OPM has proposed changes to regulations on a special hiring authority for noncompetitive hiring of military spouses to take into account revised eligibility standards and new reporting requirements for agencies.
OPM’s notice in today’s Federal Register pertains to an authority that was first set by a 2008 executive order and then revised several times by later orders and changes in law, intended to address difficulties that spouses often have in establishing careers due to frequent relocations of military personnel.
The authority gives hiring preference for federal jobs to the spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty, the spouse of a 100 percent disabled member of the armed forces, or the spouse of a deceased member of the armed forces. The authority allows agencies to recruit and noncompetitively appoint eligible spouses into temporary, term or permanent positions that otherwise would require competition, although it does not establish selection priority. Those hired under the authority are converted to competitive service status after completing a probationary period.
OPM’s notice would put into regulation several recent changes including a 2018 executive order requiring that agencies generally advertise the program’s availability in their job vacancy announcements and imposing new reporting requirements; and a 2018 law which temporarily broadens, through 2023, eligibility to all qualifying persons regardless of whether they have relocated.