176. Letter From the Chairman of the Board of the Foreign Service (Newsom) to the Under Secretary of State for Management (Read)1

Dear Ben:

This is to reconfirm the support of the Board of the Foreign Service for the performance pay provisions of the proposed Foreign Service Act of 1979. The Board devoted considerable time and attention to studying the provisions of the proposed Act, including the concept of performance pay. Following briefings and its own deliberations on this subject, the Board on August 2 formally endorsed the performance pay provisions in a resolution the text of which is attached to this letter.2

As I stated in my letter to Secretary Vance on August 43 conveying the Board’s decision and resolution, “Central to the Board’s conclusion on this subject was the consideration that, under present circumstances and given the prior passage by the Congress of Civil Service legislation containing performance pay provisions,4 the only practicable way now available to ensure that senior level Foreign Service officers have the opportunity to attain salary levels comparable to those of the top levels of the Civil Service is through the adoption of similar performance pay provisions. The Board noted that this position supports the general principle that Foreign Service pay opportunities should maintain comparability with those of other government and private sector professionals.”

I hope that this restatement of the views of the Board of the Foreign Service will be helpful in your continuing discussions of these provisions of the proposed Act both with the Congress and other interested groups.


David D. Newsom
Board of the Foreign Service
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1978–1979, Box 12, Chron December 15–18, 1979. No classification marking.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Not found.
  4. Reference to the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, P.L. 95–454. See Document 160.