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Click here for more information regarding the evolution of DCIPS: DCIPS Evolution Timeline

What is it?

The Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS), formerly known as the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System (CIPMS), is a Title 10 Excepted Service Human Capital System and is jointly managed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASA (M&RA)), and Headquarter Department of the Army (HQDA), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (ODCS) G-2, Intelligence Personnel management Office (IPMO). DCIPS is an enterprise Intelligence Community (IC) personnel system that is a mission-focused and founded in Army policies that support employee performance, career development opportunities, awards and recognition. DCIPS offers Army Leadership the flexibility to hire employees across the IC and promotes a culture that is based upon employee performance.


DCIPS was authorized in the FY 1997 Intelligence Authorization Act, but the flexibilities it contained took on new urgency following the 11 September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Both the 9/11 Commission and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission reports that were prepared following 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq identified disparate personnel policies within the Intelligence Community as a contributing factor in the perpetuation of a culture that eschewed collaboration across organizational boundaries. Following from those reports, and separate Congressional hearings and investigations, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 was enacted, creating the Director of the national Intelligence, (DNI) and directing that the DNI issue personnel regulations that would support and reinforce the Act’s mandate to unify the IC were issued.

Since the creation of the DNI, the Defense Department and the Office of the DNI (ODNI) have worked collaboratively on the development of a common human capital policy framework that would support unification of the IC, with DCIPS as the embodiment of what has become known as the National Intelligence Civilian Compensation Program (NICCP) framework within the Defense Intelligence Enterprise. DCIPS continues to provide the common policy framework and uniform performance management approach that underpin the DNI’s and the Secretary of Defense’s (SECDEF’s) mandate to unify the IC in support of the national security mission.

The Army converted to pay bands in 2009. While policies, guidance and training were made available to Army DCIPS employees, there were concerns about the quality, quantity and consistency of training and messaging, often varying by command and/or geographic location.

In January 2010, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) was engaged to conduct a review of DCIPS. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (NDAA FY2010) directed the review and at the same time suspended certain pay authorities, including the base‐pay setting portions related to performance until 31 December 2010. The NAPA report ( was delivered in June 2010 and found that the design of DCIPS was fundamentally sound but noted that implementation had been flawed. It addressed in detail DCIPS design, implementation and impact, and made 25 recommendations.

On 3 August 2010, the SECDEF informed Congress that he had considered the NAPA findings and recommendations, and would implement several of them, but would not accept their recommendation to move forward with implementation of the DCIPS policies linking employee base pay increases to performance in the Defense Intelligence Enterprise (except within the National Geospatial‐Intelligence Agency that had been operating under pay for performance for over a decade). As a result, the Army which had already converted to the DCIPS pay‐for‐performance banded structure, would need to transition to a General Schedule–like grade structure overlaid onto the DCIPS policy framework. In his accompanying action plan, the SECDEF directed the implementation of the following NAPA recommendations:
  • Complete and disseminate all DCIPS governing policies in the context of his decision.
  • Prepare and publish a comprehensive change management plan.
  • Establish a Program Office within the office of the USD(I) (OUSD(I)) with overall responsibility for implementation of DCIPS within the Department of Defense.
  • Address performance management.
  • Conduct and assess equity analysis.
  • Provide regularized oversight and reporting.
DCIPS is currently operating in the Army, with DCIPS Interim policies in place. DCIPS Interim policies provided an alternative policy for pay issues during the NDAA mandated suspension of certain pay authorities. While the suspension period has ended, USD(I) and the Army have decided to continue under DCIPS Interim policies until transition to DCIPS grades has occurred.

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