OPM opens the door to faster hiring

The Office of Personnel Management issued interim rules this week to make it easier for civilian agencies to recruit workers for federal acquisition positions where there are shortages.

OPM published the regulations in the Federal Register on August 4 that gives agencies direct hiring authority to recruit and appoint candidates to positions where OPM determines there are severe shortages of candidates or critical hiring needs.

Agencies must still submit proof they are dealing with a shortage of highly qualified candidates before they get OPM authorization to move faster.

"The interim regulation that I have signed is needed to assist federal agencies in hiring individuals for positions that have been difficult to fill," said OPM director Linda Springer. This authority will enable agencies to continue to focus on their important missions while fully protecting the core values of the civil service."

Agencies may use this direct-hire authority until Sept. 30, 2007, when the rule expires.

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