ADR for Ratings Reconsideration under NSPS
An increasing number of DON offices are coming into the new National Security Personnel System (NSPS). One feature of NSPS is “pay for performance,” which links annual performance ratings with pay increases and bonuses. Performance ratings are determined by a process that includes a self-assessment, a supervisory assessment, and consideration by a Pay Pool Panel led by the Pay Pool Manager. Under DoD 1400.25-M, Subchapter 1940.12-4, employees who are not happy with the outcome of the rating process may ask for reconsideration of their rating of record. The manual notes that ADR is available for reconsiderations, consistent with Component policies and procedures. This webpage describes how ADR is provided for NSPS Reconsiderations in the Department of the Navy (DON).

The DON’s fundamental ADR policy is to use ADR to the maximum extent practicable. The DON ADR Program has worked with the Office of Civilian Human Resources to develop an ADR process that is simple, quick, and consistent with NSPS reconsideration rules. The process, “Facilitated Discussion,” uses a neutral to help employees clearly present the facts that the employee wants the pay pool manager consider. Facilitated discussion helps pay pool managers by ensuring that their questions are answered, and that they have the relevant facts necessary to make informed decisions. Under this process, the pay pool manager still makes the decision, but the facilitator helps the parties make their discussion more effective.

Facilitators use techniques that promote complete discussions while reducing unproductive stress and confrontation. They strive to keep the discussion productive by focusing on the key issues. If necessary, they ask helpful questions to promote clarity. Facilitators can guide the discussion to bring to the table all the information needed to make an informed decision. Facilitators remain impartial and do not represent either party. They do not provide substantive advice to either party, and do not express opinions regarding who is right or wrong. As neutrals, they will keep the information that they learn confidential under a law called the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996.

The flow chart on this page describes a standard process for reconsiderations, and adds the ADR option in green. Employees also should review their pay pool’s rules for any additional, local guidance. The complete statement on the procedure is found in DoD 1400.25-M, Subchapter 1940.12-4. It should be noted that this reconsideration process is not the appropriate process to raise allegations of illegal discrimination, or if the issue involves a bargaining unit employee subject to a negotiated grievance procedure.

This is a new process. If your local Human Resources Office or your Pay Pool Manager is not familiar with it, an ADR Coordinator at the Human Resources Services Centers can assist.

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