Federal Register: September 9, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 174)
DOCID: fr09se10-146 FR Doc 2010-22203
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Veterans Affairs Department
NOTICE: Part IV
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of proposal to design and implement a personnel management demonstration project.
Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory Personnel Management Demonstration Project, Department of the Army, Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)
DATES: TARDEC's demonstration project proposal may not be implemented
until a 30day comment period is provided, comments addressed, and a
final Federal Register notice published. To be considered, written comments must be submitted on or before October 12, 2010.
Implementation of this demonstration project will begin no earlier than
February 1, 2011.
Section 342(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 1995, Public Law 103337, (10 U.S.C. 2358 note), as amended by section 1109 of NDAA for FY 2000, Public Law 106 65, and section 1114 of NDAA for FY 2001, Public Law 106398, authorizes the Secretary of Defense to conduct personnel demonstration projects at DoD laboratories designated as Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratories (STRLs). The abovecited legislation authorizes DoD to conduct demonstration projects to determine whether a specified change in personnel management policies or procedures would result in improved Federal personnel management. Section 1105 of the NDAA for FY 2010, Public Law 11184, 123 Stat. 2486, October 28, 2009, designates additional DoD laboratories as STRLs for the purpose of designing and implementing personnel management demonstration projects for conversion of employees from the personnel system which applied on October 28, 2009. The TARDEC is listed in subsection 1105(a) of NDAA for FY 2010 as one of the newly designated STRLs.
Since 1966, many studies of DoD laboratories have been conducted on laboratory quality and personnel. Almost all of these studies have recommended improvements in civilian personnel policy, organization, and management. Pursuant to the authority provided in section 342(b) of Public Law 103337, as amended, a number of DoD STRL personnel demonstration projects were approved. These projects are ``generally similar in nature'' to the Department of Navy's ``China Lake'' Personnel Demonstration Project. The terminology, ``generally similar in nature,'' does not imply an emulation of various features, but rather implies a similar opportunity and authority to develop personnel flexibilities that significantly increase the decision authority of laboratory commanders and/or directors.
This demonstration project involves: (1) Two appointment authorities (permanent and modified term); (2) extended probationary period for newly hired engineering and science employees; (3) pay banding; (4) streamlined delegated examining; (5) modified reduction inforce (RIF) procedures; (6) simplified job classification; (7) the Contributionbased Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS); (8) academic degree and certificate training; (9) sabbaticals; (10) a Voluntary Emeritus Corps; (11) direct hire authority for candidates with advanced degrees for scientific and engineering positions; and (12) Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Appointment Authority. 2. Overview
The NDAA for FY 2010 not only designated new STRLs but also repealed the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) mandating conversion of NSPS covered employees to their former personnel system or one that would have applied absent the NSPS. A number of TARDEC employees are covered by the NSPS and must be converted to another personnel system. Section 1105 of NDAA for FY 2010 stipulates the STRLs designated in subsection (a) of section 1105 may not implement any personnel system, other than a personnel system under an appropriate demonstration project as defined in section 342(b) of Public Law 103 337, as amended, without prior congressional authorization. In addition, any conversion under the provisions of section 1105 shall not adversely affect any employee with respect to pay or any other term or condition of employment; shall be consistent with section 4703(f) of title 5 United States Code (U.S.C.); and shall be completed within 18 months after enactment of NDAA for FY 2010. Therefore, since TARDEC is both designated an STRL by section 1105 of NDAA for FY 2010 and has NSPS covered employees, it must convert, at a minimum, its NSPS covered employees to a personnel management demonstration project before the end of April 2011.
3. Access to Flexibilities of Other STRLs
Flexibilities published in this Federal Register notice shall be
available for use by the STRLs previously enumerated in section
9902(c)(2) of title 5, United States Code, which are now redesignated
in section 1105 of the NDAA for FY 2010, Public Law 11184, 123 Stat.
2486, October 28, 2009, if they wish to adopt them in accordance with
DoD Instruction 1400.37; pages 73248 to 73252 of volume 73, Federal
Register; and after the fulfilling of any collective bargaining obligations.
Dated: September 1, 2010.
Mitchell S. Bryman,
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. Table of Contents
I. Executive Summary
B. Problems With the Present System
C. Changes Required/Expected Benefits
D. Participating Organizations
E. Participating Employees and Union Representation
F. Project Design
G. Personnel Management Board
III. Personnel System Changes
A. Pay Banding
C. ContributionBased Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS)
D. Hiring Authority
E. Internal Placement
F. Pay Administration
G. Employee Development
H. ReductioninForce (RIF) Procedures
IV. Implementation Training
V. Conversion Into the Demonstration Project
A. Conversion From NSPS to the Demonstration Project
B. Conversion From NonNSPS System to the Demonstration Project
C. Movement Out of the Demonstration Project
D. Personnel Administration
F. Experimentation and Revision
VI. Project Duration
VII. Evaluation Plan
B. Evaluation Model
D. Method of Data Collection
VIII. Demonstration Project Costs
A. Cost Discipline
B. Developmental Costs
IX. Required Waivers to Law and Regulation
Appendix A: TARDEC Employees by Duty Location
Appendix B: Occupational Series by Occupational Family
Appendix C: ContributionBased Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS) Factors
Appendix D: Intervention Model
I. Executive Summary
TARDEC is a subordinate organization of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). TARDEC is the U.S. Army's Ground Vehicle Center of Excellence and the ground systems integration domain owner for RDECOM. TARDEC provides engineering and scientific expertise for DoD manned and unmanned ground systems and ground support systems. It is the Nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and the Army's lead for advanced science and technology research, demonstration, development, and full Life Cycle engineering for ground vehicle electronics and architecture, power and mobility, intelligent ground systems, maneuver support and sustainment, and survivability.
At TARDEC, the top priority is to deliver the most advanced technology solutions to improve the Nation's ground vehicle fleet. To do this effectively requires more than just hard work and dedication. It takes leadership, vision, and the determination to execute that vision. To be truly successful, the workforce needs to be able to lead, innovate, integrate, and deliver.
