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Army DCIPS FAQs



The following FAQs are intended to provide answers to common questions regarding Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS). The HQDA-ODCS, G-2 Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) will update these FAQs as new information becomes available. DCIPS Background and Overview

Q: What is DCIPS?

A: The Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) is a Title 10 Excepted Service civilian Human Capital management system for the DoD Intelligence Community. DCIPS legislation was passed in October 1996 and it provides the Secretary of Defense the authority to establish a separate personnel system to meet the unique needs of the Defense Intelligence Community. This authority was delegated to the Under Secretary for Defense (Intelligence) (USD(I)) and Human Capital Management Office (HCMO). DCIPS includes:
  • A new occupational structure that defines work in terms of work categories and work levels;
  • A common Pay Banding and Compensation architecture that is associated with the work categories and work levels throughout the Intelligence Community (IC);
  • A common performance management system to measure employee work accomplishments achieved against work objectives; and
  • A comprehensive career management program that will provide a roadmap for a career path.
Q:Why do we need DCIPS?

A: DCIPS strengthens our ability to accomplish the mission in our ever-changing national security environment.
  • DCIPS accelerates the Intelligence Community’s (IC) use of a Total Force, to include military, civilian personnel, Military Reserves, National Guard, and contractors, operating as one cohesive unit with each performing the work most suitable to their skills.
  • DCIPS provides a civilian human resources system that appropriately recognizes and rewards our employees’ performance and their contributions to the Department of Defense (DoD) and individual component missions.
  • DCIPS also provides new tools to retain and reward our current high-performing workforce, and provides modern initiatives for the IC to be a more competitive employer of choice in order to recruit new employees with the competencies needed to meet the Army Intelligence mission.
Q: When did we convert to DCIPS?

A: Army Intelligence functional community converted to DCIPS in July 2009. Subsequently, due to provisions in National Defense Authority Act (NDAA) of 2010, we transitioned from a DCIPS pay banded system back to a DCIPS GS-like graded system in March 2012.

Q: Who from Army is coordinating DCIPS implementation/sustainment?

A: The HQDA-ODCS, G-2 Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) serves as the headquarters for DCIPS implementation throughout Army Intelligence and coordinates policy and implementation efforts with offices such as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 for Civilian Personnel, Office of the General Council, and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASA(M&RA)).

Q: How will I receive information about DCIPS?

A: Here are the key ways for you to receive information:
Updates from your Command Civilian Intelligence Transformation Manager (CITM);•

DCIPS website;

The EYE of DCIPS monthly newsletter.

Q: How will I benefit from DCIPS implementation?

A: DCIPS will:
  • Allow DoD’s mission and goals to cascade through the organization which affords employees the opportunity to link performance expectations to the overall mission;
  • Clarifies the link between an employee’s contribution and the organizational goals to help the employee to understand their role in achieving the overall mission;
  • Provide employees greater opportunities for recognition and higher pay based on individual performance;
  • Promote more open communication between supervisors and employees;
  • Encourage employees to take ownership of their performance improvements and success;
  • Improve employee understanding of their role in career development, progression and professional achievement.
Q: Will there be software to assist in DCIPS implementation?

A: Yes. DCIPS processes will be enabled through software tools that will interact with our existing Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS). Here is a description of the tools that will be used:
  • My Biz allows employees on-line access to view information from their official personnel records including appointment, position, salary, benefits, awards, bonuses and performance. In addition, employees can update their work telephone number, email address, handicap codes, ethnicity and race identification, and foreign language proficiency.
  • My Workplace brings key information about personnel together in one place for supervisors. My Workplace keeps supervisors informed about their employees’ personnel actions. After conversion to DCIPS, the Performance Appraisal Application (PAA) tool which is part of My Workplace, will be used to generate and maintain performance plans.
Q: What happens to my retirement, health insurance, and other benefits if I move into DCIPS?

A: DCIPS does not impact the rules governing retirement benefits and eligibility, health and life insurance, leave, attendance, and other similar benefits.

Q: Who within the Army Intelligence functional community are covered by DCIPS?

A: Positions/employees appointed to federal service under 10 USC 1601. There are three categories of employees: GG (Grades Equivalent to GS), Federal Wage System (WG, WL, etc) and Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service (DISES)/Senior Leaders (DISL). Only the GG employees and select FWS employees are in DCIPS. DISES/DISL employees are not in DCIPS.

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DCIPS Training

Q: What is the plan for providing DCIPS training to the Army Intelligence community?

