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Pandemic FAQ

Question
What does an agency need to do to obtain an agency-specific Direct-Hire Authority (DHA)?
Answer
Requests for Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) must be based on a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need. The information required depends on the basis for the request. The assumption is that most DHA requests resulting from a pandemic health crisis would be based on a critical hiring need.

The agency head (or designee) must submit a request to OPM for a DHA based on a critical hiring need. The following information must be included:

  • The position(s) that must be filled
  • A description of the event or circumstance that has created the need to fill the position(s)
  • The duration for which the critical need is expected to exist
  • Supporting evidence that demonstrates why the use of other hiring authorities is impracticable or ineffective
The agency head (or designee) must submit a request to OPM with the position or positions that are difficult to fill for a DHA based on a severe shortage of candidates. The following information must be included:
  • The results of workforce planning and analysis, e.g., the agency's emergency plan for pandemic influenza
  • The existence of nationwide or geographic skill shortages
  • Agency efforts, including recruitment initiatives or use of other appointing authorities and flexibilities, and an explanation of why these efforts have been insufficient
  • The availability and quality of candidates
  • The desirability of the geographic location, duties, and/or work environment associated with the position(s)
Agencies should submit their requests to:
Darlene Phelps
Human Resources Specialist
Darlene.Phelps@opm.gov


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