To achieve this goal, TARDEC must be able to hire, retain, and continually motivate enthusiastic, innovative, and highlyeducated scientists and engineers, supported by accomplished business management and administrative professionals as well as a skilled administrative and technical support staff.
The goal of the project is to enhance the quality and
professionalism of the TARDEC workforce through improvements in the
efficiency and effectiveness of the human resource system. The project
interventions will strive to achieve the best workforce for the TARDEC
mission, adjust the workforce for change, and improve workforce
satisfaction. The TARDEC proposed demonstration project is similar to
the Department of Defense Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel
Demonstration Project, commonly known as the ``Acq Demo.'' TARDEC has
been using the Acq Demo's ContributionBased Compensation and Appraisal
System (CCAS) and its pay banding structure for a number of years. The
TARDEC Project also uses concepts from the U.S. Army Communications
Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC)
demonstration project and the Naval Research Laboratory demonstration
project. The results of the project will be evaluated within five years of implementation.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate that the effectiveness of DoD STRLs can be enhanced by expanding opportunities available to employees and by allowing greater managerial control over personnel functions through a more responsive and flexible personnel system. Federal laboratories need more efficient, costeffective, and timely processes and methods to acquire and retain a highly creative, productive, educated, and trained workforce. This project, in its entirety, attempts to improve employees' opportunities and provide managers, at the lowest practical level, the authority, control, and flexibility needed to achieve the highest quality organization and hold them accountable for the proper exercise of this authority within the framework of an improved personnel management system.
Many aspects of a demonstration project are experimental. Modifications may be made from time to time as experience is gained, results are analyzed, and conclusions are reached on how the system is working. The provisions of this project plan will not be modified, or extended to individuals or groups of employees not included in the project plan, without the approval of the ODUSD (CPP). The provisions of DoDI 1400.37 are to be followed for any modifications, adoptions, or changes to this demonstration project plan.
B. Problems With the Present System
TARDEC has participated in a number of personnel systems and personnel demonstrations over the past 25 years. These include the current Civil Service General Schedule (GS) system, the Acq Demo Project, and the NSPS. In October 2009, as part of the NDAA for FY 2010, TARDEC was designated as a STRL for the purpose of designing and implementing a personnel management demonstration project for conversion of employees from the personnel system(s) which applied to them on October 28, 2009. TARDEC's experience with each of these prior personnel systems was that, although each had positive features, each also had negative aspects. As a result of TARDEC's experience, it was determined that certain features from the earlier systems were worthwhile to carry forward and any shortcomings/limitations corrected or alleviated.
The current GS system has existed in essentially the same form since 1949. Work is classified into one of fifteen overlapping pay ranges that correspond with the fifteen grades. Base pay is set at one of those fifteen grades and the ten interim steps within each grade. The Classification Act of 1949 rigidly defines types of work by occupational series and grade, with very precise qualifications for each job. This system does not quickly or easily respond to new ways of designing work and changes in the work itself.
The performance management model that has existed since the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act in 1980 has come under extreme criticism. Employees frequently report there is inadequate communication of performance expectations and feedback on performance. There are perceived inaccuracies in performance ratings with general agreement that the ratings are inflated and often unevenly distributed by grade, occupation, and geographic location.
The need to change the current hiring system is essential as TARDEC must be able to recruit and retain scientific, engineering, acquisition support and other professionals, and skilled technicians. TARDEC must be able to compete with the private sector for the best talent and be able to make job offers in a timely manner with the attendant bonuses and incentives to attract high quality employees and be in compliance with public law.
Finally, current limitations on training, retraining and otherwise developing employees make it difficult to correct skill imbalances and to prepare current employees for new lines of work to meet changing missions and emerging technologies.
TARDEC's proposed personnel management demonstration project, by
building on previous strengths and addressing shortcomings, is intended
to provide the highest potential for movement to a single system that will
meet the needs of TARDEC and all its employees.
C. Changes Required/Expected Benefits
The primary benefit expected from this demonstration project is greater organizational effectiveness through increased employee satisfaction. The longstanding Department of the Navy's ``China Lake'' and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) demonstration projects have produced impressive statistics on increased job satisfaction and quality of work versus that for the Federal workforce in general. This project will demonstrate that a human resource system tailored to the mission and needs of the TARDEC workforce will facilitate increased:
1. Quality in the workforce and resultant products;
2. Timeliness of key personnel processes;
3. Retention of ``excellent performers'';
4. Success in recruitment of personnel with critical skills;
5. Management authority and accountability;
6. Satisfaction of customers; and
7. Workforce satisfaction with the personnel management system.
An evaluation model was developed for the Director, Defense, Research and Engineering (DDR&E) in conjunction with STRL service representatives and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The model will measure the effectiveness of this demonstration project and will be used to measure the results of specific personnel system changes. D. Participating Organizations
TARDEC is comprised of employees located at the main site in Warren, MI, with others geographically dispersed at the locations shown in Appendix A. TARDEC has employees matrixed to Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support; Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems; Program Executive Office Integration; and Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) Joint Project Office. Successor organizations will continue coverage in the demonstration project.
E. Participating Employees and Union Representation
This demonstration project will cover approximately 1,427 TARDEC civilian employees under title 5, U.S.C. in the occupations listed in Appendix B. The project plan does not cover members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), Scientific and Professional (ST) employees, Federal Wage System (FWS) employees, employees covered by the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS), Department of Army (DA) and Army Command centrally funded interns, or students employed under the Summer Hire Program.
Department of Army and Army Material Command centrally funded interns will not be converted to the demonstration project until they reach their full performance level. They will continue to be covered under the Total Army Performance Evaluation System (TAPES). The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1658 represents approximately 90% of TARDEC's professional and non professional workforce.
To foster union acceptance of TARDEC's proposed personnel demonstration project, initial discussions with the Union officials began in December 2009. Negotiations will begin in earnest after publication of this Federal Register notice (FRN). TARDEC will continue to fulfill its obligation to consult and/or negotiate with all labor organizations in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 4703(f) and 7117, as applicable.
