Answer: This demonstration project was originally authorized under Section 4308 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 1996. The project was initially designed in the 1997 – 1999 time frame by a Process Action Team under the authority of then-Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics with the participation of and review by DoD and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM approved and published the final project plan for the AcqDemo on January 8, 1999, in 64 Federal Register (FR) 1426 – 1492. The NDAA for FY 2004 authorized the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) and most AcqDemo employees converted to the NSPS in 2006. Section 1113 of NDAA for FY 2010 repealed the NSPS and directed conversion of all NSPS employees to their previous pay system by January 1, 2012. All NSPS employees formerly in AcqDemo were transitioned back to AcqDemo in May 2011.
On January 7, 2011, the original demonstration project authority was repealed and codified at 10 U.S.C.1762 pursuant to Section 872 of the Ike Skelton NDAA for FY 2011. With the enactment of Section 872, Congress extended the authority for AcqDemo until September 30, 2017, and increased the total number of persons who may participate in the project from 95,000 to 120,000. Congress further extended the authority for AcqDemo to December 31, 2020, in Section 846 of NDAA for FY 2016. Through Section 867 of NDAA for FY 2017, Congress provided that the Secretary of Defense shall exercise the authorities granted to the OPM under 5 U.S.C. 4703 for purposes of the demonstration project. Congress increased the limit on the number of participants from 120,000 to 130,000 under Section 844 of NDAA for FY 2018, and further extended the authority for AcqDemo to December 31, 2026 under Section 812 of the NDAA for FY 2022.
Participation by organizations and teams with an acquisition mission in the demonstration project is voluntary. Participation has varied over the 20 years of AcqDemo. From a starting population of 4,000 in 1999, it increased to a peak of 11,392 in 2006 just before NSPS started. Since the return from NSPS in 2011, the AcqDemo population has grown to over 52,900 with approximately 5,814 employees covered by union bargaining units. Federal Register Notice, 82 FR 52146-52150, contains two lists of organizations eligible to participate in AcqDemo as of November 9, 2017. Any interested organizations not so listed must apply to be considered for participation following the procedures outlined in the AcqDemo Ops Guide, Chapter 2. The criteria for eligibility is contained in 10 U.S.C. 1762 and is provided below:
“(i) at least one-third of the workforce participating in the demonstration project consists of members of the acquisition workforce”; AND
‘‘(ii) at least two-thirds of the workforce participating in the demonstration project consists of members of the acquisition workforce and supporting personnel assigned to work directly with the acquisition workforce.”
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 2, June 15, 2022; Federal Register Notice, 82 FR 52146-52150, November 9, 2017)
Answer: AcqDemo is designed to provide a personnel management system that increases the ability to attract, retain, and motivate a highly qualified acquisition workforce. AcqDemo’s Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System, (CCAS), is designed to provide an equitable and flexible method for evaluating and compensating the acquisition workforce and its supporting personnel. CCAS promotes basic pay adjustment decisions made on the basis of an individual’s overall annual contribution to the mission of the organization and his/her quality of performance in achieving the contribution. Consideration is also given to the classification and appraisal factors and an employee’s contribution plan, expected results, and the scope, level of difficulty, and value of the employee’s position. CCAS is intended to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce of employees who are motivated to maximize their contributions and performance to the acquisition mission.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and Federal Register Notice 82 FR 52107, Supplemental Information, Section C., November 9, 2017)
Answer: Within six months after the authority to conduct the AcqDemo project under 10 U.S.C. 1762 is terminated, employees in the project shall convert to the civilian personnel system created pursuant to section 9902 of title 5.
(Reference 10 U.S.C. 1762(g) and (h).)
