Federal Managers Association
- FMA TESTIFIES ON GENERAL SCHEDULE AND THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE - July 15, 2014
Testimony for the Record
Before the United States House of Representatives
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census
July 15, 2014
Examining the Management of the General Schedule of the Federal Workforce
Management of the Federal Workforce
Statement of Patricia Niehaus
Federal Managers Association
Chairman Farenthold, Ranking Member Lynch and Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census:
My name is Patricia Niehaus and I am here today representing the over 200,000 managers, supervisors and executives in the federal government on behalf of the Federal Managers Association (FMA). Please allow me to take a moment to thank you for this opportunity to present our views before the Subcommittee on the management of the federal workforce. As federal managers, we are committed to carrying out the mission of our agencies in the most efficient and cost-effective manner while providing necessary services to millions of Americans.
In March of this year, I was reelected to serve my third term as National President of the Federal Managers Association. In my professional life, I am the Chief of Labor and Employee-Management Relations for Travis Air Force Base in California. I have completed 31 years of federal service in the Department of the Air Force, the last 28 of which were in the human resources field. I began my tenure as a GS-04 Secretary and worked my way up to my present position in the Civilian Personnel Office. During my career, I have spent time in the General Schedule (GS) and the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), and have worked with managers under four separate pay systems – the Federal Wage Grade, GS, the General Manager system, and NSPS. Additionally, I was involved with NSPS as a member of the NSPS Implementation Team for Travis AFB, as a trainer, a pay pool facilitator and as an employee rated under that system. Please note that I am here on my own time and of my own volition representing the views of FMA and do not speak on behalf of the Air Force.
Established in 1913, the Federal Managers Association is the largest and oldest association of managers and supervisors in the federal government. FMA was originally organized to represent the interests of civil service managers and supervisors in the Department of Defense (DOD) and has since branched out to include more than 40 different federal departments and agencies. We are a nonprofit, professional, membership-based organization dedicated to advocating excellence in public service and committed to ensuring an efficient and effective federal government. As stakeholders in the successful implementation of human resource management, we appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today.
The face of America’s workforce is changing. A model once attractive for employing the most talented members of our society, the federal civil service no longer reflects the standards today’s job seekers expect. The current General Schedule pay and classification system is antiquated. FMA supports changes that establish increased flexibilities, accountability and performance results.
EXAMINING THE GENERAL SCHEDULE
Since its inception, the General Schedule has been hailed as the cornerstone of the federal workforce. It was implemented in 1949, however, since this time, the federal government has grown and the workforce tackles more diverse issues and functions. Reacting to this change, several agencies now employ personnel systems other than GS for some or all of their employees. While we are encouraged that the government has abandoned many pass/fail systems, we are concerned that the differences between pay-for-performance systems and the General Schedule make it difficult for employees to switch jobs within the government. There is also the added hindrance of a single agency employing multiple systems as in the DOD and Internal Revenue Service.
Overall, the discussion needs to concentrate on whether the federal government wishes to pursue pay-for-performance. If the answer is yes, the General Schedule should be utilized as a stepping stone to create a more evolved system that reflects the needs of the present federal workforce. Transparency, fairness, and objectivity need to be core elements that comprise any system created. FMA urges a departure from the rigid, one-size-fits-all approach of the current General Schedule, to a classification and pay system that reflects the diverse missions of agencies across the federal government. While the common denominator of all departments and agencies is providing exceptional service to the American people, the federal government is made up of the equivalent of many different businesses and industries. Departments and agencies must have maximum flexibility and ability to compete with the private sector to attract the best and the brightest men and women to answer the call of public service.
As the frontline managers who are responsible for the implementation of new personnel programs, it is FMA’s stance that changes need to take place. Certain fundamental principles of merit remain crucial to preserving the integrity and accountability of a new employment system. We have seen through demonstration projects and pilot programs in various agencies around the country over the past few decades that implementing human resource management structures can help improve the productivity and missions of agencies. As an example, professional employees at Naval Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, California, worked under a demonstration project for nearly thirty years. This involved the development of a performance plan every year with smart goals and established criteria for ratings and rankings that could be monitored. FMA members described the project as less subjective than the General Schedule and cited multiple advantages of this system, including: more latitude in identifying employees not meeting agreed upon objectives; opportunities for supervisors to reward merit; and, the ability to review performance goals and demonstrate how accomplishments were met or exceeded. Our members who worked under this demonstration project called this merit-based pay system a “rewarding experience” that provided documentation for both high-performing and low-performing employees, developed motivated employees, and taught employees how to set goals and monitor progress.