F. Project Design
In October 2009, section 1105 of NDAA for FY 2010 directed TARDEC to transition to a laboratory demonstration project. TARDEC senior leadership decided to move toward adopting many aspects of both the Acq Demo and the CERDEC laboratory personnel demonstration project as modified by this FRN. The Acq Demo project was approved in 1999 and the CERDEC project was approved in 2001. TARDEC hopes to benefit from using the best practices from these demonstration projects.
G. Personnel Management Board
1. TARDEC is creating a Personnel Management Board to oversee and
monitor the fair, equitable, and consistent implementation of the
provisions of the demonstration project to include establishment of
internal controls and accountability. Members of the board will be
senior leaders appointed by the TARDEC Director. As needed, ad hoc
members (such as labor counsel, human resource representatives, etc.) will serve as advisory members to the board.
2. The board will execute the following:
a. Determine the composition of the CCAS pay pools in accordance with the guidelines of this proposal and internal procedures;
b. Review operation of pay pools and provide guidance to pay pool managers;
c. Oversee disputes in pay pool issues;
d. Formulate and execute the civilian pay budget;
e. Manage the awards pools;
f. Determine hiring and promotionbased pay as well as exceptions to CCAS base pay increases;
g. Conduct classification review and oversight, monitor and adjust classification practices, and decide board classification issues;
h. Approve major changes in position structure;
i. Address issues associated with multiple pay systems during the demonstration project;
j. Establish contribution goals and other evaluation descriptors;
k. Assess the need for changes to demonstration project procedures and policies;
l. Review requests for Supervisory/Team Leader Base Pay Adjustments and provide recommendations to the appropriate Center Director;
m. Ensure inhouse budget discipline;
n. Manage the number of employees by occupational family and pay band;
o. Develop policies and procedures for administering Developmental Opportunity Programs;
p. Ensure that all employees are treated in a fair and equitable
manner in accordance with the policies, regulations and guidelines covering this demonstration project; and,
q. Monitor the evaluation of the project.
III. Personnel System Changes
A. Pay Banding
The design of the TARDEC pay banding system takes advantage of the
many reviews performed by OPM, DoD, and DA. The design has the benefit
of being preceded by exhaustive studies of pay banding systems
currently practiced in the Federal sector, to include those practiced
by the Navy's ``China Lake'' experiment and NIST. The pay band system
is designed to facilitate conversion, when and if appropriate, of GS, Acq Demo, and NSPS employees into the TARDEC demo.
1. Occupational Families, Career Paths, and Pay Band Levels
Occupations with similar characteristics will be grouped together
into one of three occupational families with career paths and pay band
levels designed to facilitate pay progression. These occupational
families are Engineering and Science (E&S), Business and Technical
(B&T), and General Support (GEN). Each occupational family's career path will
be composed of pay bands corresponding to recognized advancement and career progression expected within the occupations. These career paths and their pay bands will not be the same for each occupational family. Each career path will be divided into three to five pay bands. Employees track into an occupational family based on their current OPM classification series as provided in Appendix B. The current occupations have been examined, and their characteristics and distribution have served as guidelines in the development of the following three occupational families:
Engineering and Science (E&S) (Pay Plan DB): This occupational family includes technical professional positions such as engineers, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, operations research analysts, and computer scientists. Specific course work or educational degrees are required for these occupations. Five pay bands have been established for the E&S occupational family:
a. Band I is a student trainee track covering GS1, step 1, through GS4, step 10.
b. Band II is a developmental track covering GS5, step 1, through GS11, step 10.
c. Band III is a fullperformance technical track covering GS12, step 1, through GS13, step 10. Some firstlevel supervisory positions may also be included in this band.
d. Band IV includes both senior technical positions along with supervisorsmanagers covering GS14, step 1, through GS15, step 10.
e. Band V provides the ability to accommodate science and
engineering positions having duties and responsibilities that exceed the GS15 classification criteria. The DoD is developing
classification, compensation, and performance management policy, guidance, and implementation processes for this pay band level that will be published in a separate FRN. TARDEC will supplement this information through internal operating guidance.
Business & Technical (B&T) (Pay Plan DE): This occupational family includes such positions as program acquisition specialists, equipment specialists, engineering and electronics technicians, finance, accounting, administrative, and management analysts. Employees in these positions may or may not require specific course work or educational degrees. Four pay bands have been established for the B&T occupational family:
a. Band I is a student trainee track covering GS1, step 1, through GS4, step 10.
b. Band II is a developmental/full performance track covering GS5, step 1, through GS11, step 10.
c. Band III is a full performance track covering GS12, step 1, through GS13, step 10.
d. Band IV is a senior technical/manager track covering GS14, step 1, through GS15, step 10.
General Support (GEN) (Pay Plan DK): This occupational family is composed of positions for which specific course work or educational degrees are not required. Clerical work usually involves the processing and maintenance of records. Assistant work requires knowledge of methods and procedures within a specific administrative area. This family includes such positions as secretaries, office automation clerks, and budget/program/computer assistants. Three pay bands have been established for the GEN occupational family:
a. Band I includes entrylevel positions covering GS1, step 1, through GS4, step 10.
b. Band II includes fullperformance positions covering GS5, step 1, through GS7, step 10.
c. Band III includes senior technicians/assistants/secretaries covering GS8, step 1, through GS10, step 10.
2. Pay Band Design
The pay bands for the TARDEC Lab Demo occupational families and how they relate to the current GS framework are shown in Table 1. Table 1TARDEC Lab Demo Pay Bands With Equivalent GS Grades Occupational Family Lab Demo Pay Bands with Equivalent GS Grades DB................................ I II III IV V Engineering & Science............. GS 14 GS 511 GS 1213 GS 1415 > GS15 DE................................ I II III IV ..................... Business & Technical.............. GS 14 GS 511 GS1213 GS1415 DK................................ I II III ..................... ..................... General Support................... GS 14 GS 57 GS 810
The pay bands for the TARDEC Lab Demo occupational families and how
they relate to the current Department of Defense Civilian Acquisition
Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project framework are shown in Table 2.
