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LBJ School Professor Ed Dorn Chairs Panel on Defense Department Merit Pay System; Briefs House Select Committee on Intelligence on Panel's Findings

AUSTIN, Texas-- June 15, 2010-- On June 15, LBJ School Professor Ed Dorn briefed key members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence on the findings of a panel he chaired on the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System.

The panel chaired by Dorn resulted in The Academy Panel Report on the Defense Civilian System (DCIPS), published on June 1 by the National Academy of Public Administration,  an effort on the part of the U.S. Department of Defence to establish common personnel policies and a performance-based human resource program for the 50,000 emloyees of its intelligence component.

According to the National Academy of Public Administation, the study, which was mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010, found that the design of DCIPS is fundamentally sound and conforms to accepted principles of design for performance-based compensation systems, including appropriate equity considerations and internal checks and balances to ensure fairness.

"The 9/11 Commission and other studies found intelligence failures that it traces, among other things, to a lack of communication among the intelligence agencies," said Dorn. "The various agencies--there are 16 in all, eight of which are in the Department of Defense-- have different agendas, different cultures and different personnel systems."

According to Dorn, one solution to this situation is to form a real community by uniting the various agencies under a single personnel system. The DCIPS was created by the Department of Defense to be the answer to this situation. The DCIPS differs from the old system in two critical ways: performance management, meaning it clearly links an employee's performance to the agency's mission,  and pay for performance, meaning it rewarded employees according to the quality of their performance.

"Performance management and pay for performance have been controversial," said Dorn. "The Department of Defence unions saww them as giving far too much power to managers, and some members of Congress were concerned that the new system would invite a return to various biases-- discrimination against women and minorities. The Chair of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, Sylvestre Reyes, was particularly concerned about that possibility."

Dorn says the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act put a hold on the implementation of the new system pending a review by an independent organization, the National Academy of Public Administration, which eventually published the report written by the panel that Dorn chaired evaluating the DCIPS.

For more information on the Panel Report, visit http://www.napawash.org/