors simply said they looked forward to the project’s implementation and welcomed the opportunity to contribute to its success.
Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS)
A number of positive comments were received. Three commentors welcomed pay adjustments based on their contributions. One said that pay pool panels will serve to ensure even-handed assessments and that poor performers “can no longer milk the system.” Two commentors viewed CCAS’s varied contribution factors as a way to satisfy the increasing need for a multi-skilled workforce in a downsized environment. One commentor thought CCAS should be implemented immediately.
A total of 105 comments were received about CCAS, relating to seven subtopics, as follows:
(1) CCAS Process
Comments: Thirty-eight commentors thought the CCAS process was too complicated. Another said the Customer Relations factor seemed to emphasize customer satisfaction over statutory compliance, yet contract specialists must achieve both.
Response: At first reading, the CCAS process may seem complicated. However, feedback from numerous CCAS orientation and training sessions throughout DoD showed that participants readily grasped the new system’s concepts.
Project developers have conducted and will continue to give briefings for management and the workforce across the country. Additionally, “train-the-trainer” courses have been completed so that the next lower echelon of trainers can spread the word. Evaluation of this training indicated that an understanding of the CCAS process and its benefits can easily be achieved.
Each participating manager will be fully trained on the CCAS process and supporting software well before the end of the first appraisal cycle. Additionally, training materials, videotapes, and briefing charts are available to participating organizations, as well as an Internet-based tutorial.