Table 2TARDEC Lab Demo Pay Bands With Equivalent Acq Demo Pay Bands Lab Demo Pay Bands with Equivalent Acq Demo Pay Bands Occupational Family
I II III IV V DB................................ NHI NHII NHIII NHIV ..................... Engineering & Science.............
DE................................ NHI NHII NHIII NHIV ..................... Business & Technical.............. NJI NJII NJIV NJIII DK................................ NKI NKII NKIII ..................... ..................... General Support...................
The pay bands for the TARDEC Lab Demo occupational families and how
they relate to the NSPS conversion framework are shown in Table 3. [[Page 55114]]
Table 3TARDEC Lab Demo Pay Bands With Equivalent NSPS Pay Bands Lab Demo Pay Bands with Equivalent NSPS Pay Bands Occupational Family
I II III IV V DB................................ YP1 YD1, YP1 YD2, YF2 YD3, YF2, YF3 ..................... E&S...............................
DE................................ YP1, YB1, YE1 YA1, YA2, YB1, YB YA2, YB3, YC2, YE YA3, YC2, YC3 ..................... Business & Technical.............. 2, YB3, YE1, YE2, 3, YE4 YE3, YP1 DK................................ YB1, YB1, YB2, YE1, YE YB2, YE2, YP1 ..................... General Support................... YE1, 2, YP1 YP1
* NSPS Pay Bands overlap Lab Demo bands and Occupational Families. 3. Science and Engineering Positions Classified Above GS15 (Pay Band V)
The career path pay banding plan for the E&S occupational family includes a pay band V to provide the ability to accommodate positions having duties and responsibilities that exceed the GS15 classification criteria. This pay band is based on the Above GS15 Position concept found in other STRL personnel management demonstration projects that was created to solve a critical classification problem. The STRLs have positions warranting classification above GS15 because of their technical expertise requirements including inherent supervisory and managerial responsibilities. However, these positions are not considered to be appropriately classified as Scientific and Professional Positions (STs) because of the degree of supervision and level of managerial responsibilities. Neither are these positions appropriately classified as Senior Executive Service (SES) positions because of their requirement for advanced specialized scientific or engineering expertise and because the positions are not at the level of general managerial authority and impact required for an SES position.
The original Above GS15 Position concept was to be tested for a fiveyear period. The number of trial positions was set at 40 with periodic reviews to determine appropriate position requirements. The Above GS15 Position concept is currently being evaluated by DoD management for its effectiveness; continued applicability to the current STRL scientific, engineering, and technology workforce needs; and appropriate allocation of billets based on mission requirements. The degree to which the laboratory plans to participate in this concept and develop classification, compensation, and performance management policy, guidance, and implementation processes will be based on the final outcome of the DoD evaluation (see Section III.A.1.e). B. Classification
1. Occupational Series
The GS classification system has over 400 occupational series, which are divided into 23 occupational groupings. TARDEC currently has positions in approximately 65 occupational series that fall into approximately three occupational groupings. All positions listed in Appendix B will be in the classification structure. Provisions will be made for including other occupations in response to changing missions. 2. Classification Standards and Position Descriptions
TARDEC will use an automated classification system. The present system of OPM classification standards will be used for the identification of proper series and occupational titles of positions within the demonstration project. Current OPM position classification standards will not be used to grade positions in this project. However, the grading criteria in those standards will be used as a framework to develop new and simplified pay band factor level descriptors for each pay band determination. The objective is to record the essential criteria for each pay band within each occupational family career path by stating the characteristics of the work, the responsibilities of the position, the competencies required, and the expected contributions. The pay band factor level descriptors will serve as both classification criteria and assessment criteria and may be found in Appendix C. New position descriptions will replace the current position/job descriptions. The pay band factor level descriptors for each pay band will serve as an important component in the new position description, which will also include positionspecific information, and provide data element information pertinent to the job. The computerassisted process will produce information necessary for position descriptions. The new descriptions will be easier to prepare, minimize the amount of writing time, and make the position description a more useful and accurate tool for other personnel management functions.
Specialty work codes (narrative descriptions) may be used to further differentiate types of work and the competencies required for particular positions within an occupational family and pay band. Each code represents a specialization or type of work within the occupation. 3. Fair Labor Standards Act
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption and nonexemption determinations will be consistent with criteria found in 5 CFR part 551. All demonstration project positions are covered by the FLSA unless they meet the criteria for exemption. Classification Specialists will evaluate positions on a casebycase basis comparing the duties and responsibilities assigned, the pay band factor level descriptors for each pay band level, and the FLSA criteria in accordance with 5 CFR part 551. Additionally, the advice and assistance of the servicing Civilian Personnel Advisory Center will be obtained in making determinations. The benchmark position descriptions will not be the sole basis for the determination. Basis for exemption will be documented and attached to each position description. Exemption criteria will be narrowly construed and applied only to those employees who clearly meet the spirit of the exemption. Changes will be documented and provided to the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. [[Page 55115]]
4. Classification Authority
The TARDEC Director will have delegated classification authority and may, in turn, redelegate this authority to appropriate levels. Position descriptions will be developed to assist managers in exercising delegated position classification authority. Managers will identify the occupational family, job series, functional code, specialty work code, pay band level, and the appropriate acquisition codes. Personnel specialists will provide ongoing consultation and guidance to managers and supervisors throughout the classification process. These decisions will be documented on the position description.
5. Classification Appeals
Classification appeals under this demonstration project will be processed using the following procedures: An employee may appeal the determination of occupational family, occupational series, position title, and pay band level of his/her position at any time. An employee must formally raise the area of concern to supervisors in the immediate chain of command, either verbally or in writing. If an employee is not satisfied with the DoD response, he or she may then appeal to OPM only after DoD has rendered a decision on all the provisions of the demonstration project. Appellate decisions from OPM are final and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, dispersing, and accounting officials of the Government. Time periods for cases processed under 5 CFR part 511 apply.
An employee may not appeal the accuracy of the position description, the demonstration project classification criteria, or the paysetting criteria; the assignment of occupational series to the occupational family; the propriety of a pay schedule; or matters grievable under an administrative or negotiated grievance procedure.
