My former beat partner Alyssa Rosenberg has a couple of great stories on civil service reform from Monday's Excellence in Government conference sponsored by Government Executive. In a speech, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry called for a comprehensive overhaul of the federal civil service, from recruitment and hiring to pay and training. Berry also defended the policies he has adopted during his first few months in office, including early efforts to create a governmentwide performance management system, even though some employee groups expressed skepticism of those efforts earlier in the day.
Proponents of an overhaul of the federal performance management and pay system have often said reform is imperative for recruiting and retaining the next generation of workers, many of whom will not accept the traditional system of pass/fail. I wrote hundreds of stories on pay reform during my time at Government Executive, and I'm curious to hear from you all on the importance of reforming the government's performance management and pay systems to recruiting the next generation of IT workers. Where should reform begin? Should government begin by examining the implementation of provisions in the General Schedule allowing agencies to reward top performers, examining agency career ladder programs and updating several position classifications, as the unions stated? Or is a more comprehensive overhaul of the way government evaluates and rewards employees necessary to recruiting and retaining a capable IT workforce?