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

Under broadbanding, employees have greater advancement opportunities across a broad range of salary rates.  Competitive promotion will continue to be required between broadbands, but most salary advancement will take the form of contribution rating increases.

(2) Occupational Series

Comments: Some commentors thought it was important to maintain the integrity of career fields, given that different occupational series are being combined into a given career path.  Some commentors said the project included too many series, but others pointed out that it did not include all series in the acquisition and support workforce.

Response: Occupational series will remain in effect, and existing requirements for education and experience will be maintained.  Degree or other specific requirements (including DAWIA certification) that now exist for certain occupations will be unchanged.  Table 2 was amended to include all occupational series involved in the acquisition process, to include the support workforce.

(3) Contribution-Based Actions

Comments: Several commentors sought to ensure that contribution-based actions would be well-founded and reviewable by the Merit Systems Promotion Board.

Response: Contribution-based actions must meet the same standard of evidence as performance-based actions under the current system and are reviewable by the Board.

E.  Academic Degree and Certificate Training

Eleven comments were received about this initiative, nine of them positive.

Comments:  Commentors appreciated the new ability for Administrative Support and Technical Management Support employees to pursue educational opportunities.  They also supported extending the time for degree and certificate training throughout the project’s duration.  This initiative will help attract the next-generation worker, they said.

Two commentors criticized DoD’s paying for employees’ education and then not capitalizing on its investment.

Response:  Management and employees must work together to structure work assignments that take advantage of employees’ skills and education.

F.  Classification

Twenty-two comments regarding two subtopics were received about this initiative.

(1) Classification Process

Comments: Under the demonstration, position requirements documents (PRDs) combine position information, staffing requirements, and contribution expectations into a single document that replaces current agency-developed position description forms. Several commentors sought accurate PRDs that can capture unique position characteristics.  While one commentor thought writing PRDs was burdensome, two others differed, saying they saw the value in a simplified process that reduces administrative costs and processing times.  Two commentors asked how PRD factors relate to broadband levels, and two others asked who would approve PRDs.  Several commentors wanted assurance that line managers will be prepared to assume classification authority.

Response: COREDOC, an interactive software program designed for development of PRDs, will be available to assist managers, along with training on classification.  Unique position characteristics may be annotated in the PRDs’ remarks section.  Classification authority rests with the local commander and may be re-delegated no lower than one management level above the first-line supervisor of the employee

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