Excepted service

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The excepted service is the part of the United States federal civil service that is not part of either the competitive service or the Senior Executive Service. It provides streamlined hiring processes to be used under certain circumstances.

United States federal civil service

The United States federal civil service is the civilian workforce of the United States federal government's departments and agencies. The federal civil service was established in 1871. U.S. state and local government entities often have comparable civil service systems that are modeled on the national system, in varying degrees.

The competitive service is a part of the United States federal government civil service. Applicants for jobs in the competitive civil service must compete with other applicants in open competition under the merit system administered by the Office of Personnel Management, unlike applicants in the excepted service and Senior Executive Service. There are several hiring authorities for the competitive service, including "traditional" competitive examining, as well as expedited procedures such as Direct Hire Authority and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act.

Senior Executive Service (United States) position classification in the civil service of the United States federal government

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a position classification in the civil service of the United States federal government, equivalent to general officer or flag officer ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces. It was created in 1979 when the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 went into effect under President Jimmy Carter.

Contents

Overview

Most civilian positions in the federal government of the United States are part of the competitive service, where applicants must compete with other applicants in open competition under the merit system administered by the Office of Personnel Management. However, some agencies (and some positions within other agencies) are excluded from these provisions. Although they primarily operate on a merit basis also, they have their own hiring systems and evaluation criteria. These agencies are called excepted service agencies and such positions are part of the excepted civil service.

Federal government of the United States national government of the United States

The Federal Government of the United States is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

The primary common denominator of many of these agencies and positions is that they have national security and/or intelligence functions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, and the NCIS. Attorney positions, Presidential Management Fellows, Presidential Innovation Fellows, and Foreign Service positions are examples of positions excepted across-the-board in all Federal agencies. Not all excepted service members serve in sensitive areas—for example, teachers and administrators at DOD schools, both in the U.S. and overseas, are also excepted, as are all patent examiners. In addition, most employees in the legislative branch of the federal government are excepted service employees.

Central Intelligence Agency National intelligence agency of the United States

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing national security information from around the world, primarily through the use of human intelligence (HUMINT). As one of the principal members of the United States Intelligence Community (IC), the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet of the United States.

Defense Intelligence Agency United States federal agency

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), an external intelligence service of the United States federal government, specializes in defense and military intelligence.

National Security Agency U.S. signals intelligence organization

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The NSA is also tasked with the protection of U.S. communications networks and information systems. The NSA relies on a variety of measures to accomplish its mission, the majority of which are clandestine.

One key factor concerning the excepted service is that employees have fewer appeal rights (compared to positions in the competitive service) in the event of disciplinary actions or job termination. For example, non-veteran employees in the excepted service are generally barred from appealing adverse agency personnel decisions to the United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) or to the Federal courts for their first two years of employment, whereas employees in the competitive service have a one-year probationary period. Excepted service agencies have consistently claimed that they need the speed and flexibility afforded by being in the excepted service in order to perform their missions and maintain good order and discipline.

Veteran person who served in a countrys armed forces, especially those persons who served in a countrys armed forces during a period of war

A veteran is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or field. A military veteran is a person who has served and is no longer serving in the armed forces. Those veterans that have had direct exposure to acts of military conflict may also be referred to as war veterans. A combat veteran is a person who has fought in combat during a war or a skirmish against a declared enemy and may still be serving in the military.

United States Merit Systems Protection Board

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) is an independent quasi-judicial agency established in 1979 to protect federal merit systems against partisan political and other prohibited personnel practices and to ensure adequate protection for federal employees against abuses by agency management.

Hiring authorities

A hiring authority is the law, executive order, or regulation that allows an agency to hire a person into the federal civil service. [1]

Office of Personnel Management schedules

Some service positions are classified by the Office of Personnel Management into four categories, although not all excepted service authorities fall into this classification: [2] [3]

United States Office of Personnel Management United States federal government agency

The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that manages the government's civilian workforce. The agency provides federal human resources policy, oversight and support, and tends to healthcare, insurance and retirement benefits and services for federal government employees.

Schedules A and B were created by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883, Schedule C was created in 1956, and Schedule D was created in 2012. [2]

Other hiring authorities

Several excepted service hiring authorities are not classified into the four schedules. Some of the more prevalent include:

From 5 U.S.C. § 2103:

(a) For the purpose of this title, the excepted service consists of those civil service positions which are not in the competitive service or the Senior Executive Service.

(b) As used in other Acts of the United States Congress, “unclassified civil service” or “unclassified service” means the “excepted service”.

Principal excepted agencies

Other agencies with large numbers of excepted positions

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Federal Hiring: OPM Needs to Improve Management and Oversight of Hiring Authorities". U. S. Government Accountability Office. 2016-09-01. pp. 0, 9–11.
  2. 1 2 "Excepted Service Hiring Authorities: Their Use and Effectiveness in the Executive Branch" (PDF). U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 2018-07-01. pp. 1–2, 20. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  3. "Federal Hiring Flexibilities Resource Center". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  4. "NIH Policy Manual: Title 38 Premium Pay". U.S. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. "Pay for Consultants and Scientists Appointed under Title 42". U.S. Government Accountability Office. B-323357. 2012-07-12. pp. 2–5, 17, 20. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  6. "HHS and EPA Can Improve Practices Under Special Hiring Authorities". U. S. Government Accountability Office. GAO-12-692. 2012-07-12. pp. 0–6, 11, 25. Retrieved 2019-03-03.