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Critical to the success of the federal government's transformation are its people--human capital. Yet the government has not transformed, in many cases, how it classifies, compensates, develops, and motivates its employees to achieve maximum results within available resources and existing authorities. One of the questions being addressed as the federal government transforms is how to update its compensation system to be more market based and performance oriented. To further the discussion of federal pay reform, GAO, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the Partnership for Public Service convened a symposium on March 9, 2005, to discuss organizations' experiences with market-based and more performance-oriented pay systems. Representatives from public, private, and nonprofit organizations made presentations on the successes and challenges they experienced in designing and managing their market-based and more performance-oriented pay systems. A cross section of human capital stakeholders was invited to further explore these successes and challenges and engage in open discussion. While participants were asked to review the overall substance and context of the draft summary, GAO did not seek consensus on the key themes and supporting examples.

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