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News Release

Thursday, August 04, 2005
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Implements Governmentwide Direct-Hire Authority for Certain Federal Acquisition Positions

Washington, DC - Linda M. Springer, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, has issued an interim regulation granting non-Department of Defense agencies a new hiring flexibility that enhances agencies' ability to strategically and more effectively attract candidates with unusually high qualifications into the acquisition workforce. The regulation is in today's Federal Register (

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

The direct-hire authority is for Federal acquisition positions covered under title 41 of the United States Code when there is a severe shortage of well-qualified candidates. To determine if a shortage exists, agencies must use the criteria prescribed in title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Agencies must comply with all laws and regulations pertaining to public notice requirements, including displaced employee procedures. OPM encourages agencies to make employment offers to well-qualified applicants with veterans' preference whenever possible.

Agencies may use this direct-hire authority until the authority expires September 30, 2007. OPM will report to Congress on agencies' implementation and effectiveness of this direct-hire authority in attracting individuals with unusually high qualifications to the acquisition workforce. This interim regulation implements section 1413 of Public Law 108-136, National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004, which terminates September 30, 2007.

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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