Answer: Initial entry for organizations with employees transitioning to AcqDemo will be accomplished through a full employee-protection approach that ensures the initial placement of each employee into a broadband level is without a loss of permanent pay. As a rule, GS employees will be placed into the AcqDemo career path and broadband level that corresponds to their occupational series, permanent GS grade of record and basic pay at the time of conversion. Employees currently on grade and/or pay retention will be placed in the appropriate broadband level that is commensurate with their existing grade. If an employee’s retained pay is less than the maximum of the broadband level, retained pay will terminate. If the retained pay is greater than the maximum of the broadband, the employee remains on retained pay. AcqDemo does not have a retained grade provision. After the transition, any changes in the rate of basic pay will be based upon the employee’s overall contribution score, performance appraisal quality level, other contribution-based actions, promotions, or other personnel actions.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapters 2 and 5, July 31, 2020)
Answer: Employees occupying GS career ladder positions under the Pathways, Recent Graduate, or Presidential Management Fellows Programs; or under other traditional career ladder programs; and are scheduled for conversion into AcqDemo, may remain in their GS career ladder position as determined by their participating organization or team. However, in doing so, the employees would not be eligible to participate in the Accelerated Compensation for Developmental Positions program when their organization converts. Once the employees reach the full performance level for their positions, they must be transitioned to their appropriate AcqDemo position and pay plan.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 2, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: An organization may request the addition of a new Job Series by submitting an email request to the AcqDemo Program Office. The request must include the position title and job series along with a justification on why the position is considered eligible for inclusion into AcqDemo. Once the position is determined to meet the requirements for inclusion, the position is added to the list of positions in Appendix B and to a future amendment to the Federal Register Notice (FRN). For example, our office recently approved the addition of Data Science, 1560 occupational series to the NH Career Path. This addition was made to Appendix B of the proposed updated FRN amendment and will be included in the next version release of the Operating Guide.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 3, Appendix B., July 31, 2020.)
Answer: The current General Schedule (GS) job classification process is both time-consuming and complex. AcqDemo is designed to create a simplified classification process so that managers can readily use it to classify positions. The AcqDemo classification system is also simplified to reflect the changes from the current GS system to a more generic broadbanding system. AcqDemo differs from the OPM classification system by utilizing only three factor levels instead of the nine evaluation factors commonly used in the OPM Classification Standards.
The three AcqDemo factors are Job Achievement and/or Innovation, Communication and/or Teamwork, and Mission Support. The broadband factors are the basis for classification, and assessing contributions and performance. Each factor contains descriptors and discriminators for each respective broadband level within the relevant career path. The factors and descriptors are used to classify positions in the appropriate broadband level as well as to measure an employee’s contributions and performance, and are ultimately used in compensation decisions.
The position classification changes streamline and simplify the process of identifying and categorizing the work done within an organization. This is evident with replacement of the old GS Position Descriptions (PDs) to the new Position Requirements Document (PRD) format.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 3, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: Broadbanding consolidates the General Schedule (GS) pay grades into broadband levels. The broadband levels replace the current GS fifteen-grade structure. The fifteen GS grades are arranged into three or four broadband levels within a career path in accordance with recognized advancement expected within the occupations assigned to the career path. Currently, the 15 grades under the GS system are used to classify positions and, therefore, to set pay. Under AcqDemo broadbanding with several grades banded together, greater flexibilities are created for setting basic pay.
Each broadband level defines the minimum and maximum rates of basic pay for that broadband. Broadband level pay ranges were derived from base pay rates under title 5 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 5303 of the banded GS grades. The lowest basic pay rate of any given broadband level is step 1 of the lowest GS grade in that broadband level. Likewise, the highest basic pay rate of any given broadband level is step 10 of the highest GS grade in that broadband level. The broadband levels represent basic pay only and are labeled I, II, III, or IV. Comparison to the GS base pay table is used in setting the minimum and maximum basic pay limits of the broadband levels. As the rates of the GS are increased for any annual across-the-board GS pay increase, the minimum and maximum basic pay rates of the broadband levels will also increase.
The common objectives of broadbanding are:
Reduces the number of distinctions between levels of work at the different grade levels, thereby simplifying the classification process and eliminating substantial paperwork for employees to advance to another level of work and pay.
Allows for more competitive recruitment of quality candidates at differing rates within the appropriate broadband levels.
Allows employees to move within the broadband to higher levels of pay, based on level of work performed, without going through a competitive promotion process.
