Federal agencies need more flexibility to flexibility to hire employees to temporary or term appointments when a permanent employee for the position is not needed, according to a report on a bill, S-1886, that has cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and that is ready for a floor vote.
Under current policy, term appointments must be for more than one year but not more than four years, and OPM may authorize an agency to extend a term appointment past the four-year limit. Also, agencies may make a temporary appointment to fill a short-term position that is not expected to last longer than one year.
The bill would allow a temporary appointment to be extended in increments of not more than one year, up to a total of three years of service. A term appointment could be extended in increments determined by the agency up to a total of six years of service.
A 2016 law already allows DoD to make a temporary appointment for up to one year and a term appointment for up to five years, unless a longer time period is authorized by the Secretary, and to make noncompetitive temporary and term appointments for up to 18 months when there is a critical hiring need.