LOOKING FORWARD BY EVALUATING THE NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL SYSTEM
Given my experience with both the General Schedule and NSPS at DOD, I feel it is important to look back at NSPS and to share lessons learned and principles that should be included in any personnel system.
Passage of the Fiscal Year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136) granted DOD the authority to embark on an historic implementation of a new personnel system positioned to change the face of the federal workforce. Included in the legislation was the authorization for major changes to the pay, hiring and staffing, labor relations, collective bargaining, adverse actions, appeals process, reductions-in-force, and performance review systems governed by Title 5 of the U.S. Code. Justification for reform was based on the critical and urgent need to create a flexible and dynamic human resources system that would allow Pentagon employees to respond quickly to any threats to our national security and prevent any military actions that would harm the United States.
Under NSPS, an employee’s pay raise, promotion, demotion or dismissal was much less inhibited than current General Schedule rules permit. FMA supports the premise of holding federal employees accountable for performing their jobs effectively and efficiently and rewarding them accordingly. More specifically, the removal of pass/fail performance rating systems that do not allow for meaningful distinction among levels of performance was a step in the right direction. FMA believes the current General Schedule system of classification should be revised to more easily accommodate changing missions. The system would function more effectively and efficiently by allowing flexibility to significantly change a position without reclassifying, as needed to accomplish the mission of the agency.
NSPS did away with traditional time in grade requirements. Under the General Schedule, an employee may start out as a GS-5 but demonstrate the skills and abilities to work at a higher grade. Because of the current time in grade requirements, that employee must wait at least a year before a being promoted to the next higher grade, then another year before progressing onward in his or her career. The model of evaluation under NSPS, where employees were evaluated and paid based on the job they were performing and capable of, makes more sense and would encourage recruitment and retention to the federal workforce. I know of many instances at DOD where highly- qualified employees accept lower-graded jobs to get into the system but are discouraged from staying in the federal workforce because of the arbitrary time in grade requirements. The federal government stands to lose many talented employees because of this.
Initially, FMA was optimistic NSPS would help bring together the mission and goals of the Department with the on-the-ground functions of the homeland security workforce. However, the promise NSPS held never came to fruition, and following pressure from stakeholders, Congress repealed NSPS in the FY10 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L.111-84).
My Personal Experience with NSPS
As a civil servant at Travis Air Force Base, I was rated under NSPS, and advised supervisors, Higher Level Reviewers and Pay Pool Managers for three complete pay cycles. I was also a member of the NSPS implementation team at Travis AFB and a trainer for labor relations and performance management under the system.
In the role of a rated employee, I experienced the gamut of obstacles that can arise when a pay pool is not strongly guided by the Pay Pool Manager. In the initial rating cycle ending September 2007, my supervisor served as the advisor for our Pay Pool Panel. She was able to clarify NSPS requirements as questions arose, but the Pay Pool Panel was dominated by one military panel member who strongly and vocally believed that all civilian employees were overpaid. Nevertheless, there were few requests for reconsideration, whereby an employee asks for a second review of his or her evaluation. Employees and supervisors alike were quite frustrated by the lack of transparency during this process. I was fortunate that my ratings were not negatively impacted to the extent reported by many of our members based on the bias and inattention displayed by Pay Pool Panel members across the department.
As an NSPS trainer, I understood the system’s requirements, and it was disappointing to watch as implementation failed to follow design. I think one of the primary reasons for its demise was the lack of engagement among senior military leadership and the cumbersome computer rating program provided by DOD. In my experience, many military members did not agree that they owed their civilians the same leadership that they provide their military subordinates. Transitioning from Air Force’s pass/fail appraisal system where a supervisor’s evaluation responsibilities involve checking boxes, providing only nine bullets to justify awards and offering only nine numerical ratings with no justification required, to a full-blown performance management system where a supervisor had to write objectives and rate employees based on those objectives, was seen as too time consuming by most. In every class I taught, there were several vocal military supervisors who claimed they did not have time for this type of program. There was no mechanism to truly hold them accountable for their participation and the manner in which they discharged their duties, severely impeding the program’s success.
