NSPS kick-off conference held at MacDill
Focus on new civilian personnel system to be implemented throughout DoD
by 2nd Lt. Larry van der Oord
MacDill served as host for a week-long, joint-service conference that began Monday to discuss the implementation of the National Security Personnel System throughout the Department of Defense.
NSPS, a civilian personnel management system that has established new criteria for how civilians are hired, assigned, compensated, promoted and disciplined, will have a major affect on all DOD civilian employees.
The kick-off conference at MacDill focused mainly on those DoD installations scheduled to be in the initial phase of NSPS implementation. NSPS will be implemented throughout the DoD in phases called "spirals" beginning in July. There are eight Air Force bases scheduled to be part of Spiral One: Eglin AFB, Fla.; Ellsworth AFB, S.D.; Lackland AFB, Texas; March ARB, Calif.; McConnell AFB, Kan.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Patrick AFB, Fla.; and Tinker AFB, Okla.
Brig. Gen. Tanker Snyder, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, opened the conference Monday by welcoming all attendees and making a few opening remarks at the Davis Conference Center.
The first session of the conference, designated for Army and Navy personnel, ran from Monday afternoon to Wednesday morning and approximately 235 attendees were present, including Navy Secretary Gordon England, who serves as the DoD senior executive overseeing NSPS.
"NSPS provides an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the department through a simplified personnel management system that will improve the way it hires and assigns, as well as compensates and reward its employees," said Secretary England.
More than 115 attendees gathered for the Air Force session which began Wednesday afternoon. The Air Force sent many key personnel to attend the conference, including several general officers and some of the Air Force's top civilians in the personnel field.
Sharon B. Seymour, Air Force associate director for the NSPS, is one of the senior representatives responsible for the deployment of NSPS throughout the Air Force.
"The implementation of NSPS is a key component of the secretary of defense's transformation initiative," said Ms. Seymour. "It is the biggest change in 25 years to the civilian personnel system."
The NSPS performance management system is structured upon merit principles designed to recognize and reward the performance of the DoD civilians fairly and provide opportunities for communication and performance feedback.
"This is a huge change in the way we do business," said Ms. Seymour. "It will affect everyone in the Department of Defense.
"We are devoting lots of time and energy to ensure this system is prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century."
NSPS is set to be implemented here during the third phase of Spiral One, which is scheduled for July of 2006, said Sharon J. Cayce, civilian personnel officer with the 6th Mission Support Squadron.