February 12, 2009
Michael Victorian
(202) 639-6405

Bush Administration OPM Report on NSPS Biased Defense of Failed Policies

(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today offered criticism of an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) report on the implementation of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) National Security Personnel System, (NSPS).

“It is clear that the ideological partisans that originally developed the misguided NSPS personnel system are still trying to defend the indefensible,” said John Gage, AFGE national president. “President Obama has been very clear that he has serious misgivings about the transparency and fairness of the NSPS. This appears to be a last ditch effort by the original authors to resurrect this terribly flawed system.”

A report by the independent GAO just a few months ago, contradicts the findings of this final Bush administration OPM report, undermining its credibility. “People should remember all the misrepresentations that OPM and DoD put forth in the their long quest to install this abusive system,” said Gage. “It is no surprise that they would try one last time to misrepresent the facts on their way out the door.”

AFGE, which consistently consults with DoD civilian employees affected by the personnel system, has fought against the misguided policy since its inception because of an inherent lack of transparency, the elimination of competitive processes in advancement actions, and the disconnection between pay and performance.

Previous reports from the GAO have reported that employees’ belief that the system would provide a fair reflection of their performance fell in consecutive years, contradicting OPM and DoD’s assertions that NSPS need only mature to increase employee attitudes. In fact, in its own report, OPM acknowledges that a growing number of employees do not trust the system to ensure fairness in pay or performance ratings.

“Under the Bush administration, OPM and DoD put a significant amount of time, energy, and resources into lowering the pay of federal employees and crushing collective bargaining rights with NSPS,” added Gage. “It should not surprise anyone that they are still trying to hold on to it.”

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