• Provides a stronger link between pay, quality of performance, and contribution to the mission of the organization. An employee can more easily be compensated at the level which reflects his/her contribution to the goals of the organization and the value of his/her position.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapters 3 and 6, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: AcqDemo maintains the eligibility requirements in 5 U.S.C. 2108 and 5 U.S.C. 2108a for determining the veterans’ preference eligibility of each applicant. However, AcqDemo further defines the process for application of veterans’ preference in a hiring action. Under AcqDemo, veterans’ preference points are not used in the hiring rating and ranking process. Instead, when making final selections, any candidates with veterans’ preference should be considered for appointments if they are found to best meet mission requirements.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 4, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: It is recognized that many NH-II positions require full performance work above the entry-level which may not be met by the ACWA standard as written. The use of selective placement and/or quality ranking factors may be used in addition to the ACWA requirements to distinguish higher level knowledge, experience, skills, and competencies needed for fully successful performance.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 4, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: No. As stated in the Operating Guide, 4.10.2, “AcqDemo Participating Organizations are able to effect temporary promotions and details to higher broadband level positions than AcqDemo employees currently hold or previously held without competition as long as the temporary promotion, detail, or a combination of a detail and temporary promotion does not exceed one year within a 24-month period to positions within the demonstration project.” This authority applies to AcqDemo employees. Since the permanent position of record of the employee will remain in the GS pay plan when in a temporary promotion status, the current regulation as outlined in 5 CFR part 335, Section 335.103 stating competition is required for time limited promotions for more than 120 days to higher graded positions must be applied.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 4, June 15, 2022; 5 CFR Part 335, Section 335.103)
Answer: Yes, at this time AcqDemo will align along with the majority of DoD that will revert to a one-year probationary period for new hires. This applies to individuals appointed to positions within DoD on or after December 31, 2022. Current DoD employees, including AcqDemo, who were appointed with an initial two-year probationary period will need to complete the remainder of that time, and therefore, are not affected by this change.
Additional Background: 10 United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1599e included implementation of a two-year probationary period for individuals appointed to a permanent position within the competitive service at the Department of Defense. This implementation was directed by Section 1105 of the NDAA for FY 2016 and made effective for individuals hired on or after November 26, 2015. The current AcqDemo Federal Register Notice (FRN), Vol. 82, No. 216, dated November 9, 2017, adopted the provisions of 10 U.S.C. Section 1599e as the authority for requiring a two-year initial probationary period. Section 1106 of the NDAA for FY 2022 rescinded 10 U.S.C. Section 1599e. Therefore, AcqDemo no longer has the authority to expand the initial probationary period beyond one year. However, in a draft updated FRN, AcqDemo is in the process of proposing an initiative requiring a two-year initial probationary period to allow supervisors an adequate period of time to evaluate and employee’s ability to complete cycles of work and to fully assess an employee’s contribution and conduct in the acquisition environment. Note: The proposed language AcqDemo is proposing in the new FRN is not
approved yet and will require review by the Office of General Counsel, and approval by USD(A&S) before being implemented.
Answer: No. Section 1106 of the NDAA for FY 2022 that rescinds United States Code (U.S.C.) 10 Section 1599e applies only to an initial probationary period and does not affect the supervisory probationary period. The supervisory probationary period is addressed under Part 315, Subpart 1 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). AcqDemo continues to have the ability to require an additional supervisory probationary period of one year if the employee is officially assigned to a different supervisory position that constitutes a major change in supervisory responsibilities from any previously held supervisory position.
Answer: The AcqDemo broadband system does not utilize grades. The former fifteen GS grades are arranged into three or four broadband levels within a career path in accordance with recognized advancement expected within the occupations assigned to the career path. Under the broadband system, promotions will occur when an employee moves from a lower broadband level to a higher broadband level, e.g., an employee is promoted from an NH-II broadband level to an NH-III broadband level. External to the promotion process, basic pay increases within a broadband level are determined by an employee’s annual assessment under the Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS).
