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Highlights

The subcommittees asked the Comptroller General of the United States to discuss recent human capital reform efforts at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). In 2004, GAO conducted its first ever market-based compensation study after laying the necessary foundation by implementing a modern, competency-based performance management system. GAO hired a top compensation consulting firm on a competitive basis to conduct a market-based pay study using generally accepted approaches and based on independent and professional judgment. As a result of the study, the 2006 pay ranges for about 25 percent of GAO's employees were raised and about 10 percent of GAO's employees were determined to be paid above market levels based on their roles, responsibilities, and/or relative performance. No GAO employee has had his or her pay cut as a result of GAO's classification and compensation changes. Still, GAO's approach to market-based pay and related Band II restructuring efforts, which were very challenging and likely unprecedented in government, have been the source of considerable attention and some controversy.

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