Defense bill denies raises for poor performers

Thursday - 5/26/2011, 12:55pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The National Defense Authorization Act would block annual pay raises to Defense Department employees whose job performance is deemed unacceptable.

The House is expected to vote today on the bill, which will set spending levels and policy for the DoD in fiscal year 2012.

According to a House committee report, "Currently, all federal civilian employees, no matter how they are rated on their performance, receive the annual nationwide adjustment in January of each year. Federal civilian employees who are rated as ‘below satisfactory' still receive an increase in salary despite the fact that they are underperforming. An incentive is necessary to entice these employees to improve their job performance," The Washington Post reports.

At the same time the bill would deny raises for poor performers, the bill also includes a 1.6 percent increase in military basic pay and prohibits TRICARE Prime fee increases for one year.

The defense bill isn't the only proposed legislation to embrace pay-for-performance provisions for defense employees.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fl.) introduced a separate bill in the House in March that restricts the payout of annual adjustment and locality pay for civilian DoD employees performing "unsatisfactory work."

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) failed to get passed federal workforce pay-for-performance legislation introduced earlier this year. Last month, Issa and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) tasked the Government Accountability Office with reporting on federal pay, a first step toward creating a performance-based system to replace the general schedule.

Your Turn host Mike Causey spoke with reporters from the Federal Times about the pay provisions in the bill and other legislation affecting federal employees' pay.