A: DCIPS training requirements consists of annual training requirements for Bonus Group Members, and sustainment refresher training mainly geared to Command Intelligence Transformation Managers, and Data Administrators. Army will provide training for transition mainly through Web Based Training (WBT) developed by USD(I) and ODNI. Army will supplement this training by providing Army specific training needed to transition consisting of WBT module(s) on Army’s transition to a DCIPS graded structure. Where feasible, Instructor Led Training (ILT) such as HR practitioners, Pay Pools In Action, and SMART Objectives Workshop will be made available. See the full suite of WBT and ILT available at: http://dcips.dtic.mil/training.html.

Q: What does the DCIPS training curriculum look like? What types of courses will we have to take?

A: Employees and supervisors must take DCIPS 101 before taking any other training courses. DCIPS 101 is an online training course that serves as the first step in getting you ready for the change. This course touches on the core elements critical to DCIPS implementation. For a complete list of DCIPS training courses, please visit http://dcips.dtic.mil/training.html.

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Occupational Structure

Q:What is the DCIPS graded structure within Army?

Work Categories
Technician/
Administrative Support
Professional Supervision/Management
Entry/
Developmental GG 5, 6, 7
   
Full Performance GG 8, 9, 10 Entry/Developmental GG 7, 8, 9, 10  
Senior GG 11, 12, 13 Full Performance GG 11, 12, 13 Supervisor/ Manager
(Full Performance)
GG 11, 12, 13
  Senior GG 14 Supervisor/Manager
(Senior)
GG 14
  Expert GG 15 Supervisor/Manager
(Expert)
GG 15


Q: Which occupational series are considered “professional” and “technical and administrative support” work categories?

A: The Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 652 defines the occupational structure and work categories for the Intelligence Community (IC). The work categories describe broad sets of related occupational groups characterized by common types of work. In applying these criteria, IC components will base their decisions on the work category most applicable to the predominant type of work performed or assigned (e.g., primary purpose of the work, required qualifications), except as otherwise provided by the ICD 652. When you take and complete DCIPS 101, you will have the opportunity to see what work category your position maps to under DCIPS by using the Conversion Calculator referenced above.

Q: Can location of the position have an impact on the classification of the position?

A: The location of a position is not a classification factor under DCIPS. Position classification under DCIPS considers the overall nature and purpose of the position's duties and responsibilities, along with the required qualifications. A position's classification is based on work that is performed on a regular and frequent basis, is crucial to the position's primary purpose, and governs the primary qualifications.

Q: Will there be a limit on the number of employees allowed in each of the work levels?

A: Within DCIPS, USD(I) currently restricts the number of high grades (GG-14’s/GG-15’s).

Q: What mechanisms are in place to reward those employees that are high performers who are at the max of the grade level, but are unable to be promoted to the next grade (for one reason or another, such as lack of available billets)?

A: Those employees who are at the maximum end of their grade level and are high performers will be treated in the same fashion as those employees who are high performers but at the highest step within their current GG-level.. Employees at the top of their grade level will still be eligible to receive non-monetary performance awards as well as annual performance bonuses based on their performance rating. DCIPS remains subject to biweekly and aggregate pay caps as dictated by statue.

Q: What are mission categories and occupational groups?

A: Mission categories broadly classify work as it aligns to budget categories for the National Intelligence Program and the Military Intelligence Program.

Mission categories include Collection and Operations; Processing and Exploitation; Analysis and Production; Research and Technology; Enterprise Information Technology; Enterprise Management and Support; and Mission Management.

Occupational groups include positions that have similar qualifications and career patterns.

Q: What is a position description and how is it used?

A: Position description (PDs) describe the title, series, roles, and roles, and responsibilities of a particular position in the organization, including the major duties employees in that position are assigned on a regular and recurring basis. Each employee’s PD describes at least 80% of the duties he/she performs on a regular basis.

Q: What happens if I am assigned to a PD that does not really fit my job?

A: Contact your supervisor to be reassigned to a more appropriate PD. An Accurate position description should cover at least 80% of your regular and recurring duties.

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Employment and Placement

Q: I have a vacant position that needs to be filled on a temporary basis. Can I temporarily promote or detail an individual to fill it?

A: You may detail an individual to the position but temporary promotions, i.e., temporary assignments with an increase in pay, are not used under DCIPS. The employee’s assumption of additional duties should be documented by an appropriate detail personnel action and clearly noted in his/her performance appraisal. By doing so, the employee is assured of consideration for a potential performance-based pay increase or bonus for his/her additional contributions during the annual pay pool process.

Q: How are trial periods handled under DCIPS?