In my role as an advisor to supervisors and Pay Pool Panels, I also witnessed the lack of commitment on the part of many of these participants. My installation consisted of five pay pools, and during the three rating cycles I sat in on each Panel at least once. The incongruence of the commitment by the individual Pay Pool Managers was astounding. In instances where the Pay Pool Manager demanded participation by the Panel members, the process ran much smoother and employees were provided more thorough consideration during the process. In the panels where the Pay Pool Manager delegated his duties to another or did not demand participation by his Panel members, the reviews were significantly more superficial and the biases demonstrated by the Panel members appeared to more strongly impact the ratings.
Transitioning back to GS from NSPS had many consequences. I am one of the employees whose pay was negatively impacted by the transition back to the General Schedule. I believe, and my supervisors agree, that I was properly rewarded for my work under NSPS. As such, I was paid between steps 6 and 7 of the next higher grade of the General Schedule from the grade at which I transitioned into NSPS. When I transitioned back to the GS in 2010, I was on pay retention until I was promoted in 2012. I was penalized for my achievements and performance under NSPS by only receiving fifty percent of the general pay increase until my promotion which resulted in a pay raise of less than half a step due to the pay retention. Had I not been promoted, this would also have a negative impact on my retirement annuity by reducing the salary I earned during my high-3 years since I became eligible to retire in 2013.
FOUNDATION FOR ALL PERSONNEL SYSTEMS
If any future personnel system is to succeed, it must adhere to certain basic principles. First, the key to moving forward is collectively understanding that no viable change in the federal government’s human resource management will take place without the full buy-in and understanding of agency leadership, managers and employees. In undertaking a new endeavor, feedback from and collaboration among managers and employees significantly increases morale. When all the stakeholders are engaged in the formation of new programs or policies, the likelihood of acceptance by the workforce increases substantially.
Secondly, the highest performing employees should be rewarded with the highest rates of pay; those employees who fall below the curve in terms of overall performance should not be rewarded at the same level. A strong link between performance and pay provides employees with the confidence that their efforts will be appropriately recognized and rewarded. Where is the incentive in performing better than your colleague when little is done to differentiate additional efforts?
The current GS pay system promotes a workforce based on longevity rather than performance. Based on feedback from FMA members indicating the lack of distinguishing performance among employees serves as a de-motivator, it is time to change to a tiered system to rank employees which removes the “human factor” to the greatest extent possible. Looking back at NSPS, employees were too concerned with their number rating rather than the verbal feedback from their managers, and more education must be completed so that a “3” (average or acceptable performance) is no longer viewed as a bad thing. It is imperative to take appropriate steps to ensure cronyism and favoritism are removed from the process to the greatest extent possible.
Additionally, a shift in the culture of any organization cannot occur without an interactive, ongoing training process that brings together the managers responsible for implementing the personnel system and the employees they supervise. With the upheaval any major change brings to a new pay or performance system, it is necessary to remain committed to the change long enough to let it work. A commitment of the necessary time and resources to achieve success when making a change in the culture of an agency is crucial.
As Congress and the Administration consider changes to the General Schedule or the potential development of new pay system or performance review method, we recommend the following be included in any effort:
- maintenance of current benefits for active duty and retired employees;
- no loss of pay or position for any current employee solely as a result of the implementation of the new system(s);
- merit principles preventing prohibited personnel practices as well as an adherence to current whistleblower protections and honoring and promoting veterans’ preference;
- an independent appeals process for disciplined or terminated employees, such as the Merit Systems Protection Board currently provides;
- adequate funding of “performance funds” for managers to appropriately reward employees based on performance;
- development of a performance rating system that reflects the mission of the agency, the overall goals of the agency, and the individual goals of the employee, while removing as much bias from the review process as possible;
- a transparent process that holds both the employee being reviewed and the manager making the decision accountable for performance as well as pay linked to that performance; and,
- a well-conceived, ongoing and mandatory training program that includes skills training and is funded properly and reviewed by an independent body (we recommend the Government Accountability Office as an auditor) which clearly lays out the expectations and guidelines for both managers and employees regarding the performance appraisal process.
