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The Department of the Navy will begin transferring civilians classified under the National Security Personnel System to the General Schedule, or GS system, beginning Friday.

After a small group transitions to the decades-old GS system, the department will then transition almost 5,000 civilians working for the Naval Supply Systems Command and the Marine Corps, according to a news release.

More than 70,000 civilians will transfer to the GS system by the end of 2010.

The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision to phase out the NSPS system by 2012.

NSPS was conceived as a pay-for-performance system that began transitioning about 220,000 civilian employees in to its system in 2006. Critics of the system contended that the system created pay and bonus inequalities at the Defense Department’s various agencies.

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