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Our Director Director's Blog

On March 19, 2018, we began a new chapter in the story of our Government. The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) was launched with the ambitious objective of developing an effective, modern Government that is responsive and accountable to the American people. As I look back at what we have accomplished so far, I can proudly say we are on the right path.

OPM is taking this change-minded agenda and running with it. As the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government, we are in the process of laying down the groundwork that will enable us to build a 21st century workforce. Here are some terrific examples of actions taken by OPM over the previous year.

Job Candidate Assessment

OPM and U.S. Digital Services (USDS) are working with partner agencies to pilot USDS’ highly-effective approach to assessing candidates for highly technical positions, particularly IT. The approach uses a multi-hurdle process that leverages reviews and interviews subject matter experts to identify the best qualified candidates.

Delegating Direct Hire Authority

OPM is providing new Governmentwide direct hiring authorities (DHA) to help agencies meet critical hiring needs and better compete for top talent where severe shortages of candidates and/or critical hiring needs exist.

Recently, OPM provided DHA for:

  • A variety of STEM positions
  • Cybersecurity and related positions
  • Acquisitions positions
  • Various medical and public-health related positions supporting the President’s directive to combat the opioid crisis

Expect more to be done in this area in the months ahead.

Hiring Flexibility and Referral List Flexibility

We are working to alter a long-standing hiring format from “The Rule of Three” to “The Rule of Many.” OPM is proposing regulations to implement a change in law that eliminates the “Rule of Three” (which limits agencies to consider the three top-scoring candidates on a referral list and gives agencies greater authority to define the number of top-scoring candidates to consider, using a logical cut-off score or similar mechanism. The revision does not change veteran’s preference – veterans would still be granted preference points and would continue to be entitled to selection preference over a non-veteran candidate with the same or lower score.

New Pay Systems for Critical Positions

OPM is leveraging an existing statutory authority that allows for designing alternative pay and classification systems in cases where the traditional General Schedule isn’t meeting our current demands. For example, we are working with interagency partners to design and pilot an alternative system for economists, a high-demand occupation where the Government is facing hiring and retention challenges.

Deregulation through AI

Artificial intelligence will play a major role in the 21st Century Workforce. AI processing will handle thousands of pages of regulations looking for potential redundancies or out of date language. This will save time and effort in updating regulations governmentwide.

Just Getting Started

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are also making progress in reskilling and upskilling the workforce, shifting from low-value work to high-value work, and creating countless other policy initiatives to create a more effective, efficient, and accountable Federal Government.

All of this work is geared towards Mission, Service, and Stewardship. The Workforce of the Future will be built around work that focuses on Mission and providing the greatest Service possible. This process will allow us to become greater stewards of taxpayer dollars.

This is an exciting time to be in the Federal Government. We are only celebrating the first year of this agenda. Over the months and years ahead, we will continue the transformation of our Government to meet the demands of a modern world.


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