The Senate-passed version of the annual DoD authorization bill (HR-2810) would create several new alternative personnel practices there while continuing several others.

One new authority would create a pilot program to carve out separate personnel policies for cybersecurity and legal professionals, including: direct-hire authority into such positions; use of term appointments of between two and eight years during which employees would fall under standard civil service benefits and protections; eligibility for separate performance awards and other additional compensation based on recruitment and retention needs; and disciplinary procedures at the discretion of the department.

Also, DoD could waive the requirement for a baccalaureate degree for otherwise qualified candidates for cybersecurity and computer programming positions.

The bill also would authorize special personnel management arrangements designed to recruit experts in science and engineering; make the long-running acquisition workforce demonstration project permanent; and extend current direct hire authorities for financial management experts, at industrial base facilities, and at test facilities.

It also would continue several special pay and benefit provisions applying government-wide to employees working in danger zones.