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On November 9, 2010, President Barack Obama announced his appointment of American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) members Stephen E. Condrey and Rex L. Facer to the Federal Salary Council (FSC). Their appointments fill two of the three required positions for experts in the fields of labor relations and pay policy, with the other six members of the council consisting of representatives of large government employee organizations.
“These impressive individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and tremendous dedication to their new roles. I am confident that they will serve the American people well, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” Obama said, in an official White House press release announcing the appointments and reappointments of seven members to the nine-person council as well as his intent to appoint two additional members.
Condrey, who recently retired from his position as senior associate and director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s Human Resource Management Technical Assistance Program and adjunct professor of public administration at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, has been appointed as chair of the council. Condrey was also recently elected as vice president of ASPA and will assume that role during the Society’s upcoming Annual Conference, March 11-15, 2011, in Baltimore, MD.
Condrey said he is honored to serve on the council and that his retirement was planned previous to discovering he was being considered for this appointment. He has 27 years of academic and consulting experience and 6 years as a practitioner in the field of human resources management. He has consulted in at least half of the 50 states and with over 500 organizations throughout the world in the 12 years that he has worked as human resources consultant with Condrey and Associates, Inc.
Facer said he is looking forward to working with Condrey in this new capacity. “I consider him a top scholar in Human Resources personnel. He understands the theoretical and practical applications of setting up a fair and equitable compensatory system,” said Facer.
Facer is an associate professor in the Romney Institute of Public Management in the Marriott School at Brigham Young University. He and Condrey have worked together for many years, and both have worked with ASPA’s Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations (SPALR). Facer currently works with Condrey as a Senior Consultant at Condrey and Associates, Inc. and previously worked with Condrey at the University of Georgia when he was a Ph.D. student and research coordinator at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Condrey said that Facer brings a unique set of skills to the FSC, “He understands [human resources] and the way it intersects with budgeting better than anyone I have ever seen.”
Condrey and Facer were made aware they were being considered for appointment almost a month before the actual appointment, which took place on Oct. 28, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The council then met for the first time the next day to work on recommendations for 2012 comparability payments. The council met a second time in November to finalize its recommendations, which were made public on November 9, 2010.
“It was a fairly whirlwind experience,” said Facer, who explained that he and Condrey were approached about the appointments by the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), John Berry, whom they worked closely with as part of an ASPA policy initiative focusing on human resources policy.
The Federal Salary Council was created by the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act of 1990. The job of this advisory body is to make recommendations to the President’s Pay Agent concerning the locality pay program, which calculates comparability payments for Federal Employees paid according to the General Schedule.
According to Condrey, as FSC Chair, he will preside over the meetings and have some influence over the agenda. The FSC uses data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Labor to make the recommendations. They look at the gap between public sector and private sector employees in similar jobs and use this gap to make recommendations on adjustments to locality pay to help attract and keep quality personnel in these public sector positions.
Condrey said the council expects to hold its first meeting of the year in March to begin working on recommendations for 2013. Due to increasing public concern that federal employees are overpaid, Condrey said the council may meet more often than it normally would to evaluate these claims.
Other individuals appointed to the FSC are Lou Cannon, Jeffery David Cox, Bill Fenaughty, Collen Kelley and Jacqueline Simon.
ASPA member Isla Carr is a Ph.D. student in the department of political science & public administration at Mississippi State University. Email: [email protected]