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapters 3 and 5, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: There are a number of AcqDemo benefits applicable to employees at the top of their broadband level. Examples include:
The annual across-the-board increase, or General Pay Increase (GPI) provision, is still available to AcqDemo employees at the top of their broadband level based upon their eligibility. If they are at the top of their broadband level, they may receive the full GPI since AcqDemo will adjust the broadbands upward each year according to any GPI.
A 2% funding floor that may be used to provide pay increases and/or for a carryover award for employees in a pay pool. Employees may be eligible for yearly carryover cash awards if their contribution and quality of performance assessment indicates they should receive a larger increase. This amount varies with employees' contributions and performance. For example, if the proposed pay increase for a particular employee would raise his/her basic pay above the maximum basic pay of his/her broadband level, the carryover award provision could be used to give the amount over the top of the broadband level to the employee in a cash award.
Very high scores are available to recognize an employee for exemplary contributions and quality of performance; the results of which are substantially beyond what was expected and warrant a score exceeding the top score for the highest broadband level in the employee’s career path. A very high score is reserved for employees at the top broadband level of their career path, i.e., NH-IV, NJ-IV and NK-III. If the employee’s contributions are awarded a very high score, the score must be one of the three numerical scores assigned to the very high score level for the employee’s career path.
There is a Sabbatical provision available that enhances employee development and the organization’s effectiveness.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and Federal Register Notice 82 FR 52107, Section C, Overview, and Section D. Evaluation Results., November 9, 2017.)
Answer: Locality pay is not based on contribution. All employees will be entitled to the locality pay authorized for their official worksite in accordance with 5 CFR Part 531, Subpart F, if eligible. In addition, the locality-adjusted pay of any employee may not exceed the rate for Executive Level IV under 5 U.S.C. 5304(g)(1) and 5 CFR part 531.606(a).
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 5, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: As a point of clarification, GS pay adjustments authorized under 5 U.S.C. 5303 are based on the cost of labor, not the cost of living. GS pay adjustments are linked to changes in the Employment Cost Index (ECI). The ECI measures the overall rate of change in employers’ compensation costs in the private and public sectors, excluding the Federal Government. The ECI does not measure the cost of consumer goods and services. These adjustments are not tied to an inflation index. They are an attempt to bring Federal pay in line with private sector pay.
Each year the broadbands will be adjusted upward to be equivalent to the new GS base pay schedule when changed by any General Pay Increase (GPI). The GS base rates may be adjusted each January under the provisions in 5 U.S.C. 5303. Under AcqDemo, the minimum and maximum basic pay rate of each broadband level will be adjusted at the same time as the GPI. The amount of the increase calculated for an organization’s AcqDemo employees will be based on the amount of any GPI, and is allocated for use in that organization’s pay pool fund, and distributed to employees based upon their contribution and quality of performance assessments under the Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS). Once basic pay is established the appropriate locality pay is added.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, CCAS, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: The law prohibits AcqDemo from proposing any changes to the retirement system. Retirement calculations will continue to be determined as they are today, with any basic pay increases you receive under AcqDemo counting toward your High-Three.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 1, July 31, 2020)
Answer: Promotions under AcqDemo occur the same way as in the general schedule (GS) system. Most promotions will be competitive. However, AcqDemo has retained capabilities for noncompetitive promotions such as maximum broadband level promotions, accretion of duties promotions, and repromotion to a position previously held.
The following examples provide an illustration of Competitive and Non-Competitive Movements Involving Promotion:
Example 1: A GS-12 employee may be competitively selected for a promotion to an NH-III position with a higher earning potential (broadband encompasses both GS-12 and GS-13 grade levels). Management may set pay between 0% and 20% of the employee's current base pay.