A: All employees newly appointed to DCIPS will be required to serve a two-year DCIPS trial period. An employee serving a trial period at the time of conversion into DCIPS pay bands will complete the trial period in the new position and will be deemed to have completed a DCIPS trial period. Current Intelligence Community (IC) employees who are in a trial period, and who are appointed to a DCIPS position, will finish their trial period in the DCIPS appointment and will be deemed to have completed a DCIPS trial period. Employees who have served a trial period in another IC organization are not required to serve another trial period.

Q: I still have questions regarding hiring flexibilities under DCIPS. Who should I contact?

A: Each DCIPS component is responsible for developing its individual staffing procedures. You should contact the Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) for additional information.

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Compensation

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Adjustment In Force

Q: What is an Adjustment In Force?

A: Adjustment In Force or AIF, is a DCIPS force shaping or reduction mechanism. AIF is the process used for releasing employees assigned to positions in designated competitive areas in order of their retention standing, determined by tenure, veterans’ preference, performance score, and length of service, when it is necessary to do so. Its purpose is similar to that of Reduction In Force, but is unique to the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System.

Q: When does AIF apply?

A: Components apply AIF policy and procedures when force shaping or reductions are necessary. Under DCIPS policy, components make every reasonable effort to avoid AIF through resource planning, job changes or retraining, voluntary early retirement authority, separation assistance, and pre-AIF placement including referral programs. After reasonable avoidance efforts have been made, an AIF would apply if force shaping or reductions are still necessary.

Q: What does AIF policy provide?

A: DCIPS AIF policy, found in DoDI 1400.25 Volume 2004, provides policy for the systematic release of employees from competitive areas identified for an AIF.

Q: What are some reasons why my component would consider an AIF?

A: Situations that could result in an AIF are many and varied. They include such situations as lack of work, shortage/lack of funds, reduction of civilian manpower, reorganization or restructuring. In some cases, an AIF could result from another employee’s exercise of reemployment or restoration rights.

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Awards and Recognition

Q: What is the maximum lump-sum monetary award that can be given without an exception to policy?

A: The maximum lump-sum monetary award paid to a DCIPS employee shall be an appropriate amount relative to the special act or effort, but will not exceed $2,000.

Q: What is a DQI?

A: A DQI is a quality step increase to an employee’s salary, awarded to an employee whose performance evaluation of record identify them as top performers for the current rating period by being in a percentage of top ratings for the Command. ACOMs, DRUs, ASCCs, and the AASA have the option to select a percentage from 1% - 10%, not to exceed 10%. An employee may not receive more than one DQI in any 52-week period. An employee may not receive a DQI if the employee has received an award based in whole or in part on the performance being recommended for recognition.

Q: What is a DCIPS SQI

A: A DCIPS SQI provides the highest base-pay increase monetary award available to employees of under the DCIPS graded structure. The DCIPS SQI is a sustained performance award reserved to recognize truly exemplary sustained performance. The award consists of a base-pay increase monetary award in the form of an increase in an employee’s pay of two steps at their current grade. Commander’s of the ACOMs, DRUs, ASCCs, and the AASA may use the SQI to reward employees who were deemed initially eligible for consideration (Commander’s, as defined above, may choose from employees whose performance evaluations of record identify them as top performers by being in a percentage of top scores for the components, which shall not exceed 10 percent) for a base-pay increase monetary award for 3 consecutive years, the current and two preceding performance evaluation cycles. Employees need not have received a DQI during the preceding 2 years. Employees to be awarded an SQI must have been under the DCIPS Performance Management system and in the same DCIPS grade for the last 3 years. Time spent under DCIPS bands may be considered if the employee’s current grade was encompassed in the prior band in the same work category. An employee may not receive more than one SQI during any 3-year period.

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Disciplinary and Adverse Actions

Q: What is progressive discipline?

A: A series of actions ranging from counseling, oral admonishment, letter of caution, and written reprimand, to suspension designed to correct repeated acts of inappropriate behavior or misconduct.

Q: What is appealable?

A: Army DCIPS employees may appeal their removal, suspension of more than 14 calendar days, reduction in grade or pay, or furlough for 30 calendar days or less.

Q: What is not appealable?

A: (1) Termination or expiration of a term or temporary appointment; (2) Any action taken under AIR proceedings; (3) Any action taken pursuant to national security including determinations regarding eligibility for access to classified, compartmented, or other controlled access information; (4) The terms of any mediated agreement that an Army DCIPS employee is a part to resulting from participation in an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program.

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Employee Grievances

Q: What may be grieved?

