OPM has proposed rules to strengthen veterans preference for excepted service positions, in part clarifying and formalizing policies already in effect. The rules note that positions designated as in the excepted service are exempt from some hiring requirements applying to competitive service positions. However, agencies must follow the principle of veterans preference “as far as administratively feasible” when filling an exempted position in the excepted service. The rules would clarify that positions falling under “Schedule A” hiring authority are subject to veterans preference requirements unless OPM specifically excludes them; a Federal Register notice of today (November 30) says the current rules could be read as not imposing that requirement. Also, OPM is proposing to put in regulation a policy in effect since a 2008 court decision, stating that when category rating hiring authority is being used to fill an excepted service position, an agency can pass over a preference-eligible candidate only in the same limited circumstances that apply generally.
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