Will Hiring Reforms in the 2019 Defense Authorization Act Work?

Aug 24, 2018

reformsPresident Trump signed the NDAA—the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. This bill includes reforms that are intended to make it easier for agencies to hire new talent.

One reform is the authority to hire recent college graduates. The NDAA says, “The head of an agency may appoint, without regard to any provision of sections 3309 through 3319 and 3300, a qualified individual to a position in the competitive service classified in a professional or administrative occupational category at the GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or below.”

Limits placed on these appointments include; appointees must:

  • Have a baccalaureate or graduate degree from an institution of higher learning
  • Apply for a position within 2 years of receiving a degree (2 years after being discharged from military service for individuals who completed at least 4 years of military service)
  • Meet qualification requirements for the job

The number of appointments in each agency “may not exceed the number equal to 1.5% of the number of individuals that agency head appointed during the previous fiscal year to a position in a competitive service classified in a professional or administrative occupational category, at the GS-11 level, or equivalent level, or below, under a competitive examining procedure.”

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management has authority to lower the limit “based on any factor the Director considers appropriate.”


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