WASHINGTON, DC  – Today Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, sent the following letter to Secretary Gates requesting that DOD halt National Security Personnel System (NSPS) conversions until a thorough review of the system is concluded.

Dear Secretary Gates:

 The National Security Personnel System (NSPS) of the Department of Defense (DOD) made wholesale changes to the current federal employee system, resulting in widespread distrust and discontent within the ranks of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated DOD employees, both among those who have been converted and those who have not yet been converted to NSPS.

 Recent reports from both the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office highlight concerns over the cost of NSPS versus its benefits as well as the lack of transparency in the new system and the negative impact on employees.  Questions also have arisen over the last minute issuance of regulations (in the final weeks of the Bush Administration) which go beyond the intent of Congress when it enacted revisions to NSPS in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.

 During the campaign, President Obama indicated that he would consider either a repeal of NSPS or its complete overhaul.  Because it will take some time for a review and a determination of the best course of action to occur, we urge you to immediately halt the conversion of any additional employees to NSPS at any level or any location until the Administration and Congress can properly address the future of the Department’s personnel system.  

 We request a prompt response to this letter. 


IKE SKELTON                                                   SOLOMON P. ORTIZ

Chairman                                                        Chairman

House Armed Services Committee                       Readiness Subcommittee