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Allocations & Appointments


Under 5 U.S.C. 3133, agencies review their executive resource needs on a biennial cycle against strategic plans, budget requirements, and program performance and formally requests OPM to allocate a specific number of SES spaces for the 2 succeeding fiscal years. OPM also provides for agencies to use this opportunity to review their needs for Senior Level (SL) and Scientific/Professional (ST) positions and request additional SL and ST spaces. In view of its responsibility under 5 U.S.C. 5107, an agency may request an SL or ST allocation only after determining a proposed position is classified above GS-15 level, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 5104(15) and applicable OPM classification standards. In addition to this regular opportunity, agencies may submit a request for SL and ST spaces at any time between biennial cycles upon identifying a need for an SL or ST position. 


An SL position is in the competitive service unless it is excepted from the competitive service under statute or OPM regulations. Reassignments, promotions, transfers, and reinstatements to SL positions in the competitive service shall be made in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory provisions of the competitive service. Employment of SL employees in the excepted service is covered by 5 CFR part 302

All ST positions are in the competitive service; however, under 5 U.S.C. 3325 appointments may be made to ST positions without going through the competitive examination process otherwise required to fill a competitive service position. This enables an agency to efficiently hire highly qualified scientists to perform federal research and development functions at commensurate rates of pay.

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