Issue Briefs

Following is a summary of a House-passed bill that likely amounts to the major civil service reform effort there this year, followed by the White House’s statement of policy on the bill.

Title I – Federal Information Systems Safeguards

Section 101. Agency Discretion to Secure Information Technology and Information Systems.

Provides that any action by the head of an agency to block access to a website for various cybersecurity-related purposes shall not be subject to collective bargaining.

Title II – Elimination of Pornography from Agencies

Section 201. Prohibition on Accessing Pornographic Web Sites from Federal Computers.

Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to create guidelines not later than 90 days after the date of enactment that prohibit access to pornographic or explicit web sites from a Federal computer.

Provides an exception to the prohibition for investigative purposes.

Title III – Extension of Probationary Period for Career Employees

Section 301. Extension of Probationary Period for Positions within the Competitive Service.

Establishes that the length of a probationary period, before an appointment in the competitive service becomes final, and initial appointment as a supervisor or manager becomes final, shall not be less than a period of two years. For positions that require formal training or completion of a license, the two year probationary period begins on the date formal training is completed or a license is granted.

Provides the probationary period for a an appointment or initial appointment to a position that exists on the effective date of this bill, shall be the probationary period that was in effect prior to the effective date of this bill. For a preference eligible with an appointment or initial appointment to a position that does not exist on the effective date of this bill, the probationary period shall be length of time as the President establishes consistent with the purposes of this bill.

Defines “formal training” as any position that requires a training program by law, rule, regulation, or agency requirement.