A: Army DCIPS employees to present grievances on workplace issues that occurred during employment in an Army DCIPS position. NOTE: There are multiple exclusions in APV-2014 to include such things as (1) The content of established DoD or Army regulations and policy; (2) The content of DoD or Army alignment and qualification standards; (3) The substance of an Army DCIPS employee’s performance elements, standards, or work objectives; (4) A rater or reviewing official’s determination of ratings against performance objectives and elements, including an Army DCIPS employee’s evaluation of record; (5) Adverse performance or conduct-based actions (e.g., reductions in work level, pay band or pay, suspensions of more than 14 calendar days, furloughs of 30 calendar days or less, or removal); (6) Non-selection for a position or promotion as the result of an approved candidate evaluation process, or failure to receive a noncompetitive assignment or promotion; (7) Determinations concerning additional compensation including the denial or non-receipt of monetary and non-monetary awards, bonuses, allowances or differentials; (8) Any action taken under AIF or expiration of appointment; (9) Termination during trial period; etc.

Q: Who is the Deciding Official on a formal grievance?

A: The Commanders of the Army Commands (ACOMs), Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs), Direct Reporting Units (DRUs) and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (AASA) serve as the Deciding Official for formal Army DCIPS grievances, unless (1) directly involved in the matter being grieved; or (2) Further delegated in writing, by position title IAW HQDA, G-2 Delegated Civilian Human Resources Authorities.

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General Performance Management

Q: How is Performance Management going to change under DCIPS?

A: The DCIPS performance management system is intended to provide a common framework and a fair and equitable process for evaluating performance throughout the Department of Defense (DoD). With the implementation of DCIPS in 2009, the Army Intelligence functional and HR communities no longer use Total Army Performance Evaluation System (TAPES). DCIPS mandates the use of the Performance Appraisal Assessment (PAA) Tool, an automated performance management system; a change from the paper-based TAPES. The PAA Tool shows relevant performance elements and performance objectives for each employee and also captures a midpoint and final rating.

Employees will continue to be encouraged to take ownership of their performance and success. Civilian employees at all levels will be recognized for their success and their accomplishments, and conversely, held accountable for poor results of their work. Open communication between supervisors and employees will continue to be critical to ensure that goals and objectives are clearly communicated and understood by both employees and supervisors.

Q: How does the DCIPS performance management process more closely link organizational and agency-wide objectives to individual performance objectives?

A: DCIPS can help create a line of sight showing how command/division, work unit, and individual performance contribute to the overall Army Intelligence functional and National Intelligence community results. Usually when employees are able to see how their work is connected to the strategic plan and how it affects the entire Army Intelligence functional community, they are more committed to performing at a higher level. Mission-support employees can also connect to the strategic plan under relevant goals for their workstreams. A critical aspect is that each employee develops performance objectives that can be aligned with the needs of the organization. At the end of the appraisal cycle, employees can then see how their work benefited the overall mission.

Q: What is the process for executing t DCIPS performance management responsibilities?

A: The DCIPS performance cycle within Army each year will begin on 1 October and run through 30 September. Within 30-days of the beginning of the performance management cycle, supervisors and employees will draft and discuss 3 to 6 individual performance objectives. Supervisors will input these objectives into the PAA Tool after discussion with their employees. Then Reviewing Officials will review and approve the performance objectives in the PAA Tool. Throughout the performance cycle, supervisors and employees will continue to have discussions on employee performance. About halfway through the performance cycle, employees will be rated on their progress toward meeting their performance objectives and their supervisor’s rating will be inputted into the PAA Tool. The final employee rating will occur in October. The final rating will be used for evaluating employee performance bonuses and DCIPS Quality Increases/Sustained Quality Increases in November. Any payout will be made effect the beginning of the first full pay period in January.

Q: Under DCIPS, will there be a standard supervisor-to-employee ratio? If so, what is it?

A: There will not be a standard ratio, but it’s well recognized that DCIPS’ emphasis on performance management will require more supervisory and management time and attention. Senior leaders will assess their organizations to determine whether structural adjustments are needed so that managers and supervisors can effectively plan and rate performance, and provide useful performance feedback.

Q: What safeguards are in place to ensure fairness in the performance management process?

A: To encourage effective use of DCIPS, and integrity in DCIPS-related activities, each agency implementing DCIPS will establish a Performance Review Authority (PRA) that will establish transparent procedures that will include setting expectations, monitoring processes, auditing and evaluating results, providing employees an avenue to appeal their performance ratings, and holding managers and employees accountable.

Q: I am a military supervisor so I am not under DCIPS but my employees are under DCIPS. How does this affect my role as their supervisor?

A: Military supervisors and GS supervisors are responsible for planning, evaluating, rating, documenting and providing feedback on their employee’s performance. So even though the military supervisors and GS supervisors are not under DCIPS, it is critical that they learn about DCIPS since their employees will be affected by DCIPS. Military supervisors and GS supervisors should look at this as an opportunity to use their leadership skills to mentor their employees and help their employees achieve their individual goals.