The evaluations of classification appeals under this demonstration
project are based upon the demonstration project classification
criteria. Case files will be forwarded for adjudication through the
CPAC/CHRA providing personnel service and will include copies of appropriate demonstration project criteria.
C. ContributionBased Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS) 1. Overview
The purpose of CCAS is to provide an effective, efficient, and flexible method for assessing, compensating, and managing the TARDEC workforce. CCAS is essential for the development and continued growth of the high quality, extremely productive, and innovative workforce needed to achieve a quality, agile and innovative organization and meet mission requirements. The CCAS allows for more employee involvement in the assessment process, fosters increased communication between supervisor and employee, promotes a clear accountability of performance, facilitates employee career progression, and provides an understandable and rational basis for pay changes by linking pay, performance, and contribution. The CCAS process described herein applies to all career paths and pay band levels I through IV. The assessment process for E&S Pay Band V positions will be based on the final outcome of the DoD evaluation and documented in TARDEC Internal Operating Instructions (see Section III.A.1.e. for additional information).
CCAS is an assessment system that measures the employee's level of contribution to the organization's mission and how well the employee performed a job. Contribution is simply defined as the measure of the demonstrated value of what an employee did in terms of accomplishing or advancing the organizational objectives and mission impact. CCAS promotes base pay adjustment decisions made on the basis of an individual's overall annual contribution and current base pay, in relation to the other contributions and their level of base pay in the pay pool. The measurement of overall contribution is through a rating process which determines the Overall Contribution Score (OCS).
An employee's performance is a component of contribution that
influences the ultimate OCS. Contribution is measured by using a set of
factors, discriminators, and descriptors, each of which is relevant to
the success of the TARDEC mission. Taken together, these factors,
discriminators, and descriptors capture the critical content of jobs in
each career path. These factors, discriminators, and descriptors may be
modified or supplemented if experience or changing mission requirements
indicates a need to do so. These factors, discriminators, and
descriptors are the same as those to classify a position at the appropriate pay band level.
The six (6) factors are:
1. Problem Solving,
3. Customer Relations,
5. Communication, and
6. Resource Management.
Each factor has multiple levels of increasing contribution corresponding to the pay band levels. Each factor contains descriptors for each respective level within the relevant career path. See Appendix C for CCAS Factor Descriptions, Level Descriptors, and Discriminators.
The appropriate occupational family career path pay band level performance factor descriptors are used by the rating official to determine the employee's actual contribution score. Employees can score within, above, or below their pay band level. For example, a pay band level II employee could score in the pay band level I, II, III, or IV range. Therefore, for the CCAS process, descriptors for all pay band levels of the occupational family performance factors are presented to better assist the supervisor with the employee assessment.
Normally, the rating period will be one year. The minimum rating period will be 90 days. CCAS payouts can be in the form of increases to base pay and/or in the form of bonuses that are not added to base pay but rather are given as a lump sum payment. Other awards such as special acts, timeoff awards, etc., will be retained separately from the CCAS payouts.
The system will have the flexibility to be modified, if necessary, as more experience is gained under the project.
3. Pay Pools
TARDEC employees will be placed into pay pools that are defined for the purpose of determining performance payouts under the CCAS system. The guidelines in the next paragraph are provided for determining pay pools. These guidelines will normally be followed; however, the TARDEC Director may deviate from the guidelines if there is a compelling need to do so and so documents the rationale in writing.
The TARDEC Director will establish pay pools. Typically, pay pools will have between 35 and 300 employees. A pay pool should be large enough to encompass a reasonable distribution of ratings but not so large as to compromise rating consistency. Supervisory personnel typically will be placed in a pay pool separate from subordinate non supervisory personnel. Neither the pay pool manager nor supervisors within a pay pool will recommend or set their own individual pay. Decisions regarding the amount of the performance payout are based on the established formal payout calculations.
Funds within a pay pool available for performance payouts are divided into two components, base pay and bonus.
These funds will be defined based on historical data. Base pay increase fund will be set at no less than two percent of total base pay. The bonus amount will be set at no less than one percent of total base pay. The TARDEC Personnel Management Board will annually review the pay pool funding and recommend adjustments to the TARDEC Director to ensure cost discipline over the life of the demonstration project.
4. Annual Appraisal Cycle and Rating Process
Typically, the annual appraisal cycle begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. At the beginning of the annual appraisal period, the pay band level descriptors for each factor will be provided to employees so that they know the basis on which their performance will be assessed. At the discretion of the pay pool manager, weights will be applied to the factors. A weight of zero may not be applied to any factor and the sum of all weights must equal 100. Employees will be informed of the weights at the beginning of the rating cycle.
Supervisor and employee discussion of specific work assignments and established contribution goals for the rating period for each of the six factors should be conducted on an ongoing basis. These goals can be modified during the rating period and form the foundation of the contributions expected to be achieved.
Typically, the rating official is the firstlevel supervisor. If the current firstlevel supervisor has been in place for less than 90 days during the rating cycle, the secondlevel supervisor serves as the initial rating official. If the secondlevel supervisor is in place for less than 90 days during the rating cycle, the next higher level supervisor in the employee's rating chain conducts the assessment.
Employees and supervisors alike are expected to actively participate in ongoing formal and informal performance discussions regarding expectations. The timing of these discussions will vary based on the nature of work performed, but will occur at least at the mid point and end of the rating period. At least one review, normally the midpoint review, will be documented as a progress review. More frequent, task specific, discussions may be appropriate in some organizations.
The employee will provide a list of his/her accomplishments to the supervisor at both the midpoint and end of the rating period using the six Contribution Factors described in Section III.C.1. An employee may elect to provide selfratings on the contribution/performance factors and/or solicit input from team members, customers, peers, supervisors in other units, subordinates, and other sources which will assist the supervisor in fully evaluating contributions. At the end of the annual appraisal period, the immediate supervisor (rating official), from employees' inputs and his/her own knowledge, identifies for each employee the appropriate contribution level and recommends the OCS.
