Administration pushes Hill for civil service reform

Administration pushes Hill for civil service reform

The White House is working with Congress to reform the federal personnel system for all agencies, not just the Defense and Homeland Security departments.

Clay Johnson, the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management, today said the administration will ask a lawmaker to introduce legislation to change the General Schedule so it reflects DOD's and DHS' new pay-for-performance structures.

'Some think we should wait until we see how Defense or Homeland Security does, but we don't think how DOD does will reflect or impact how Interior or any other agency implements the reforms,' Johnson said at a luncheon sponsored by the IBM Center for the Business of Government in Washington. 'The success of civil service reform is a function of what we define agencies have to do to covert and now much time they need to meet the new requirements.'

DOD and DHS are implementing personnel systems that will change the way the departments hire, pay, promote and discipline civilian employees. The systems give managers more flexibility to move civilian workers where they are most needed and cut hiring time for new workers.

Defense will convert to a pay-for-performance system by 2008 and DHS by 2009, Johnson said.

'We want to get it done now and pick a time, like five years, and get started,' Johnson said. 'We've received a good reception on the Hill so far, and we are hopeful to get it done.'

The administration also is seeking congressional support for a legislative proposal to formalize the Sunset and Results commissions, Johnson said. The White House goal is to find a sponsor by May.

The Sunset Commission within Congress would review 120 programs a year and require agencies to justify each program's continued existence. The nonpartisan Results Commission would look at programs by subject area, such as training, and recommend how to improve performance. OMB would then send change proposals to Congress.

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