Example 2: A GS-12 employee may also be noncompetitively selected to an NH-III position with a higher earning potential (broadband encompasses both GS-12 and GS-13 grade levels). However, since the employee was noncompetitively selected, the employee is only entitled to a WGI buy-in.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 5.9, Chapter 4.11, & Table 2 Matrix, July 31, 2020)
Answer: The employee should continue to be rated using the temporary promotion information. The Previous Cycle Data record in CAS2Net should be left with the temporary promotion data, the User Profile must be updated with the permanent promotion data, and a Post-Cycle Activity in the User Profile must be completed.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020)
Answer: The employee should now be rated against the permanent position taking into consideration the achievements while on the temporary promotion and whether these achievements will enhance the employee’s contribution and performance in their permanent position. The temporary promotion should be removed in CAS2Net from the Post-Cycle Activity in the User Profile and the Previous Cycle Data record must be updated with the permanent position data. Both the contribution/performance assessment and the CCAS payout determination will need to be re-accomplished using the permanent position information.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: Employees must be in AcqDemo under CCAS on September 30 and have served in their AcqDemo position under CCAS for 90 calendar days or more immediately prior to the end of the CCAS rating cycle. The end of the rating cycle is considered to be close of business on September 30.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and Federal Register Notice 82 FR 52128, Section D.2.c., November 9, 2017.)
Answer: A discussion of compensation strategy to include the definition and use of control points is provided in the AcqDemo Operating Guide, Chapter 5. Currently, basic pay adjustments within a broadband level are made only with the AcqDemo CCAS Contribution Rating Increase (CRI). However, a study is underway for a new flexibility that would allow a basic pay adjustment within a broadband level external to the CCAS process.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 5, July 31, 2020)
Answer: Since special salary rates are not applicable to demonstration project employees, employees on special salary rates will receive a new basic pay rate upon conversion to AcqDemo. “Buy-in” adjustments to an eligible employee’s basic pay for a step increase and/or a non-competitive career ladder promotion will be computed based on the organization’s implementation date. A prorated share is computed upon the number of weeks an employee has completed towards his/her next higher step and/or grade at the time of conversion.
If both the step increase and the career ladder buy-in apply, calculate the step increase buy-in first, and then calculate the career ladder promotion buy-in. For employees whose special rate exceeds their locality rate, the pay conversion will be processed first to derive a new rate of basic pay under the demonstration project. Next, the WGI and/or career ladder promotion buy-in adjustment is added to the new rate of basic pay. (This processing sequence is significant because it yields a higher rate of basic pay under the demonstration than the reverse sequence would yield.)
The following example provides the process for converting a special salary rate employee eligible for both a WGI Buy-in and a Career Ladder Promotion Buy-in into AcqDemo:
Action 1: Gather applicable Special Rate table, General Schedule (GS) salary table, and GS salary table with locality for the same Geographic Locality Pay Area as employee’s official duty station.
Gathered data. 2019 Special Rate Table 0422 for 0855 in Sacramento, CA, GS-0855-7, Step 7 - $54,536; Step 7 to Step 8 – 156 weeks (3 years). Time in step – 40 weeks of 156 weeks; Locality Percentage of 25.59% in Sacramento; and WGI of $1,212 from GS Base Pay Table (note WGI is same as in Special Rate Table).
Action 2: (Current special salary rate) divided by (Current locality percentage for the appropriate locality area) equals (New basic pay)
$54,536/1.2559 = $43,424
Action 3: Determine WGI Buy-in: (Time in Step divided by Time between Steps) multiply times Within Grade Increase.
(40/156) * $1,212 = $311
Action 4: Determine the career ladder promotion buy-in. (Time in grade) divided by (Time between Promotions) multiplied by Promotion Increase equals Career Ladder Promotion Buy-in.
(40/52)*$3,273 (GS-9/1 $57,809 - GS 7/7 $54,536) = $2,518
Action 5: Determine New Basic Rate of Career Ladder Buy-in: Divide Career Ladder Buy-in by 1.0 plus Current Locality Rate.
Career Ladder Buy-in / (1 + Current Locality Rate)
$2,518 / 1.2559 = $2,005
Action 6: Determine New AcqDemo Basic Pay: New Basic Pay plus WGI Buy-in plus Career Ladder Buy-in equals New AcqDemo Basic Pay.
$46,268 * 25.59% = $11,840
$46,268 + $11,840 = $58,108
Action 7: Determine Total Adjusted Basic Pay: New AcqDemo Basic Pay times Locality Rate.