To determine the OCS, numerical values are assigned based on the contribution levels of individuals, using the ranges shown in Table 4. Generally, the OCS is calculated by averaging the numerical values (as weighted) assigned for each of the six performance/contribution factors. (All OCS's will be rounded up to the nearest whole number). The rating official in conjunction with the secondlevel supervisor reviews the OCS for all employees, correcting any inconsistencies identified and making the appropriate adjustments in the factor ratings.
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The pay pool panel conducts a final review of the OCS for each
employee in the pay pool. The pay pool panel has the authority to make
OCS adjustments, after discussion with the initial rating officials, to
ensure equity and consistency. Final approval of OCS rests with the pay
pool manager, the individual within the organization responsible for
managing the CCAS process. The OCS, as approved by the pay pool
manager, becomes the rating of record. Rating officials will communicate the factor scores and OCS
to each employee and discuss the results.
If on October 1, the employee has served under CCAS for less than ninety (90) consecutive calendar days, the rating official shall wait for the subsequent annual cycle to assess the employee.
Employees who have served under CCAS for less than 90 consecutive
calendar days shall not receive contribution rating increases or contribution awards for that cycle.
5. Linking OCS to Base Pay Adjustment
a. The Normal Pay Range (NPR)
The CCAS integrated pay schedule provides a direct link between contribution, performance, and base pay. This is shown by the graph in Table 5. The horizontal axis spans from 0 to the maximum OCS of 115 for positions in pay band levels I through V. Employees who are performing above the defined criteria of the top pay band level may not exceed the OCS score of 115. The vertical axis spans from zero dollars to the dollar equivalent of the highest positions authorized under this lab demonstration. This encompasses the full base pay range (excluding locality pay and staffing supplements) under this demonstration for the given calendar year (Note: Table 5 currently depicts Calendar Year 2010). Each year the rails for the NPR are adjusted based on the GS general pay increase under 5 U.S.C. 5303. The area between the upper and lower rails is considered the normal pay range; when an annual overall contribution score (OCS) plotted against a base pay rate falls on or within the NPR rails, the base pay rate is considered to be appropriate. While there may be rates of base pay that fall above or below the NPR that could be considered not appropriate, there may be circumstances to account for these rates of base pay outside the NPR. Such circumstances as saved pay or minimal contributions/performance could account for base pay rates above the NPR. For base pay rates below the NPR, such situations as exceptional contributions or growth in position responsibilities may warrant higher base pay. Employees whose annual OCS plotted against their base pay falls on or within the rails are considered appropriately compensated. Employees whose current base pay falls above or below the NPR for their assessed contribution score are considered inappropriately compensated.
b. The NPR was established using the following parameters: (1) The lowest possible score is an OCS of 0, which equates to the lowest base pay under this demonstration project, GS1, step 1, and (2) The OCS of 115 equates to the maximum base pay of Pay Band V.
The upper and lower rails are determined by the formulae below,
encompass an area of +/ 8.0 percent in terms of base pay which correlates to approximately +/ 4.0 OCS points.
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Given these constraints, the formulae for the upper and lower rails found in Table 5 are:
Base pay upper rail = (GS1, Step 1) * (1.0800) * (1.020043) OCS
Base pay lower rail = (GS1, Step 1) * (0.9200) * (1.020043) OCS
d. The NPR is the same for all the occupational families. What
varies among the occupational families are the beginnings and endings
of the pay band levels. The minimum and maximum numerical OCS values
and associated base pay for each pay band level by occupational family
are provided in Table 5. These minimum and maximum breakpoints
represent the lowest and highest base pay for the bands; and the
minimum and maximum base pay possible for each pay band level. Locality
pay or staffing supplements are not included in the NPR but are added to base pay as appropriate.
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e. OCS Base Pay Adjustment Guidelines
After the pay pool manager approves the OCS for all employees in the pay pool, the current base pay versus OCS is plotted for all employees on a chart similar to Table 7. This plot relates contribution to base pay, and identifies the placement of each employee into one of three regions: Inappropriately Compensated (A Regionabove the NPR), Appropriately Compensated (C Regionwithin the NPR), or
Inappropriately Compensated (B Regionbelow the NPR).
In Table 7, employee C is in the Appropriately Compensated Region (falls on or within the NPR). Employee B is in the Inappropriately Compensated Region (falls below the lower NPR) for his/her contribution to the organization. Employee A is in the Inappropriately Compensated Region above the NPR (i.e., receives high base pay due to such circumstances such as saved pay or contributions do not justify the base pay).
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f. Table 8 illustrates the additional pay categories available for the three groupings of employees.
The employees whose base pay falls within the NPR must receive the full General Pay Increase (GPI), may receive a contribution rating increase of up to 6 percent, and may receive a contribution award. The contribution rating increase is included as a permanent increase in base pay, but the contribution award is a lumpsum payment that does not affect base pay.
The employees whose base pay falls above the NPR could be denied part or all of the GPI and may receive no contribution rating increase or contribution bonus. The intent of the demonstration project is to allow managers to retain the ability to determine how much, if any, of the general pay increase would be authorized on a casebycase basis. [[Page 55119]]
The employees whose base pay falls below the NPR must receive the full general pay increase, may receive up to a 20 percent permanent increase in pay, and also may receive a contribution award.
Employees on retained rate in the demonstration plan will receive base pay adjustments in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5363 and 5 CFR part 536. An employee receiving a retained rate is not eligible for a contribution rating increase, but may receive a contribution award.
In general, those employees whose base pay falls below the NPR should expect to receive greater percentage base pay increases than those whose base pay is above the NPR. Over time, people will migrate closer to the normal pay range and receive base pay appropriate for their level of contribution.
Employees whose OCS would result in awarding a contribution rating
increase such that the base pay exceeds the maximum base pay for their
current pay band level may receive a contribution award equaling the difference.
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6. Accelerated Compensation for Developmental Positions (ACDP) (a) Accelerated Compensation for Developmental Positions (ACDP) is a paysetting provision that may be used to recognize the development and attainment of jobrelated competencies for TARDEC employees participating in training programs, internships, or other developmental capacities as determined by the TARDEC Director. The ACDP includes TARDEC employees serving under the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). ACDP is an increase to base salary. It provides management the opportunity to increase the base pay of employees in developmental positions at rates which match or exceed career ladder promotion rates under the GS system or other labor market forces.