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Performance Objectives

Q: Can commands develop a standard objective for employees in similar positions?

A: Commands are discouraged from developing standard performance objectives for employees because objectives must be tailored to the unique responsibilities and assignments of individual employees and provide the specific objectives that each is expected to accomplish. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to use iSuccess, an on-line application tool, to help develop effective job objectives. iSuccess is a self-paced, interactive course that uses a step-by-step approach, as well as a “virtual coach” and “virtual employees” to teach employees how to write SMART performance objectives and self-assessments.

Q: Does the Reviewing Official have to approve the form with the performance objectives before it is discussed with the employee?

A: Yes, all performance objectives must be reviewed and approved by the Reviewing Official before the Rating Official discusses them with the employee. This is to ensure consistency among the employees under the Reviewing Official’s purview.

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Performance Ratings

Q:Is there a quota for assigning ratings?

A: No. There are no quotas for assigning ratings to employees across the Army Intelligence functional community.

Q: Does the PRA change ratings?

A: Under DCIPS, the Performance Review Authority (PRA) has the authority to change ratings. If the PRA has concerns regarding a rating, he/she should first return evaluations to the Reviewing Official and subsequently the Rating Official for clarification and additional justification before ratings are finalized. However, if the Rating Official/Reviewing Official refuses to make the change, any rating deemed not supportable or consistent with other ratings given within the purview of the PRA may be changed by that individual. The role of the PRA is to ensure a review and consistency in the rating process throughout the organization for which the PRA has purview over.

Q: Are final performance ratings scored to one decimal point (i.e., can employees receive a score of 3.8)?

A: Yes, each performance objective and each performance element on the performance assessment form receives a rating of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). An employee's final score is based on an average of these scores and are averaged to one decimal point (3.8).

Q: Can I receive a rating of "Outstanding" even if my supervisor does not rate me as a 5 on each performance objective and each performance element?

A: Yes, the overall rating is an average of the performance element rating and the performance objective rating. An overall rating of 4.6 or higher will result in an Evaluation of Record of "Outstanding."

Q: Can organizations change performance management cycle due dates?

A: Due dates are in accordance DoD IC policies and cannot be changed. However, organizations can move the dates earlier to ensure compliance with policy deadlines and allow adequate time for the review process to take place.

Q: What is the appeals process for employees to “grieve” ratings?

A: An employee you may challenge only the overall evaluation of record. The individual performance objectives rating and the individual performance elements rating are not subject to the reconsideration process unless a change to the individual objective or element ratings would have resulted in an increase to numeric score of the overall evaluation of record.

An employee has 10 calendar days from the receipt day to file a written request for reconsideration with the PRA. A copy of the request and the evaluation must be sent to the Rating Official, the Reviewing Official, and CPAC MER. The request for reconsideration may include a request for discussion with the Command PM PRA. The request must include a copy of the rating being challenged, state what change is being requested, and provide the employee’s basis for requesting the change. The employee must also provide relevant supporting documentation.

An employee may identify someone to act as their representative to assist in pursuing the reconsideration request. Their representative may not have any real or perceived conflict of interest regarding the request for reconsideration. The Command PM PRA shall determine whether there is any potential conflict of interest.

The Command PM PRA has 15 calendar days to decide. During this time, the Command PM PRA may confer with the Rating Official about the reconsideration. Once a decision is relayed by the Command PM PRA, the employee may see further and final reconsideration from the Army PM PRA (HQDA, ADCS, G-2). The decision of the Army PRA is final.

If the employee makes an allegation that the overall evaluation was based on prohibited considerations, such as race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, or reprisal; on prohibited personnel practices; or on protections against whistleblower reprisal, then it will not be processed through the reconsideration process. Instead, it will be processed through the Equal Employment Opportunity discrimination complaint procedures,

Q: Under the DCIPS performance management If we all get an overall evaluation of rating sore of 3, do we all get the same bonus amount?

A: That is unlikely because each raw score for performance objectives are averaged, and are likely to extend to a decimal. The same occurs when calculating the performance element score. Performance objectives are then computed to equate for 60% of the rating and performance objectives computed to equate for 40% of the evaluation score. This final score is carried out one decimal place, and the exact numeric score is used in making bonus pool decisions. Likewise, the bonus determination is also calculated based upon the midpoint of the employee’s work level.

Q: What safeguards will be in place to guard against individual employees trying to game the system and take credit for someone else’s work?

