The DoD acquisition workforce demonstration project has produced higher employee satisfaction, higher quality work results, shorter hiring times and greater retention of high-performing employees among other benefits, the Pentagon has said.

The comments came in a July 11 Federal Register notice in which DoD pulled together and tweaked certain policies governing the project, which has been revised numerous times since it was launched nearly 20 years ago.

Like other demonstration projects, it features streamlined hiring and appointment authorities; broadbanding; simplified classification; a pay for performance arrangement; and other alternatives to standard government personnel policies.

The notice said that “there continues to be strong evidence that the initiatives implemented under the AcqDemo are effective,” citing positive feedback from leaders; the desire of other organizations to join; a retention rate 24 percent above the rate for the department’s GS employees; increased separation of “low contributors” without “damaging employees’ overall sense of fairness;” and higher starting salaries, higher salaries overall, and more rapid increases in salaries.

It also cited higher responses from employees under the project on nearly nine-tenths of the questions on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. In particular, it stressed that they are more optimistic about opportunities for promotion, more likely to believe that their organization is retaining the highest-performing employees among their peers, and more likely to put in the extra effort to get a job done.