Implementation trumps design as the biggest factor in a system’s ultimate success or failure. Prior to making changes to the General Schedule, we must learn from the implementation mistakes made under NSPS and other pay-for-performance systems. FMA’s primary concern when NSPS was rolled out was the lack of concrete, department-wide business rules that allow for a transparent and fair deployment of pay-for-performance. Several reports stated that the Pay Pool Panels and Sub-Pay Pool Panels were out of touch with the objectives and job functions of the employees they were rating. If the Panels were designed to be the ultimate authority on the final evaluation attributed to each employee and are able to adjust a supervisor’s prescribed rating, they must have full working knowledge of the employees’ jobs they are asked to rate.
Additionally, since the Pay Pool Panelists were aware of the amount of money in the pool, and many must pay their direct reports and themselves from this pool, their power to adjust final employee ratings rightly came under suspicion. Reports surfaced revealing great pressure exerted by the Panels to lower ratings, especially in the cases of poorly written self-assessments, again, despite claims from DOD leadership that this should not or did not occur. The Panels were too focused on the impact they had on the share value. The sole purpose of the Pay Pool Panel should be to ensure fairness, transparency and consistency in the system.
One of the biggest problems experienced during the execution of NSPS in this regard was the perceived bell curve distribution of raises. Managers and supervisors reported extreme pressure from higher-ups to maintain a specified distribution of funds or performance ratings within each pay pool. FMA warned of the severe danger of ratings being deflated or inflated to accommodate a small section of the population. We urged DOD to ensure employees received the ratings their performance dictated. For any personnel system to be fair and effective, evaluative ratings and performance awards must be based on merit, not quotas and arbitrary caps. Forced distribution does nothing but contradict the goal of a pay-for-performance system, and a system employing such rules will never succeed.
Additionally, business rules contained in the FY04 NDAA required a supervisor to provide a feedback session before completing the NSPS appraisal, but FMA observed this usually did not take place. This constituted a key part of the NSPS process, but was often not afforded the attention it deserved. Job objectives should be discussed with employees to ensure they match with mission and supervisors’ objectives, and to recognize where good work has been conducted and how improvements can be made. These conversations must take place throughout the rating cycle. It is alarming these conversations often did not take place.
Many employees also felt uncomfortable assessing their own work as required under NSPS. Inadequate training in this area contributed to employees’ lack of confidence in the delivery of their evaluation, as they were unsure of how best to properly convey the value of the work they perform each day. For many employees, this marked their first experience providing such information, and a self-evaluation that failed to reveal their full worth to the agency had the potential to negatively impact their paychecks significantly. It was our experience that the Pay Pool Panels relied heavily on written assessments, despite the fact that these assessments were not required by law. More attention must be paid to properly train employees how to write self-assessments and to fulfill any other requirements of the system during the development of any future system in order to ensure employees receive the rating their efforts merit.
ISSUES CONFRONTING FEDERAL MANAGERS
The federal workforce is in the midst of a human capital crisis. Exacerbated by attacks on pay and benefits; budgetary restraints caused by sequestration; a partial government shutdown that kept hard working men and women away from their duties; and, an increase in retirement eligible employees, federal managers face the pressure of ensuring a fully functional federal government. Not only do managers need to be fully capable, but there must be a proper mix of managers, rank-and-file employees, and senior executives to fulfill each agency’s mission. Achieving department and agency daily goals and congressionally-mandated duties require all members of the federal workforce to be fully engaged. Federal managers are in a unique position to lead from the top down to encourage going above and beyond the call of duty that promotes efficiency and effectiveness throughout the federal government, best utilizing taxpayers’ money.
FMA makes the following recommendations based on our belief that providing talented managers with fair benefits and compensation, as well as the authority and flexibility to make tough decisions, is the key to managing a successful and strong civil service.
An Effective Federal Government through Managerial Training
Current law requires agencies to establish training programs for managers on topics including: addressing poor performing employees, mentoring, and conducting accurate performance appraisals. However, there is no accountability to ensure managers participate, and during times of strained budgets, training is often viewed as a secondary expense and is typically the first program to meet the chopping block when cuts are needed.
Many employees promoted to management roles are often done so based on their technical skills, especially under the GS system where pay is based on promotion through the various levels and steps. Therefore, it is not surprising that many employees note their supervisors’ managerial skills lag behind their technical skills. An agency’s ability to meet its mission directly correlates to the quality of workforce management. There is a clear need for training if a manager is to be fully successful. If an agency promotes an individual to managerial status based on technical prowess but then fails to develop the individual’s supervisory skills, that agency severely jeopardizes its capability to deliver the level of service the American public expects and does a disservice to both the manager and to the employees supervised by that inadequately developed manager.
