OPM has authorized the use of “Schedule A” hiring authority for positions at GS-11 through -15 needed for work on IT Modernization and Smarter IT Delivery Initiative projects funded in the fiscal 2017 and proposed 2018 budgets.

Schedule A is an excepted service appointing authority that can be used for purposes including filling critical position or meeting temporary needs. OPM has allowed its use for positions whose “primary functions include cloud architecture; solutions architecture; and cloud migration from legacy hardware platforms to the cloud. These types of positions will require unique and emerging skills such as knowledge of cloud computing technologies; knowledge of cloud management; and skill in programming language and coding using modern framework tools such Node.js,” OPM said in a memo.

“These technical positions entail in-depth knowledge and experience in creating modern digital services. Because this work has not been performed in the federal government, current assessments may not be available to measure the required competencies. Therefore, it is not practicable to examine for these positions. OPM expects the use of this authority to inform our development of future qualifications standards and assessments for use in competitive examining,” OPM said.

Appointments can be made through September 30, 2018 for periods of up to one year, with extensions of another year allowed; for longer extensions, OPM approval would be needed.

OPM added that appointments are subject to veterans preference and veterans passover rules and that agencies also may use other authorities including direct hire authority, the experts and consultants hiring authority, Intergovernmental Personnel Act details and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program.