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News Release

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Contact: Edmund D. Byrnes
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Authorizes Excepted-Service Appointments to Support Recovery Act

Washington, D.C. -- In support of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has authorized the use of excepted-service appointments by federal agencies. Agencies may use this authority to fill, on a temporary basis for up to one year, positions at any grade level and in any geographic location, needed to carry out provisions of the ARRA. They may extend these appointments, without OPM approval, in one year increments, with no appointments extending beyond September 30, 2012.

"This authority will allow agencies to expeditiously hire needed staff without sacrificing veterans' preference," said OPM Acting Director Kathie Whipple. "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."

At an interagency forum on the Recovery Act held on March 3, OPM provided a number of human resources strategies and authorities, including competitive hiring, agencies can use to meet their human capital challenges.

"Workforce planning is the critical first step to identifying which strategy is best suited to accomplish agency human capital goals for Recovery Act implementation," said Whipple. "OPM continues to strongly encourage agencies to use hiring strategies that create a workforce capable of meeting the needs of the American people."

OPM has human capital officers ready to assist agencies in the review of their workforce plans, recruitment options and deployment strategies.

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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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