Panel Approves Bills on Hiring, Other Issues

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has approved several hiring-related bills including:

S-1887, to allow direct-hire of college graduates and students deemed qualified for a professional or administrative position at GS-11 or below, although a position still would have to be advertised and merit principles still would apply;

S-1886, to allow agencies to hire on a temporary or term basis to fill positions for which there is a critical hiring need, apart from standard procedures applying to such hiring; and

S-1305, to allow Customs and Border Protection to expand the use of direct hire authority and of recruitment, retention and relocation incentive payments where there is a critical need and a shortage of candidates for reasons including remote location of the work.

The committee also approved: HR-3210, to require more reporting on the backlog of security clearance investigations and on new programs for continuous monitoring of clearance holders, along with a requirement for the White House to review standards for setting a position’s level of sensitivity; S-1769, to generally require that all new and revised agency websites open to the public be accessible through mobile applications; and S-1869, to make permanent a program requiring a dedicated official in each inspector general office focused on whistleblower protection issues and strengthen the powers of agency IG offices in whistleblower disclosures and investigations and in educating federal employees regarding their protections.