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Employment - Veterans - Temporary and Excepted Service and Preference Enforcement

In the federal government, jobs not to exceed one year are known as temporary appointments. Agencies typically select candidates for temporary jobs either using the competitive examination process, discussed in detail in a separate article, or through a separate process known as "outside the register." Successful applicants for temporary jobs do not acquire status as civil service employees, nor are they eligible, outside of the competitive process, for career-conditional appointments. However, veterans are accorded preferences even in temporary appointments and in most excepted service positions.

Temporary Appointments

In most cases, there are two methods of appointments to temporary positions, which are those not to exceed one year. The first method is the use of competitive examinations, which are discussed in full in a separate article. The second is a method known as the "outside the register" process.

The "outside the register" process entails issuing a job announcement; reporting the announcement to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); screening applicants to ensure they meet OPM qualifications; disqualifying applicants appropriately, when necessary; ranking eligible applicants; and making final selections. Preference eligibles and veterans rated with disabilities at 30 percent or more receive special protections at the disqualification level, which are discussed in a separate article regarding disqualification.

Preference eligibles are also accorded different treatment during the ranking process. Two methods may be used for rankings in temporary appointments. The first process, which is preferable for jobs that require specialized skills, is the same as that used in the traditional competitive examination process. Applicants are rated based on their abilities to perform the job, applicable 5- or 10-point preferences are applied, applicants are ranked, and a selection is made.

The second method is ideal when applicants are substantially equal and when no specialized skills are needed. In that method, the ratings and preferences are performed the same, but rankings and selections are different. If the position is for a GS-9 or higher-level scientific or professional position, all preference eligibles are listed first in order of rank, followed by all nonpreference eligibles. However, for all other jobs, veterans whose scores were augmented due to compensable, service-connected disabilities of 10 percent or more are listed separately by their ratings at the top of the list. All other preference eligibles are listed next, in order of their ranks, followed by nonpreference candidates.

As with competitive examinations, preference eligibles, if available and not disqualified, must be selected before nonpreference eligibles unless other criteria are met.

Excepted Service Appointments

Excepted service appointments in the executive branch of the federal government are filled in the same manner as competitive service appointments. However, vacancies for which Senate consent is required are exempt.

Preference Enforcement

The OPM promulgates regulations relating to veterans' preferences in civil service and excepted service appointments in executive agencies. Enforcement is left in the hands of individual agencies.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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