Career Ladder Buy-in / (1 + Current Locality Rate)
$2,518 / 1.2559 = $2,005
Action 8: Convert in as NH-0855-II with
Basic Pay $44,931 + Locality Pay $11,498 = Total Adjusted Basic Pay $56,429
(Reference AcqDemo Operating Guide, Chapter 2, Sections 2.7.9 and 2.9.2, July 31, 2020)
Answer: Yes. Per the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) memo, CPM 2022- 02, and the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory (DCPAS) memo 2202013 both dated January 21, 2022, this minimum wage requirement includes all Federal Employees within the United States, and its territories and possessions.
Although the implementing guidance focuses predominantly on General Schedule (GS) and Federal Wage System (FWS) employees, AcqDemo demonstration project employees must also be compliant. Under AcqDemo, the minimum $15 hourly pay per hour is factored on the adjusted basic pay which includes locality pay. Hence, it is not prudent to update the AcqDemo broadband pay tables since the locality pay varies depending on the location of these employees that fall within the lower broadband levels.
The AcqDemo PMO recommendation is to modify the employee's adjusted basic pay by using the NOAC 894-General Pay Adjustment with the Remark: Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce (EO 14003). However, components and DoD agencies with AcqDemo employees are encouraged to engage their servicing Personnel Operation Center to verify the means to be compliant.
Answer: No, “base pay’ and “basic pay” are two different terms. The best way to distinguish the difference between “base pay” and “basic pay” is in relationship to the personnel system that is being referenced. “Base pay” is the term used in the General Schedule (GS) pay plan with an assigned grade and step, e.g. GS-12 step 3 that does not include the geographic cost of living adjustment referred to as locality pay. In AcqDemo, the term “basic pay” is used when a salary is set within a designated broadband range, e.g. NH III that also does not include locality pay. The AcqDemo term “adjusted basic pay” includes the basic pay plus the locality pay. Therefore, “base pay” is used in the Operating Guide only when referring to GS employees, e.g. Chapter 4 concerning conversions of employees from GS to AcqDemo.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 2, June 15, 2022; Federal Register Notice, 82 FR 52146-52150, November 9, 2017)
Answer: Yes. Depending on the organization’s business rules on pay setting, the selecting official may approve or recommend setting the basic pay within a range of zero percent not to exceed a 10 percent increase above the minimum of the broadband. However, recommended increases above 10 percent not to exceed the maximum basic pay for the broadband level must be approved by a designated management official at least one level above the recommending official, or approved as directed by organizational guidance. As a reminder, the key for determining pay setting for new hires is outlined in 126.96.36.199 where it is stated that initial basic pay will be set within the basic pay range for the broadband level of the position for which hired at a level consistent with the individual’s qualifications, or the level of work, and contribution expected for the position at the time of hire. Other considerations in determining starting basic pay are available labor market conditions relative to special qualifications requirements, scarcity of qualified applicants, programmatic urgency, value of the position, and education/experience of new selectees.
Answer: The CCAS provides an effective and flexible method for assessing and compensating the AcqDemo workforce based on their contribution to the mission of the organization and quality of performance in achieving their contributions rather than based on the amount of work accomplished and job longevity. CCAS provides a direct link between levels of individual contribution and the compensation received.
In addition, CCAS provides a common set of contribution factors that state what is important to the mission of the organization. Jobs done by individuals are evaluated against these contribution factors. Job growth is available to all by increasing contribution against descriptions of level of contribution for the factors. Providing a common set of factors is one way CCAS achieves fairness in appraisal.
Equity in pay is achieved by making annual basic pay adjustments that move toward the same basic pay for the same contribution. This means that those who are underpaid for their contribution will have larger increases and those who are overpaid for their contribution will have smaller increases. In time, this process will achieve equity in pay.
