OPM extends temporary hiring exemptions for IT modernization


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The Office of Personnel Management is looking to give federal agencies a leg up in hiring temporary talent for their cloud migration and information technology modernization projects.

On Nov. 17, OPM authorized Schedule A hiring authority for one-year, temporary assignments to assist in “direct support of agency efforts to transform and modernize Government IT,” centering on cloud migration as well as cloud and solutions architecture.

Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan opened the hiring authority in a memo to agency executives, allowing them to procure information technology professionals between General Schedule 11 and 15 levels for IT modernization and Smarter IT Delivery Initiative projects without having to provide public notice of the job openings.

McGettigan added that OPM still encourages public notice filing when applicable and added that veterans’ preference is still required.

“These technical positions entail in-depth knowledge and experience in creating modern digital services,” McGettigan said in the memo. “OPM expects the use of this authority to inform our development of future qualifications standards and assessments for use in competitive examining.”

The positions call for experience in cloud computing, management and programming experience, including on framework tools like Node.js.

The move mirrors OPM’s 2015 hiring authority, which was meant to address temporary hiring for President Barack Obama’s Smarter IT Delivery Initiative, which proposed the creation of digital services teams within agencies.

The new hiring authority allows agencies to hire IT professionals through the end of fiscal 2018, with an option to extend the appointments by an additional year and possibly longer, pending OPM approval.

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Cloud, IT Modernization, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), workforce