As earlier announced, the DoD authorization bill doesn’t contain an original Senate provision to limit veterans preference in competitive service hiring to only the individual’s first executive branch job–the provision would not have affected rights to under non-competitive hiring authorities or additional protections for veterans in RIFs. Senate sponsors dropped that plan months ago after opposition from veterans’ organizations. However, the House-Senate report on the final bill states that the conferees “remain concerned that the Department of Defense has difficulty accessing highly skilled non-veterans into its civilian labor force due to strict preference eligible hiring requirements, and believes that a detailed examination of Department of Defense preference eligible hiring practices is overdue.” It orders the Pentagon, OPM and other agencies to produce a report by May–in time for the next version of the annual defense bill–analyzing how veterans preference affects agencies’ ability to hire qualified non-veterans, especially younger persons and those in science, technology, engineering and math fields, and invites recommendations for ways to improve current practices.