The CCAS will provide at least four important improvements:
a. Promote increased fairness and consistency in the appraisal process
b. Improve ability to compensate and reward employees in a timely manner commensurate with their contributions to the organization and their quality of performance.
c. Better convey to employees the key factors associated with advancement in their occupational series; and
d. Focus attention on measurable contributions and productivity for a job done well.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and Federal Register Notice 82 FR 52107, Section C, Overview, and Section D, Evaluation Results, November 9, 2017)
Answer: The CCAS cycle begins on October 1st each year. Supervisors and employees should plan to meet soon after the cycle begins and review the employee's career path, broadband level, factors, weights (if applicable), and contribution plan for the new assessment cycle. Together they should agree on what types of contributions the employee will plan to make over the next rating cycle as well as the quality of performance expected. The supervisor is also encouraged to review with each employee the expected contribution level (Overall Contribution Score [OCS] range) corresponding to the employee's current basic pay. Remember, the OCS range may change when employees receive their basic pay adjustments in January of the following year. Any changes to the expected contribution level, due to basic pay increase, should be discussed when the supervisor and employee review Part I, of the Contribution-Based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS) Appraisal Form, which details the CCAS assessment results. Remember, AcqDemo encourages frequent and informal feedback throughout the appraisal cycle to include a mandatory supervisory mid-point review.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and Federal Register Notice 82 FR 52128, Section D.2, November 9, 2017.)
Answer: When an employee cannot be evaluated readily by the normal CCAS appraisal process due to circumstances that take the individual away from normal duties or duty station (e.g., long-term full-time training; active military duty; extended sick leave; qualified family and medical leave; full time union representation; leave without pay, etc.), the Pay Pool Administrator, with the advice of the Rating Official and Participating Organization’s HRO, will document the special situations in CAS2Net. The Pay Pool Administrator will then determine which of the following five Presumptive Status options to use, guided by local business rules and with consideration of any special legal entitlements such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) which may affect that determination:
Use available observations and documentation to prepare an assessment and determine a recommended OCS and PAQL for each factor; or
1) Presumptive Status 1: New AcqDemo hires with less than 90 calendar days immediately preceding the end of the current appraisal cycle, who are not eligible for an annual CCAS contribution assessment due to time; or
2) Presumptive Status 2: Extended absences when there is no previous rating to recertify. Presume contributions are consistent with EOCS for the current OCS, a fully successful rating of record (RoR), and a PAQL of 3 for each of the three appraisal factors unless there are extenuating circumstances such as performance issues; or
3) Presumptive Status 3: Extended absences when there is a previously approved CCAS appraisal in the 4-year period preceding the end of the current appraisal cycle.
a. Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as significant growth in performance or deterioration of performance, consider recertification of the most recent approved CCAS appraisal in the 4-year period to include the approved OCS and annual RoR with the actual numerical scores of the PAQLs for the three appraisal factors.
b. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) legal entitlements, if employees who left their job to undertake military service are eligible to be reemployed, they must be restored to the job and benefits they would have attained if they had not been absent due to military service or, in some cases, a comparable job. In this case, recommendation is for the pay pool manager to re-certify the employee’s last contribution assessment OCS if greater than the current EOCS. Likewise, recertify the last approved CCAS RoR and the three PAQL scores if higher than the assessed CCAS RoR and three PAQL scores for the current cycle.
Note: [Presumptive - Status 3 is not available for first year AcqDemo assessments and/or for employees who have changed broadband levels during the assessment period.]
4) Presumptive Status 4: Prolonged Absence Due to Work-related Injury or Full Time Union Representation Duties. A Presumptive – Status 4 may be used as a RoR for purposes of RIF for those periods in which an employee did not receive a performance appraisal due to a prolonged absence resulting from a work-related injury that is approved for compensation pursuant to an Office of Workers' Compensation Program or while performing the duties of a full time union representative. Presumptive – Status 4 is limited to only periods of time for which the employee has on RoR under any performance management system within the four-year period preceding the “cutoff date” established for the RIF. A Presumptive – Status 4 presumes the employee is contributing consistently with his/her EOCS representative of his/her basic pay level by recommending the EOCS for the OCS, a Fully Successful RoR, and a PAQL of 3 for each of the three appraisal factors.
