Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 1999 / Notices
Under 5 U.S.C. chapter 47, OPM is permitted to waive civil service laws and regulations to enable an agency, such as DoD, to conduct demonstration projects by experimenting with new and innovative personnel systems. Examples of laws and regulations that may be waived for demonstration purposes include methods of: appointment to positions; classification and compensation; assignment, reassignment, or promotion; and providing incentives. However, no waivers of law are permitted in the areas of employee leave, employee benefits, equal employment opportunity, political activity, merit system principles, or other prohibited personnel practices.
To sum up, the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration is conducted jointly by DoD and OPM. Its innovations require waivers of various civil service laws and regulations.
Comments: Thirty-two commentors raised the possibility of favoritism in work assignments. They said managers could assign high-visibility tasks to certain employees and lower-level work to others, with predictable results when employees were compensated for their contributions. However, another commentor said this was possible under the current compensation system; it would remain so regardless of what system was implemented.
Response: Management will continue to determine work assignments. However, under the demonstration, work assignments will increasingly focus on supporting mission requirements, enhancing employees’ capabilities, and providing employees with opportunities for career broadening and training.
Employees are responsible to ensure that management understands their capabilities and their desire to increase their contributions to the organization’s mission. Employees should respond to work assignment opportunities in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner. Under the project, managers and employees can arrive at mutually agreeable opportunities to increase contributions to the organization’s mission.
Exercise of Managerial Authority
Comments: Seven commentors said managers could abuse their authority regarding employees’ pay raises. For instance, managers who are engineers might view only other engineers as high contributors.
Response: Several project features help ensure visibility for all employees and fair assessment of both technical and functional contributions. In this regard, each of the six CCAS factors has multiple levels of increasing contribution corresponding to the broadband levels. Each factor contains descriptors for each respective level within the relevant career path. The descriptors state what is important to the mission of the organization and describe employees’ contributions at different broadband levels. Thus, work performed by individuals in a particular career path is evaluated against the same descriptors, and contribution is determined by a group consensus through the pay pool panel process.
Dual Personnel Systems
Comments: Five commentors projected additional workload for supervisors and civilian personnel/human resources staffs as a result of maintaining two personnel systems.
Response: The FY 96 National Defense Authorization Act encouraged DoD to conduct a demonstration project for the acquisition workforce. In an effort to minimize the need for two personnel systems within this workforce, project developers made every effort to encourage eligible organizations and unions to participate.
There is precedent for operating dual personnel systems. Seven science and technology laboratory demonstration projects are already in operation within the Military Services. Most of these projects do not include all employees within a demonstration organization.