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1454Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 1999 / Notices

broadband levels designed to facilitate pay progression and to allow for more competitive recruitment of quality candidates at differing rates.  Career paths are designated by NH, NJ, or NK; see chart below.  Competitive promotions will be less frequent, and movement through the broadband levels will be a more seamless process than under current procedures.  Like the broadband systems used at the Department of the Navy (China Lake) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) permanent demonstration projects, advancement within the system is contingent on merit.

There will be four broadband levels in the demonstration project, labeled I, II, III, and IV.  Levels I through IV will include the current grades of GS-01 through GS-15.  These are the grades in which the DoD acquisition workforce employees are currently found.  Comparison to the GS grades was used in setting the upper and lower dollar limits of the broadband levels; however, once the employees are moved into the demonstration project, GS grades will no longer apply.

The three career paths and their associated broadband levels are as follows:

Generally, employees will be converted into the broadband level that includes their permanent GS grade of record.  Each employee is assured an initial place in the system without loss of pay.  As the rates of the General Schedule are increased due to General Schedule pay increases, the minimum and maximum rates of the broadband levels will also move up.  Individual employees receive pay increases based on their appraisals under the Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS).  Since pay progression through the levels depends on contribution, there will be no scheduled within-grade increases (WGIs) or scheduled General Schedule increases for employees once the broadbanding system is in place.  Special salary rates will no longer be applicable to demonstration project employees.  Employees will be eligible for the locality pay of their geographical area (see section V, paragraph A, “Conversion to the Demonstration Project”) with the exception of those employees stationed at an overseas location.

Newly hired personnel entering the system will be employed at a level consistent with the expected basic qualifications for the level, as determined by rating against qualifications standards. The hiring official will determine the starting salary based upon available labor market considerations relative to special qualifications requirements, scarcity of qualified applicants, programmatic urgency, and education/experience of the new candidates.

The use of broadbanding provides a stronger link between pay and contribution to the mission of the organization.  It is simpler, less time consuming, and less costly to maintain.  In addition, such a system is more easily understood by managers and employees, is easily delegated to managers, coincides with recognized career paths, and complements the other personnel management aspects of the demonstration project.

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