Progress Report on Personnel Reform: Highlights from the Recent Volcker Commission Conference, "Transforming the Public Service: Progress Made and the Work Ahead"

By Pettibone, Craig | The Public Manager, Spring-Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Progress Report on Personnel Reform: Highlights from the Recent Volcker Commission Conference, "Transforming the Public Service: Progress Made and the Work Ahead"


Pettibone, Craig, The Public Manager


On February 18, 2004, the Volcker Commission on the Public Service and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) held a conference, "Transforming the Public Service: Progress Made and the Work Ahead." Conference cosponsors included Government Executive magazine, the Council for Excellence in Government, and the Partnership for Public Service.

The conference addressed three key issues:

* Where do we stand in the effort to reform and renew the federal public service?

* How can government best tackle the critical job of implementing these reforms, turning them from promise to reality? and

* What is the agenda that still lies ahead?

The conference participants discussed a general concern that personnel reforms going forward in the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should be uniform across the government, based on some kind of general merit principles, and that Congress should control the reform process or be faced with a patchwork of personnel and payroll systems.

Progress Made

Timothy Clark, editor and president of Government Executive magazine and C. Morgan Kinghorn, president, NAPA, welcomed participants in the program. Presenters included Paul Volcker, chairman, National Commission on the Public Service; Leon Panetta of the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy; and Fred Thompson, former Chairman, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. Kay Coles James, director, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), gave the keynote address.

Chairman Volcker spoke about the Commission's finding that there is a need for greater flexibility for management and reorganization of government, and that management of change is a special challenge. He noted that there is an important role for continued Congressional oversight, but that there is a need for Congress to take a governmentwide view and not just one of looking at agencies in crisis.

Mr. Volcker gave participants a paper summarizing progress made to date on implementation of the Commission's recommendations. The paper cited active Commission participation with Congress, the administration, and public interest groups in developing the new flexible personnel authorities it recommended for DOD and DHS. At the same time, the paper noted that the Commission also recommended the development of underlying principles for a new federal personnel system.

The paper cited legislative progress on significant increases in pay for the judicial, executive, and legislative branch leaders that the Commission recommended. The president has proposed increasing judicial salaries substantially by approximately 25 percent. The pay cap impacting the top four levels of the Senior Executive Service (SES) was lifted, a single band replaced the SES pay grades, and a performance-based pay system was authorized for the SES. In addition, Congress authorized a governmentwide performance-based fund and provided sufficient funding to design the program.

The paper noted that the new flexibilities at DHS and DOD, and similar ones available to federal organizations such as the US General Accounting Office, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and others, mean that more than half of all federal civilian employees will be working under federal human resources laws and regulations that are significantly more flexible and responsive to modern organizational needs than those available to the rest of the government. This includes alternative approaches such as replacement of the General Schedule and classification system with pay banding, a significant new emphasis on performance, including performance-based compensation systems, improved appeals processes, and new recruitment and hiring authorities.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Progress Report on Personnel Reform: Highlights from the Recent Volcker Commission Conference, "Transforming the Public Service: Progress Made and the Work Ahead"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.