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Human Capital Preliminary Observations on Proposed DOD National Security Personnel System Regulations
The Department of Defense's (DOD) new human resources management system--the National Security Personnel System (NSPS)--will have far-reaching implications for the management of the department and for civil service reform across the federal government. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 gave DOD significant authorities to redesign the rules, regulations, and processes that govern the way that more than 700,000 defense civilian employees are hired, compensated, promoted, and disciplined. In addition, NSPS could serve as a model for governmentwide transformation in human capital management. However, if not properly designed and effectively implemented, it could severely impede progress toward a more performance- and results-based system for the federal government as a whole. On February 14, 2005, the Secretary of Defense and Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released for public comment the proposed NSPS regulations. This testimony (1) provides GAO's preliminary observations on selected provisions of the proposed regulations, (2) discusses the challenges DOD faces in implementing the new system, and (3) suggests a governmentwide framework to advance human capital reform.
Approved For Public Release