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OPM Memorandum Coronavirus Schedule A Hiring Authority

Friday, March 20, 2020



Subject: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Schedule A Hiring Authority

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is authorizing the use of excepted service appointments under 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3) to address the need for hiring additional staff in response to the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Agencies may use this authority to fill positions on a temporary basis for up to 1 year as needed in response to, or as a result of, COVID-19.  Agencies may appoint individuals nationwide, at any grade level.  These appointments may be extended up to 1 additional year.  If this public health emergency or pandemic continues, agencies may also request extensions of appointments beyond 24 months from OPM on a case-by-case basis.  No new appointments may be made under this authority after March 31, 2021 or upon termination of this public health emergency, whichever comes first.  Appointments are limited to individuals needed in direct response to the effects of COVID-19.

When using this authority, agencies must apply the provisions of 5 CFR part 302 and follow the procedures in 5 U.S.C. §3318(c) and 3319(c)(7) as described in the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook.

When documenting the SF-50 “Notification of Personnel Action” for such appointments, cite as the first authority “W9R/Sch. A, 5 CFR 213.3102(i)(3)” and cite “W9C” as the final authority. 

For additional human resource needs and flexibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic please refer to the February 7, 2020, Chief Human Capital Officer memo at:

As a reminder, this authority may not be used to fill positions not directly related to this emergency.  OPM will monitor agency use of this authority as well as the continued need for it, and may modify or terminate this authority, or use thereof, as appropriate.  We may request reports regarding the use of this authority.

Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at with additional questions or clarifications.  Agency field offices should contact their appropriate headquarters-level agency human resources office.  Individual employees should contact their agency human resources office.


cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs), Deputy CHCOs, and Human Resources Directors

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