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OPM Fact Sheet - COVID-19 Excepted Service Hiring Authority

OPM Fact Sheet - COVID-19 Excepted Service Hiring Authority

Why is OPM extending this authority?

COVID-19 continues to be a serious public health emergency. OPM recognizes the continued presence of this pandemic requires that agencies retain the ability to conduct strategic, targeted hiring for specific critical, short-term roles to meet mission and/or hiring needs.

The Authority expires March 1, 2023 - No new appointments may be made after this date. Appointments made prior to March 1, 2023, however, may be extended beyond that date.

What is the COVID-19 Governmentwide Hiring Authority?

OPM has authorized the use of excepted-service appointments under 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3) to address the need for hiring additional staff into positions to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What positions can be filled under this Authority?

Any positions needed in direct response to the effects of COVID-19.

What makes this Schedule A authority different than competitive hiring?

  • No Public notice (posting on is required; however, agencies can advertise if they choose and should conduct other appropriate recruiting activities.
  • Agencies must follow procedures in 5 CFR part 302, including veterans’ preference and pass overs of certain veterans, when using this authority.
  • Make appointments on a temporary basis for up to one year.
  • Extend appointments for 1 additional year (if need be).

Are employees hired under this Authority eligible for benefits?

Employees hired under the authority may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits
  • Federal Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts

Please contact your agency Benefits Officer to determine eligibility.

What limitations apply to the continued use of Schedule A authority?

  • Agencies should use this authority in the same manner that they would use any other excepted service authority.
  • Agencies must have excepted service policies in place prior to using this or any expected service authority, which govern the process for receiving/processing applications; making qualification determinations; making selections; and the application of veterans’ preference (including pass overs).
  • These hires are subject to the same suitability/background investigation process as other applicants.
  • Appointments made prior to March 1, 2023, may be extended beyond that date.
  • No new appointments may be made after March 1, 2023, or upon termination of the National Emergency Concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, whichever comes first.
  • When documenting the SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action” for such appointments use “W9R/Sch. A, 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3)” as the first authority and “W9C” as the final authority.

OPM memo - COVID-19 Excepted Service Hiring Authority

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