The general government spending bill that has advanced through the House Appropriations Committee stresses ongoing concerns about OPM’s performance regarding hiring, security clearance processing and retirement processing.
“The committee is concerned with the length of time it often takes the federal government to hire qualified employees. Rigid rules along with long delays in the hiring and interview process discourage top candidates from applying for or accepting federal positions,” a report says.
The panel credited OPM with making improvements to the user experience on USAJobs, the main hiring portal, but noted that some vacancy announcements require answering up to 100 questions, which “can discourage talented candidates from applying for or accepting federal positions.” The bill would order OPM to produce a plan to “reduce barriers to federal employment, reduce delays in the hiring process, and how it intends to improve the overall federal recruitment and hiring process.”
The committee also said it “is concerned with the length of time it takes OPM to conduct initial security clearance investigations and reinvestigations when federal employees’ current level clearance expires” and that it “expects OPM to continue to make security clearance processing a priority and to make necessary administrative or regulatory reforms to expedite investigations, reviews, and approvals.”
Similarly, it “expects OPM to continue to make retirement processing a priority and move to a fully-automated electronic filing system,” adding that “tens of thousands of new retirees wait months to receive their complete annuities–some wait more than a year–and in the meantime they may be constrained by reduced interim pensions.”