(b) An ACDP increase to base salary may be awarded at anytime throughout the rating year. In order to receive an ACDP, the employee must be in a pay and duty status, have been on an approved CCAS standard for 90 consecutive days and have successfully met the Contribution Goal Objectives of the CCAS standard as determined by a management official.
(c) ACDP is payment in addition to the annual contribution rating increase and contribution award. It generally will not exceed 20 percent of the employee's base pay; however, a higher increase may be provided on a casebycase basis if approved by an official who is at a higher level than the official who made the initial decision. (d) ACDP base pay increase is separate funding from the pay pool process.
7. Inadequate CCAS Contribution
Inadequate performance at any time during the appraisal period is considered grounds for initiation of a reductioninpay or removal action. The following procedures replace those established in 5 U.S.C. 4303 pertaining to reductions in grade or removal for unacceptable performance except with respect to appeals of such actions. 5 U.S.C. 4303(e) provides the statutory authority for appeals of contribution based actions. As is currently the situation for performancebased actions taken under 5 U.S.C. 4303, contributionbased actions shall be sustained if the decision is supported by substantial evidence and the Merit Systems Protection Board shall not have mitigation authority with respect to such actions. The separate statutory authority to take contributionbased actions under chapter 75 of title 5, U.S.C., as modified in the waiver section of this notice (section IX), remains unchanged by these procedures.
When an employee's OCS plots above the upper rail of the NPR and the employee is considered to be contributing inadequately the supervisor has two options. The first is to take no action but to document this decision in a memorandum for the record. A copy of this memorandum will be provided to the employee and to higher levels of management. The second option is to inform the employee, in writing, that unless the contribution increases to, and is sustained at, a higher level, the employee may be reduced in pay, reduced in pay band level, or removed.
The second option will include a Contribution Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP will state how the employee's contribution is inadequate, what improvements/results are required, recommendations on how to achieve adequate contribution, assistance that the laboratory may offer to the employee to assist in improving contribution, and consequences of failure to improve. Additionally, the CIP must include standards for adequate contribution, actions required of the employee, and time in which they must be accomplished to increase and sustain the employee's contribution at an adequate level. When an employee is placed on a CIP, the rating official will afford the employee a reasonable opportunity (a minimum of 60 days) to demonstrate acceptable contribution. These provisions also apply to an employee whose contribution deteriorates during the year.
Employees who are on a CIP at the time pay determinations are made do not receive performance payouts or the annual GPI. An employee who receives an unacceptable OCS rating of record will not receive any portion of the GPI or RIF service credit until such time as his/her performance improves to the acceptable level and remains acceptable for at least 90 days. When the employee has performed acceptably for at least 90 days, the GPI will not be retroactive but will be granted at the beginning of the next pay period after the supervisor authorizes its payment.
Once an employee has been afforded a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate adequate contribution but fails to do so, a reductionin pay (which may include a change to a lower pay band level and/or reassignment), or removal action may be proposed. If the employee's contribution increases to an acceptable level and is again determined to deteriorate in any factor within two years from the beginning of the opportunity period, actions may be initiated to effect reduction in pay or removal with no additional opportunity to improve. If an employee has contributed acceptably for two years from the beginning of an opportunity period, and the employee's overall contribution once again declines to an inadequate level, the employee will be afforded an additional opportunity to demonstrate adequate contribution before it is determined whether or not to propose a reduction in pay or removal.
An employee whose reduction in pay or removal is proposed is entitled to a 30day advance notice of the proposed action that identifies specific instances of inadequate contribution by the employee on which the action is based. The employee will be afforded a reasonable time to answer the notice of proposed action orally and/or in writing.
A decision to reduce pay or remove an employee for inadequate contribution may be based only on those instances of inadequate contribution that occurred during the twoyear period ending on the date of issuance of the proposed action. The employee will be issued written notice at or before the time the action will be effective. Such notice will specify the instances of inadequate contribution by the employee on which the action is based and will inform the employee of any applicable appeal or grievance rights.
All relevant documentation concerning a reduction in pay or removal that is based on inadequate contribution will be preserved and made available for review by the affected employee or a designated representative. At a minimum, the records will consist of a copy of the notice of proposed action; the written answer of the employee or a summary when the employee makes an oral reply; and the written notice of decision and the reasons thereof, along with any supporting material including documentation regarding the opportunity afforded the employee to demonstrate adequate contribution.
8. Base Pay Increases and Bonuses
The payouts made to employees from the pay pool may be a mix of base pay increases and/or onetime bonuses, such that all of the allocated funds are disbursed as intended. To continue to provide performance incentives while also ensuring cost discipline, base pay increases may be limited. Certain employees will not be able to receive the projected base pay increase due to base pay caps. Base pay is capped when an employee reaches the maximum rate of base pay in an assigned pay band. Also, for employees receiving retained rates above the applicable pay band maximum, the entire performance payout will be in the form of a bonus payment.
In addition, a pay pool manager may request approval from the TARDEC Director for use of an Extraordinary Achievement Recognition. Such recognition grants a base pay increase and/or bonus to an employee. The funds available for an Extraordinary Achievement Recognition are separately funded within the constraints of the budget. 9. Awards
To provide additional flexibility in motivating and rewarding individuals and groups, some portion of the award budget will be reserved for special acts and other categories as they occur. Awards may include, but are not limited to, special acts, patents, suggestions, onthespot, and timeoff. The funds available to be used for traditional 5 U.S.C. awards are separately funded within the constraints of the laboratory's budget.
While not directly linked to the CCAS system, this additional flexibility is important to encourage outstanding accomplishments and innovation in accomplishing the diverse mission of TARDEC. Additionally, to foster and encourage teamwork among its employees, organizations may give group awards. The TARDEC Director will have the authority to grant special act awards to covered employees of up to $25,000 IAW the criteria of AR 67220, Incentive Awards.