A: There are several protections built into the DCIPS performance management system to make sure that your work is properly evaluated and credited. Every employee will be rated against performance objectives that are developed between the supervisor and the employee. These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Next, with the priority in the Intelligence Community being collaboration and teamwork, all employees are required to assess their performance against a common performance element, Engagement and Collaboration. Finally, the rater narratives will serve as the justification for the overall summary rating, and must be distinct and separate for any rating above or below Successful. The Reviewing Official will see both employee and rater narratives as part of the process, working to ensure ratings are fair, accurate and that all criteria is applied in a consistent manner across the organization.

Q: Despite all the emphasis on “teamwork,” being evaluated and thus paid on performance as a team member, doesn’t this system really encourage individuals to strike out on their own to excel – “I can be no better than the average of my team, but alone I can shine,” even to the point of making others look bad?

A: DCIPS will recommend bonuses to employees according to their performance ratings against standards that value six key behaviors, called Performance Elements, including teamwork. Collaboration is a critical performance element across the Intelligence Community, reflected in DCIPS performance rating criteria. Your average rating against your six performance elements makes up respectfully 60/40% of your overall performance rating. “How” you go about accomplishing your goals is equally important as “what” you accomplish.

Q: How will a supervisor rate an employee’s performance if the employee works at a separate location or a different shift than the supervisor?

A: Performance management is a priority for supervisors, managers, and employees under DCIPS. The success of a supervisor's performance is linked to the performance of their employees and the execution of performance management and pay-for-performance responsibilities. Supervisors are accountable for those employees who work at remote locations and on other shifts.

Q: What is the impact of an unsuccessful rating?

A: The initial dialogue between the employee and the supervisor sets the stage for follow-up midpoint and evaluation reviews throughout the rating period. If performance issues or deficiencies are identified, supervisors should contact the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Management Employee Relations (CPAC MER) for guidance which may include instituting a formal process such as placing an employee on a DCIPS Improvement Plan (IP).

Before giving an employee an “Unacceptable” rating, an employee must have provided the employee the opportunity to improve with the IP at least 60-90 days before the final rating. The IP identifies the:
  • Performance objective(s) and/or performance element(s) that are being performed in an unacceptable manner
  • Actions needed to be taken to meet the objective(s) and/or element(s)
  • Assistance that will be provided
  • Consequences for failing to improve during the IP period of 60-90 days
If an employee does end up receiving a rating of "1" on any performance objective, the overall evaluation of record is a rating of "Unacceptable” with no eligible for bonus consideration.

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Special Circumstances

Q: If I experience a change of rater in the middle of the performance cycle, how is this handled under DCIPS?

A: When your rater changes, your original rater (from the start of the performance cycle) completes a closeout performance evaluation as part of a close-out process. At the end of the performance cycle, your new rater considers the closeout performance evaluation when conducting your performance appraisal for the end of the evaluation period.

Q: How do supervisors rate deployed employees?

A: Closeout performance evaluations shall be completed for all employees detailed to another organization and on deployments for periods of 90 days or more. Such evaluations shall be completed by a supervisor or manager responsible for the employee’s work while on detail or deployment. The completed closeout evaluation shall be forwarded to the employee’s Rating Official for consideration in the preparation of the annual performance evaluation.

Q: I was on a temporary assignment for 75 days. How is the work that I accomplished during that period documented?

A: For periods of deployment or temporary assignment for 90 days or less, the supervisor at the location of deployment or temporary assignment who is knowledgeable of the employee’s contributions to that organization will provide a brief narrative of the employee’s contributions during the deployment for submission to the employee’s Rating Official at the parent command or organization.

Employees, in their submission of accomplishments for the evaluation period, should include a brief summary of their accomplishments during any deployments or temporary assignments completed during the current performance evaluation period.

Rating Officials are responsible for ensuring that all periods of deployment or temporary assignment in support of the Army, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community missions are considered and documented during the end-of-year performance evaluation.

Q: What if an individual returning from active military duty does not have the required 90 days of civilian service at the close of the rating period?

A: Employees who return to their civilian positions following a period of active military duty will be awarded a presumptive rating of record. The presumptive rating will be their last summary rating of record prior to departure for uniformed military service, but not less than a summary rating of "Successful" for the rating period that has closed.

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Performance Based Bonus

Q: What is the CWB?

A: The Compensation Workbench (CWB) is a tool used by DCIPS organizations to facilitate their pay pool panel meetings. It is a spreadsheet that contains all the functionality needed to conduct an effective pay pool. For Army, pay pools are also known as bonus groups. The CWB uses a formula that automatically reconciles performance ratings, employee salary in relation to the midpoint of the work level, and the budget available that makes a preliminary recommendation for PBBs for each employee in the Bonus Group. In the case of the PBB program, Army is utilizing a streamlined version of the CWB to facilitate the administration (bonus determination only versus pay; NGA is the only organization that would use the full CWB).