The development of managerial skills is one of the greatest investments an agency can make, both in terms of productivity gains and the retention of valuable employees. A supervisor’s ability to effectively monitor his or her workforce while resolving internal conflicts is instrumental in forming an appealing work environment. Whether serving as a mediator between upper-level managers and their staff or clearly defining organizational goals, well-trained federal managers serve a vital role in the continuity of operations on a day-to-day basis and are an essential component in ensuring the federal government retains a workforce that espouses a strong work ethic and commitment to the nation’s wellbeing.
Management training can no longer be viewed as an expendable program. For federal agencies to remain competitive, effective and efficient, these programs need to be made mandatory. By establishing a mandatory initial training program and ongoing training series, the entire workforce benefits from enhanced supervision and improved leadership. Funding these programs in the appropriations process is essential to preventing training dollars from being cut when budgets are tight. Properly trained managers will also lead to fewer employee grievances, both formal and informal. When managers are properly trained to do the job for which they have been hired, everyone wins.
FMA calls for the introduction of legislation that requires agencies to provide interactive, instructor-based training on management topics ranging from mentorship and career development to hostile work environments and poor performers. After the initial supervisory training, which would take place within one year of promotion, supervisors would be required to receive ongoing training once every three years thereafter. In addition, the measure should include an accountability provision to establish competency standards to ensure the training and its intent is effective.
Extending the Probationary Period
FMA supports an increase in the probationary period of newly-hired federal employees from one year to two years as we consider changes to the hiring process. Currently, virtually all new federal employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period. During the probationary period, employees are in “career-conditional” status. If they do not perform in their first year, they can be dismissed for cause without having the full appeal rights to which career civil service employees are otherwise entitled. The probationary period is intended to be an extension of the selection process, providing an opportunity to ensure that the selected employee is a “good fit” for the position.
The increasing complexity of certain jobs, however, require a long formal training period and an even longer “trainee” period before employees reach full operating level. In the Social Security Administration (SSA), for example, the Claims Representative position is one of the most common jobs into which new federal employees are hired. One year simply is not enough time to evaluate whether or not an employee will be able to succeed in the job. A specialized claims representative undergoes formal basic training for a period of four months. Frequently, SSA hires generalist claims representatives who require eight months of training in separate four-month segments. Many times, this training is conducted in a location different from the office where the trainee will be permanently assigned, giving the supervisor less time to observe and evaluate the employee. After the formal training period is concluded, the trainee is given a reduced workload and supplemental training for several additional months.
For these reasons, a supervisor may have insufficient time to properly evaluate whether a new hire will be able to properly learn and apply the skills needed to perform the job with only a one-year probationary period. Many times, an employee will do well in formal training, but struggle once they start doing the actual work. With a one year probationary period, there is a very small window of time, if any, in which to: identify performance issues; counsel the employee; allow the employee the opportunity to improve; and, take appropriate action to terminate the employee during the probationary period.
Not only does this affect managers, but this also puts an unfair burden on the employee. These jobs are difficult and complex and it takes some people additional time to learn the job. Managers are placed in the difficult position of having to decide whether or not to keep employees when they may not have had sufficient time to evaluate them. If managers miss the one-year window to dismiss a failing employee, the burden of proof becomes much greater if they decide to do so later. There is an incentive to dismiss the employee prior to the expiration of the one-year window even though the employee may not have had sufficient time to show that they could master the job.
The power to amend the probationary period regulation, 5CFR 315.801-.806, lies with the Office of Personnel Management as the statutory basis is 5USC 3321, which simply calls for a probationary period. Even if it were extended, Chapter 75 of Title 5 extends full appeal rights to any employee who has completed one year of service. As the Government Accountability Office notes in the introduction to GAO-05-812R, “the critical feature of dealing with poor performance during the probationary period is the limitation on appeal rights.” Therefore, in addition to changing the probationary period, it is crucial to extend the statutory limitation on appeal rights to two years
A legislative remedy increasing the probationary period and the limitation on appeal rights from one to two years for all newly-hired federal employees would lead to more efficient government service. In April 2011, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed legislation (H.R. 1470) to accomplish this goal. FMA encourages Congress to revisit this important issue and pass legislation to implement a two year probationary period.
