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England Kicks Off NSPS: Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has signed a directive implementing Spiral 1.1 of the National Security Personnel System, entering the first 11,000 DOD employees into the new—and still controversial—new performance-based system. “NSPS is critical to the department’s overall transformation to a results oriented, performance based culture,” England said at the signing ceremony. According to DOD, employees in Spiral 1.1 will convert into NSPS based on their permanent position of record and will experience no loss of pay in the conversion. The appraisal cycle for Spiral 1.1 begins April 30 and ends on Oct. 31.  The collective bargaining feature of NSPS is still facing a court challenge by unions, however.