Q: When will the CWB tool be available for access?

A: The exact release date of the final version of the CWB tool has not yet been communicated. USD(I) will release the final version of the CWB once completed. However, a test version is projected to be release by 31 July followed-up by a training version to be released by 31 August. In November, employee’s final ratings are transferred from the Performance Appraisal Application (PAA) tool to the CWB.

Q: Can Special Act Awards or Time Off Awards be accounted for in the CWB?

A: Yes. Special Act Awards can be tracked in Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS) and should be downloaded as the part of the process to populate the CWB. Other awards, such as Time-Off Awards may need to be tracked separately and provided by the data administrator or supervisor.

Q: In the CWB, is locality pay or LMS included in the salary used to calculate the bonus budgets?

A: No. The salary amount used in the CWB is a base salary and does not include an adjustment for the local market supplement.

Q: What does DPAT stand for? What is it used for?

A: The DCIPS Payout Analysis Tool (DPAT) is a spreadsheet application that organizations may use to analyze the results of their Army DCIPS PBB process. The tool imports data from one or more Compensation Workbench (CWB) spreadsheets and automatically generates a variety of statistics, including rating distributions, bonus statistics, bonus group funding and allocations, and net draw. Because the tool accepts data in the format of actual CWB spreadsheets (.xls or.xlsx files) or the upload export files generated by the CWB, the DPAT can be used both during and after the bonus group process to analyze ratings and bonus results.

Q: Is the DPAT secure/password Protected?

A: The DPAT is a read only application that analyzes the results of a single bonus group or across multiple Bonus Groups. For that reason, the DPAT is particularly useful during the PBB Performance Review Authority (PBB PRA) review process. It is not password protected.

Q: Do employee notifications discuss all adjustments?

A: All adjustments made to bonuses generated by the CWB algorithm have to be documented within the CWB in the Pay Pool Panel Column and Notes Column worksheets and in accordance to the Army-wide, Command, or Organizational business rules. The rating/reviewing official must communicate the bonus dollar amount awarded to applicable employees. Employee notifications are also available for issuance, at the pay pools discretion, to employees who did not receive a bonus.

Q: Will the employee notice show the rating and bonus amount?

A: Yes, the employee’s rating is part of the notice, as well as the dollar amount of the bonus.

Q: How far in advance are employees notified of their bonus group assignments?

A: Employees shall be notified of their bonus group assignments as early as is practicable during the performance planning process, but in advance of commencement of bonus group deliberations. Employees should also be advised of their bonus group management.

Q: Are non-disclosure agreement forms required for the chain of command on employee notifications? Will employee notices include handling instructions (for privacy purposes)?

A: All involved in the bonus process are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement form (see Appendix E in the PBB Step-by-Step Guide for a sample form).

Q: How are closeouts or early annual performance evaluations included in the final rating and PBB program?

A: Closeouts may be considered but are not officially used in the calculation of the final rating. An early annual performance evaluation is used as the rating of record for an employee.

Q: Will there be guidance on pro-rating bonuses for employees?

A: Pro-rating PBBs is an option that may be considered by Commands, but must be established within the Command/organizational business rules prior to the initiation of the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) process. The PBB Step-by-Step Guide provides sample business rules that commands may wish to adopt or modify.

Q: What is the difference between PM PRA and PBB PRA positions?

A: The PM PRA is responsible for oversight of the performance management rating review processes. The PBB PRA approves the PBB decisions once Bonus Groups have met and reviewed the bonus recommendations generated by the CWB.

Q: Will performance evaluation closeout reviews go to the PM PRA as part of the statistical data?

A: The PM PRA will review the closeout rating for consistency and adherence to performance standards, but it will not be considered in the annual PM PRA review of evaluations of record.

Q: Who is the approving official?

A: The Command/Organizational PBB PRA is also the approving official of PBBs.

Q: What is the procedure if the PBB PRA is a member of the bonus group (pool)?

A: A PBB PRA will not supervise his or her own bonus group. Further, Bonus Board members should excuse themselves from any portion of the deliberations where their supervisors or their own ratings are discussed. Each command should develop business rules to mitigate potential conflicts of interest within the PBB program.

Q: Will Pay Pool Managers (known as Bonus Group Managers within Army) have training?

A: Bonus Group Managers training will take on-line training in preparation for the PB program. The training is available on the Data Administrators Website (see PBB Data Administrator for access to this training; additional PBB associated training is available on the Army DCIPS website).

Q: When will Army Business Rules be posted?

