Federal Hiring Bill Signed Into Law

On Friday, the President signed a federal hiring bill, the Competitive Service Act, into law, which will provide federal agencies with an additional type of hiring authority. This bipartisan measure was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA), as H.R. 2827, and in the Senate by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Rob Portman (R-OH), as S. 1580.

This new hiring appointment authority will allow (but does not require) federal agencies to share hiring registers under certain prescribed circumstances. Under the measure, federal agency “A” can allow other agencies to access its resulting best qualified list of applicants for a set period of time, if at the time of notice, agency “A” included in its position announcement that the resulting list of eligible candidates could be used by additional appointing authorities (by other agencies).

NTEU worked with the bill sponsors to ensure that the language did not impact collective bargaining agreements in any way, including first consideration rights. Additionally, NTEU secured language requiring agencies to provide notice and job application opportunities to internal candidates when subsequent agencies opt to make use of a prior agency’s hiring register.

NTEU is pleased that this new law guarantees that existing federal employees will continue to be aware of all job openings and advancement opportunities, and that it does not alter or impede our collective bargaining rights for both current and future employees.