OPM: Feds can hire temporary workers

Agencies can hire temporary employees to implement the economic stimulus law, the Office of Personnel Management has said. OPM has authorized the use of excepted-service appointments agencies can use for up to one year to fill positions at any grade level and in any geographic location to carry out the law’s provisions, OPM said March 17.

The flexible hiring authority would let agencies meet urgent needs, OPM Acting Director Kathie Whipple said.

“OPM has remained steadfast in its protection of merit system principles and veterans' preference, while at the same time providing agencies with flexible hiring authorities to meet their urgent needs,” she said.

Agencies may extend these appointments without OPM approval in one-year increments but not beyond September 2012, she said.

Agencies may need to increase the number of experienced contract specialists, grants management specialists, human resources specialists and project managers, she said, adding that OPM can help agencies review their workforce plans, recruiting options and deployment strategies.

Agencies already may re-employ retired federal employees to fill acquisition-related positions where there is a temporary emergency hiring need, she said. OPM also provides templates at its Web site at www.opm.gov for agencies to use to accelerate requests for waiver authorities for the needed positions.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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