Next Steps in Human Capital Reform

June 4, 2003

Thank you for inviting me to testify before this Committee at this critical moment in civil service time. I believe the Committee’s proposed legislation to establish a Department of Defense national security personnel system marks an important step forward in crafting long-overdue changes to our outmoded human capital system in government.

First, the proposal provides needed clarification and specificity regarding the authorities to be granted to the Department of Defense. I have never believed in unfettered authority for the president, even in times of war. As I testified last year on the administration’s proposed legislation creating a Department of Homeland Security, Congress has an important role to play in providing details on the front-end of reform and oversight during implementation. The proposal now before this Committee does both. Indeed, it will almost certainly act as a template for other agencies that are even now lining up to request their own authorities to remodel their personnel systems.