The House has passed HR-1367, aimed at enhancing hiring at the VA, which has had difficulties filling vacancies in health care and certain other positions in a competitive job market.
The bill: requires the VA to establish a single database that lists each vacant VA position that is critical, difficult to fill, or both, allows for excepted service appointments of qualifying students and recent graduates leading to career or career conditional employment, increases training of HR staff in recruitment and retention, establishes a promotional track system for employees who are technical experts to advance without being required to transition to management positions, requires collection of information on hiring effectiveness, and requires a standard exit survey for those who voluntarily separate from the VA.
* requires that annual internal reviews of staff shortages in the Veterans Health Administration focus on five clinical and five non-clinical occupations for each network, rather than the five occupations for which there are the most shortages department-wide;
* allows the VA to non-competitively appoint a qualified former employee to any VA position within the competitive or excepted service that is one grade higher than the position most recently occupied by the employee;
* establishes an executive management fellowship program to provide eligible employees of the Veterans Benefits Administration and the VHA with private sector training and experience, and a private-sector entity with VA training and experience; and
* amends veterans preference in hiring to make all retired members of the armed forces preference eligible, and provides preference eligible individuals with a senior executive position hiring preference.