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Human Resources and Security Specialists should use this tool to determine the correct investigation level for any covered position within the U.S. Federal Government.
This section assists Federal agencies with making determinations whether direct-hire is the best course of action for meeting their recruitment needs when experiencing a severe shortage of candidates or critical hiring; how to acquire direct-hire; and how to use and process direct-hire actions under the competitive process using delegated examining procedures.
OPM posts a list of the current Governmentwide Direct-Hire Authorities (DHAs). In addition, agencies must post all vacancies filled by DHA on USAJOBS.
There are two methods under which OPM issues Direct-Hire Authority:
OPM does not provide a recommended format or provide copies of sample requests. However, at a minimum, agency requests for Direct-Hire Authority (DHA) should:
Examples of supporting evidence for "severe shortage of candidates" include, but are not limited to, the applicable area(s) identified in 5 CFR 337.204(b):
The agency must provide documentary (hard copy) evidence describing the event or circumstance that created the critical hiring need. If evidence is not available for some grade levels or locations, explain why it is necessary and reasonable to include those grade levels and locations. In addition the following must be supplied:
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Using OPM approved governmentwide or agency specific direct-hire authorities, agencies may appoint candidates to positions without regard to the requirements in title 5 U.S.C. 3309 through 3318. In order for an agency to use direct hire, OPM must determine that there is either a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for a position or group of positions.
When using the direct-hire authority, agencies must adhere to the public notice requirements in 5 U.S.C. 3327 and 3330, and the displaced employee procedures in 5 CFR part 330, subparts B, F, and G. When documenting appointments using a direct-hire authority, an agency must use two authority codes. The first code is "AYM" and will automatically fill in with "Reg. 337.201." The second authority code will be the individual one associated with the specific direct-hire authority. These codes are listed below along with the information about each direct-hire authority.
Medical Occupations - All grade levels at all locations for the following occupations (GW001, issued June 20, 2003), Second authority code BAB:
Information Technology Management (Information Security), GS-2210, GS-9 and above at all locations (GW002, issued June, 20, 2003), Second authority Code: BAC
Positions involved in Iraqi Reconstruction Efforts that require fluency in Arabic or other related Middle Eastern languages at all WG levels, single-grade interval occupations in the General Schedule (GS), and two-grade interval GS occupations at GS-9 and above. Agencies may appoint U.S. citizens to positions at all locations. (GW003, issued July 1, 2003), Second authority Code: BAD
GW-004, Effective September 30, 2012 is extended by Sec. 1103 of P.L. 112-239, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) FY 2013, for Federal Acquisition positions covered under title 41, United States Code 433(g)(1)(A). This authority is based on a severe-shortage of candidates. Prior to using this authority, the department and agency heads (other than the Secretary of Defense) must determine whether a shortage of highly qualified individuals exists. When determining the existence of a shortage of highly qualified individuals, agencies are required to use the supporting evidence prescribed in 5 CFR 337.204(b). The supporting evidence must be kept in a file for documentation and reporting purposes. In accordance with 5 CFR 337.206(c), OPM may request information from agencies on their use and implementation of this direct-hire authority. This authority expires on September 30, 2017. Agencies may not appoint any individual to a position of employment using this authority after September 30, 2017. The legal authority code for SF-50 item 5-E is “BAE.”
GW-006 (VMO) Issued on February 12, 2009 for Veterinary Medical Officer positions at the GS-11 through GS-15 grade levels (or equivalent) nationwide to include overseas territories and commonwealths including Puerto Rico, Guam, and Virgin Islands, may be used indefinitely or until OPM terminates this authority. This authority is based on a severe shortage of candidates. In accordance with 5 CFR 337.206(c), OPM may request information from agencies on their use and implementation of this direct-hire authority. On a periodic basis OPM will determine if continued use is supportable. The legal authority code for SF-50 item 5-E is "BAG."