A: The Army G-2 will issue core business rules across Army; these business rules will be communicated along with other official PBB Program information in the in the fall prior to bonus groups convening. However, each command may develop its own business rules, based on the PBB Step-by-Step Guide sample, as long as they are not in conflict with Army G-2 issued rules.

Q: When does the bonus group process or PBB program have to be completed?

A: The PBB decision process should be completed by early December to allow for the CPAC processing centers to complete the administration of bonuses and DQI’s/SQI’s. The exact due date varies from year to year depending upon the effective date the bonus will be paid in the new year and deadlines that have to be met by the processing center. The exact date will be communicated to Data Administrators prior to the bonus groups convening.

Q: Why can only 50 percent of a bonus group receive a PBB?

A: Both USD(I) and Army policy state that 50 percent of a Bonus Group, if eligible, may receive a PBB. The purpose of PBBs is to make meaningful distinctions in performance and reward high performers.

Q: What if there are only 3 or 4 people in my Bonus Group and we all have very high ratings from 4.5 and up? Will only 50 percent of us still receive a PBB?

A: The policy is that PBBs are awarded to no more than 50 percent in a bonus group, but the bonus group manager may also award DQIs and SQIs (if eligibility criteria is met) to recognize performance. It is also possible that each Command may wish to have a minimum number of employees in a bonus group or combine small Bonus Groups so that more eligible employees are rewarded.

Q: Is the DQI/SQI Budget separate from the Bonus Budget?

A: There will be one budget for DQIs/SQIs and Bonuses. DQIs/SQIs are deducted from the Bonus Budget but a DQI/SQI does not impact the NTE 50% bonus limit. Awards and bonus guidance is subject to change from year to year and bonus and DQI/SQI guidance may not be relied upon in future years. HQDA G-2, Intelligence Personnel Management Office (IPMO) will issue bonus and DQI/SQI guidance specific to the handling of DCIPS employees on an annual basis prior to the convening of bonus groups. In general, the budget for the Bonus Group will typically be established by multiplying the Command approved percentage times the total base salaries of the employees assigned to the Bonus Group. The DQI/SQI budget historically will generally align with previous DQI/SQI trends and funding limitations, subject to annual guidance from HQDA G-2, IPMO and USD(I).

Q: What is the Bonus Budget Range?

A: The range of budget percentages will be determined by USD(I), and then the Army G-2 will adopt a range with each Command (ACOM, DRU, ASCC, or AASA) selecting an appropriate percentage.

Q: Where does the reconsideration budget come from?

A: The reconsideration budget is deducted from the overall bonus group budget. It is set aside prior to bonus determination.

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Professional Development

Q: What is the Intelligence Community (IC) Civilian Joint Duty Assignment (JDA) Program?

A: The IC Civilian Joint Duty Assignment Program is the civilian personnel rotation program designed specifically for employees of the IC. It is similar to the joint duty program designed for the military services. It offers civilians professional opportunities to broaden and enhance their careers by experiencing the Intelligence Enterprise beyond their home elements. The IC Civilian Joint Duty Program helps to develop intelligence professionals who value and foster collaboration.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in Joint Duty?

A: All government civilian intelligence professionals, starting at Grade GS-13, Pay Band 3, are eligible to participate in the Joint Duty program with their management’s approval. Contact your element’s Joint Duty Program Manager for other eligibility and application requirements.

Q: Why should I participate in Joint Duty?

A Joint Duty Assignment offers distinct, career advantages for participants:
  • Increased understanding of the scope and complexity of the IC
  • Opportunities to expand professional networks through interagency collaboration
  • Opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of other IC organizations as well as see how your element fits into the overall picture
Q: What will Joint Duty experience provide my home organization when I return?

A: Joint Duty Assignment offers your employing element a more valuable, more experienced intelligence professional with professional networks in other IC organizations.

Q: How do I find out more about the Joint Duty program?

A: Please contact your element’s Joint Duty Program Manager for information regarding Joint Duty. You can also visit the Joint Duty website on the classified system at http://icjointduty.ic.gov or you can access the unclassified network site at www.icjointduty.gov from .gov or .mil addresses.

Q: What are some of the ways to earn Joint Duty Credit?

A: There are many ways to earn Joint Duty Credit:
  • Completion of a Joint Duty rotational assignment of 12 or more months in another IC element after September 11, 2001
  • Participation in an assignment to another IC element of 12 or more months where you are “swapping” jobs with an employee of that element after September 11, 2001
  • Deployment to a designated combat zone for at least 179 days; or through multiple assignments lasting at least 90 days with a cumulative total of 179 days within a 36 month period
  • Service on an IC-wide committee or taskforce with a cumulative time of service of 12 months within a 36 month period where you are serving in a community role, not just representing your home element
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