5) Presumptive Status 5: Reserved for Reduction-in-Force related Procedures for Employees Absent for Military Service. For reduction-in-force purposes, employees who are absent for military service will receive a CCAS assessment, a recommended OCS, and be assigned a rating of record provided they have performed work for 90 consecutive calendar days immediately preceding prior to September 30 (the end of the rating cycle) and under an approved contribution plan for a minimum of 90 consecutive calendar days. If an employee absent for military service has not performed work 90 consecutive calendar days immediately preceding the end of the cycle and under an approved contribution plan for a minimum of 90 days and has no rating of record under any performance management system within the previous four-year period, the employee will be presumed to be contributing consistently with his/her EOCS representative of his/her basic pay level and will receive the rating of record most frequently given among the actual ratings of record in the same competitive area.
a. Will receive a CCAS assessment, OCS, RoR, and PAQL scores provided they have performed work under an approved plan for a minimum of 90 calendar days and for 90 consecutive calendar days immediately before the end of the rating cycle.
b. If an employee absent for military service does not meet the two 90-day requirements and has no RoR under any performance management system within the previous four-year period, the employee will be presumed to be contributing consistently with his/her EOCS representative of his/her basic pay level and will receive the RoR most frequently given (modal) among the actual ratings of record in the same competitive area.
c. Employees who do not meet the 90-calendar days immediately before the end of the rating cycle requirement but have a RoR under any performance management system within the four-year period preceding the RIF “cutoff date” will receive a CCAS RoR consistent with this previous RoR and will be assigned their most recent RoR and associated PAQLs as the new CCAS RoR for the appraisal cycle. This new CCAS RoR will be treated as assessed performance.
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: (UPDATED) Bargaining unit employees who are covered under a collective bargaining agreement may grieve CCAS OCS – categorical and numerical scores, rating of record, PAQLs, and the supervisor narrative assessment under the grievance-arbitration provisions of their negotiated agreement. Executive Order (EO) 14003, Protecting the Federal Workforce revokes EO 13839, "Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit Systems Principles,” to include, “Managing the Federal Workforce,” Section 4(a)(i) and (ii) state respectively: "To promote good morale in the Federal workforce, employee accountability, and high performance, and to ensure the effective and efficient accomplishment of agency missions and the efficiency of the Federal service, to the extent consistent with law, no agency shall: (a) subject to grievance procedures or binding arbitration disputes concerning: (i) the assignment of ratings of record; or (ii) the award of any form of incentive pay, including cash awards; quality step increases; or recruitment, retention, or relocation payments."
(Reference Operating Guide, Chapter 6, July 31, 2020 and EO 14003, January 22, 2021)
Answer: Under the new guidance for a CIP, if an employee’s annual Overall Contribution Score or a contribution factor score during the year falls above the upper rail of the normal pay range, the employee would be considered to have inadequate contributions and receive a Rating of Record of Level 1 – Unacceptable. Likewise, if the employee’s performance fails to meet the quality of work and required results for the goals and objectives set forth in his/her contribution plan on at least one of the appraisal factors, the employee would receive a Performance Appraisal Quality Level (PAQL) of 1-Unacceptable as the annual assessment or as an individual factor assessment during a rating cycle. In either situation, it is required for a supervisor to include mandatory consideration of a CIP that may result in a contribution-based action when determining the appropriate course of action to take. See column DX of the Data Tab of the CMS to determine which employees would be under consideration for a CIP.
(Reference AcqDemo Operating Guide, Chapter 7, July 31, 2020.)
Answer: CAS2Net User Guides are available under the “Training” tab on the AcqDemo website. Click here. Click on them under Training as illustrated in the screen capture below.
Answer: There are hot links to each tab on the Instructions Tab. Just click on the hot link for the tab you want to see.
Answer: From the Add-ins Button, click “customize” then you can rename Pay Pool numbers to more meaningful names, revert to original names, or even change display order of Pay Pool data. Alphabetical default may not make sense given the data. Also, if Wildcard Statistics have been created, use the Wildcard Radio Button to reorder Wildcard data. See screen captures below.
Answer: Your browser has stored the old version of the Calculator. Hit CTRL and F5 while in your browser to request a complete page refresh. To access the Conversion Calculator please click https://acqdemo.hci.mil/tools.html then scroll down and select Conversion Calculator (HTML).