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Highlights

Since 2001, Government Accountability Office (GAO) has designated strategic human capital management as a high-risk area because of the federal government's long-standing lack of a consistent approach to such management. In 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)) began developing a human capital system--called the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS)--to manage Department of Defense (DOD) civilian intelligence personnel. In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the extent to which DOD has (1) incorporated internal safeguards into DCIPS and monitored the implementation of these safeguards and (2) developed mechanisms to identify employee perceptions about DCIPS. GAO analyzed guidance, interviewed appropriate officials, and conducted discussion groups with employees at select DOD components. At the end of GAO's review, legislation was enacted that impacts, among other things, how DCIPS employees will be paid.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. To improve DOD's implementation of internal safeguards in DCIPS, and mechanisms to identify employee perceptions of it, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence issue guidance to institutionalize a process to involve employees continually in future design and implementation changes to DCIPS.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation to issue guidance to institutionalize a process to involve the employees continually in future design and implementation changes to the system--the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). DOD recently issued DOD Instruction 1400.24, Volume 2013, DCIPS Program Evaluation (Apr. 17, 2012). This instruction stipulates that the results of its enterprise-wide evaluations, which includes employee feedback and other metrics that gage employee and manager satisfaction with the efficiency and effectiveness of DCIPS policies, processes, and outcomes will be incorporated in DCIPS policy. Further, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence has conducted numerous employee surveys, focus groups, and town hall meetings and uses this feedback (e.g. surveys, focus groups, and town hall meetings) to inform its enterprise-wide assessment of the effectiveness of DCIPS policies and processes.
Department of Defense 2. To improve DOD's implementation of internal safeguards in DCIPS, and mechanisms to identify employee perceptions of it, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to issue guidance on its analysis of finalized ratings that explains how the demographic analysis of ratings is to be conducted, to help ensure equity, fairness, and non-discrimination in ratings.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation to issue guidance on the analysis of finalized ratings that explains how to conduct a demographic analysis of ratings, to help ensure the equity and fairness of ratings determined under the system--the Defense Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). On April 17, 2012, DOD issued DOD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2013, DCIPS Program Evaluation, which directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and the DOD components to annually examine the differences in performance-based payouts received by employees with different positions in a pay range, work categories, work levels, gender, ethnicity, age and other factors.
Department of Defense 3. To improve DOD's implementation of internal safeguards in DCIPS, and mechanisms to identify employee perceptions of it, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to finalize and execute its evaluation plan with metrics to assess the system, including the implementation of internal safeguards, to help ensure the department evaluates the impact of DCIPS.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation to finalize and execute its evaluation plan, with metrics, to assess the system, including the implementation of internal safeguards, to help ensure the department evaluates the impact of DCIPS. On April 17, 2012, DOD issued DOD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2013, DCIPS Program Evaluation, which directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to develop an annual DCIPS evaluation plan to be published in March of each calendar year. The instruction directs that the annual DCIPS evaluation plan will assess employee and manager satisfaction with the efficiency and effectiveness of DCIPS policies and processes and use core metrics to evaluate DCIPS. The metrics noted in the instruction include measuring transparency, diversity, competitiveness of the pay scale, and the rate of adverse actions and grievances, which the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence will use, along with the results from the Intelligence Community Climate Survey, to inform changes to DCIPS policy.
Department of Defense 4. To improve DOD's implementation of internal safeguards in DCIPS, and mechanisms to identify employee perceptions of it, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to expeditiously implement mechanisms--including the four surveys--that comprehensively and accurately identify and measure employee perceptions; and ensure those mechanisms include questions regarding certain safeguards, such as the internal grievance process and employees' acceptance of DCIPS.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with GAO's recommendation to finalize and execute its evaluation plan, with metrics, to assess the system, including the implementation of internal safeguards, to help ensure the department evaluates the impact of the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). On April 17, 2012, DOD issued DOD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2013, DCIPS Program Evaluation, which directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence to develop an annual DCIPS evaluation plan to be published in March of each calendar year. The instruction directs that the annual DCIPS evaluation plan will assess employee and manager satisfaction with the efficiency and effectiveness of DCIPS policies and processes and use core metrics to evaluate DCIPS. The metrics noted in the instruction include measuring transparency, diversity, competitiveness of the pay scale, and the rate of adverse actions and grievances, which the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence will use, along with the results from the Intelligence Community Climate Survey, to inform changes to DCIPS policy.

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