10. Reverse Feedback
Employee feedback to supervisors is considered essential for the success of the TARDEC CCAS system. A feedback instrument for subordinates to anonymously evaluate the effectiveness of their supervisors is being developed and shall be implemented as part of the demonstration project. Supervisors and their managers will be provided the results of that feedback in a format that does not identify individual raters or ratings. The data will be aggregated into a summary and used to establish both personal and organizational performance development goals. The use of this type of instrument will help focus attention on desired leadership behaviors, structure the feedback in a constructive manner, and offset the power imbalance that often prevents supervisors from getting useful feedback from their employees.
11. Adverse Actions
Except where specifically waived or modified in this plan, adverse action procedures under 5 CFR part 752 remain unchanged.
12. Grievance of Overall Contribution Score
An employee may grieve the OCS received under the CCAS system. Non
bargaining unit employees, and bargaining unit employees covered by a
negotiated grievance procedure that does not permit grievances over
performance ratings, must file under administrative grievance
procedures. Bargaining unit employees whose negotiated grievance procedures cover
performance rating grievances must file under those negotiated procedures. Contribution payout amounts resulting from OCS cannot be grieved.
D. Hiring Authority
The qualifications required for placement into a position in a pay band within an occupational family career path will be determined using the OPM Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for GS Positions. Since the pay bands are anchored to the GS grade levels, the minimum qualification requirements for a position will be those corresponding to the lowest GS grade incorporated into that pay band. For example, for a position in the E&S occupational family Pay Band II, individuals must meet the basic requirements for a GS5 as specified in the OPM Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions.
Selective factors may be established for a position in accordance with the OPM Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for GS Positions, when determined to be critical to successful job performance. These factors will become part of the minimum requirements for the position, and applicants must meet them in order to be eligible. If used, selective factors will be stated as part of the qualification requirements in vacancy announcements and recruiting bulletins.
2. Delegated Examining
Competitive service positions will be filled through Merit Staffing, directhire authority, Delegated Examining, or other sources. Where delegated to the laboratory level, hiring authority will be exercised in accordance with the requirements of the delegation of authority. The Rule of Three will be eliminated. When there are no more than 15 qualified, eligible applicants and all are either preference eligibles or there are no preference eligibles, all will be immediately referred to the selecting official without rating and ranking. Rating and ranking will be required only when the number of qualified candidates exceeds 15 or there is a mix of preference and non preference applicants. Statutes and regulations covering veterans' preference will be observed in the selection process and when rating and ranking are required.
3. Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Appointment
This demonstration project establishes a Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Appointment using an alternative examining process which provides the authority to appoint undergraduates and graduates through the doctoral level to professional positions at the equivalent of GS7 through GS11, and GS12 positions.
At the undergraduate level, candidates may be appointed to
positions at a base pay level no greater than the equivalent of GS7, step 10, provided that:
(1) They meet minimum standards for the positions as published in OPM's Operating Manual ``Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions'' plus any selective factors stated in the vacancy announcement;
(2) the occupation has a positive education requirement; and (3) the candidate has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better (on a 4.0 scale) in those courses in those fields of study that are specified in the Qualifications Standards for the occupational series.
Appointments may also be made at the equivalent of GS9 through GS 12 on the basis of graduate education and/or experience for those candidates with a GPA of 3.5 or better (on a scale of 4.0) for graduate level courses in the field of study required for the occupation.
Veterans' preference procedures will apply when selecting
candidates under this authority. Preference eligibles who meet the
above criteria will be considered ahead of nonpreference eligibles. In
making selections, to pass over any preference eligible(s) to select a
nonpreference eligible requires approval under current passover or
objection procedures. Priority must also be given to displaced employees as may be specified in OPM and DoD regulations.
4. Direct Hire Authority for Candidates With Advanced Degrees for Scientific and Engineering Positions
The TARDEC has an urgent need for direct hire authority to appoint qualified candidates possessing an advanced degree to scientific and engineering positions. The market is extremely competitive with industry and academia for the small supply of highlyqualified and security clearable candidates with a Masters Degree or Ph.D. in science or engineering. There are 35,000 scientists and engineers employed in the DoD laboratories; 27% hold Masters Degrees, while 10% are in possession of a Ph.D. The TARDEC employs around 1,427 scientists and engineers; 21% holding Masters Degrees, while 2% percent are in possession of a Ph.D. Over the next five years, the TARDEC plans to hire approximately 500 of the country's best and brightest scientists and engineers (S&Es) just to keep pace with attrition. This number does not include the impact that actions such as Base Realignment and Closure may have on the attrition of S&Es from the TARDEC. Statistics indicate that the available pool of advanced degree, clearable candidates is substantially diminished by the number of nonU.S. citizens granted degrees by U.S. institutions. For instance, in 2006, 20% of Masters Degrees in science and over 35% of Ph.D.s in science were awarded to temporary residents.
It is expected that this hiring authority, together with
streamlined recruitment processes, will be very effective in hiring
candidates possessing a Masters or Ph.D. and accelerating the hiring
process. For instance, under a similar authority found in the NDAA for
FY 2009, section 1108, Public Law 110417, October 28, 2009, one STRL
had fifteen Ph.D. selectees in 2009 for the sixteen vacancies for which
they were using this hiring authority. Another STRL, using this
expedited hiring authority in calendar year 2009, made thirty firm
hiring offers in an average of thirteen days from receipt of paper work
in the Human Resources Office. Of these thirty selectees, twentythree possessed Ph.D.s.
(1) Scientific and engineering positions are defined as all professional positions in scientific and engineering occupations (with a positive education requirement) utilized by the laboratory. (2) An advanced degree is a Master's or higher degree from an accredited college or university in a field of scientific or engineering study directly related to the duties of the position to be filled.
(3) Qualified candidates are defined as candidates who: (a) Meet the minimum stand
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
TARDEC: U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), 6501 East 11 Mile Road, Warren, MI 483975000, ATTN: RDTACOS/MS 204 Mr. Gregory L Berry, Warren, MI 483975000.
DoD: Ms. Betty Duffield, CPMSPSSC, Suite B200, 1400 Key Boulevard, Arlington, VA 222095144.