FMA recommends the following in order to facilitate greater usage of management flexibilities:
Retention Incentives – Telework
While agencies should devote significant time to the development of recruitment strategies, it is imperative that current federal employees also receive incentives to remain within government and their respective agencies. To this end, it is critical that the federal government adapt to take advantage of many workforce flexibilities created by advancements in technology. Of note is the expansion of telework opportunities.
While managers are often blamed for impeding implementation of telework among their employees, this could be remedied with managerial training on how to supervise teleworkers and providing examples of quantitative metrics, simple reporting forms, sample telework agreements, and other sample documents to be revised for individual jobs. This would go a long way toward easing concerns of managers and create a fair and transparent situation for both the manager and employee. Too often, frontline managers are left to their own devices to discover the best ways to implement telework. This can rightly be interpreted by employees as a disjointed and unfair application of expectations. Education for employees concerning telework is also critical to a successful program.
Given the flexibilities that technology allows us, and the ever increasing traffic on our roads, telework is inevitable. Government must invest in its managers so that they are empowered to confidently and fairly administer a telework program that seamlessly meshes with the ongoing work of all employees with the overriding goal of accomplishing agency missions.
Retention Incentives – Performance Rewards Available Under the GS System
Several provisions are currently in place under the GS system that allow managers and supervisors to reward employees’ performance. I would like to discuss some of them, but I must point out that the application of these tools has been sparse throughout federal government and across agencies. To reward employees that go above and beyond the call of duty, managers can reward employees with Sustained Superior Performance (SSP) Awards, which vary in amount, and Quality Step Increases (QSI), which are generally approximately three percent of the employee’s salary. Managers can also distribute small cash bonuses, usually between $25 and $250, for marked accomplishments. Some agencies also employ a Special Act or Service Award. This is a cash award given to recognize a meritorious personal effort, act, service, scientific or other achievement accomplished within or outside assigned job responsibilities and can be up to $25,000.
There are also non-monetary awards available that recognize employees’ accomplishments while assisting agencies and departments combat financial restraints. Employees can be granted a Time Off Award of up to 40 hours per achievement. Time Off Awards are capped at 80 hours of time off during a leave year without a charge to leave or loss of pay as an award for achievements or performance contributing to an agency’s mission. Other non-monetary awards include medals, certificates, plaques, trophies, and other tangible incentives that have an award or honor connotation. These can be especially helpful if the employee receiving the award believes agency leadership is aware of his/her contributions.
As you can see, there are rewards available to high-performing employees that distinguish their performance. However, the resources available to managers and supervisors to reward those employees are limited, particularly in these difficult economic times. The budget process for awards is normally based on a percentage of the aggregate base payroll (last year it was less than one percent for many agencies); therefore the total dollars available are insufficient. Additionally, the process for awarding employees is extremely cumbersome and many managers do not spend the time to accurately identify performance and reward it appropriately. Many managers are also unaware that these incentives even exist.
Federal agencies have broad statutory authority to design and implement a variety of incentive programs to meet their specific needs, and managers throughout the federal government have effectively used different methods of performance awards to motivate and reward the workforce. In order for these awards to be used effectively, managers must have support from top agency leadership. When combined, these tools provide a powerful incentive for federal employees to remain in public service, and further expansion in the future will be necessary to continue to compete with the private sector.
If the federal government is to stand as an employer of choice now and in the future, we must remain dedicated to advancing policies and legislation that strengthen the core principles of the civil service. Whether developing recruitment incentives or enhancing existing programs to bolster a positive and productive work environment, we must understand that the government’s most important resources are the men and women who devote their lives to the public good. Consideration of the suggestions discussed in my testimony will facilitate our efforts to confront the challenges that await.
Full buy-in from all stakeholders, particularly managers who are tasked with implementing any changes to the General Schedule, is the first step in gaining the support of employees. The second step is to listen and act when feedback is given. The current form of the General Schedule is outdated and does not reflect the present demands of the federal workforce. Its one-size-fits-all format is not conducive to the growth and multifaceted tasks of the federal government. A system needs to emerge from the General Schedule that responds appropriately to these challenges. In the end, it is imperative that any system stand by the principles of transportability, objectivity and transparency. We must take a cautious and deliberate path as Congress considers any changes to the General Schedule.
Thank you again for the opportunity to express the Federal Managers Association’s views before the Subcommittee and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.