Federal Managers Association
- FMA APPLAUDS SENATE PASSAGE OF THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE ACT - September 18, 2015
ENCOURAGES THE HOUSE TO ACT ON THIS COMMON-SENSE HIRING REFORM
Alexandria, VA - The Federal Managers Association (FMA) is proud to announce on Thursday, September 17, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Competitive Service Act (S. 1580), which would improve the federal hiring process by allowing agencies to share their "best qualified" lists with other agencies. The association recognizes the leadership of Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) on this common-sense reform. FMA National President Patricia Niehaus advocated on its behalf in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management in May. Below is President Niehaus' statement upon Senate passage:
"FMA is grateful for the leadership of Senators Tester, Portman, Cardin, Moran and Heitkamp on this bipartisan call for reform, and for the Senate voting unanimously to pass it. This legislation would provide agencies with access to highly qualified candidates who went through a rigorous competitive assessment, and would allow for much greater efficiency in the hiring process. As I have said before, at a time when the federal government is struggling to improve recruitment and retention, this tool would streamline the hiring process and remove a barrier for talented men and women.
"In 2010, then-OPM Director John Berry called on Congress to allow agencies to share their lists of best qualified talent as part of a broader piece of legislation aimed at reforming the federal hiring process. S. 1580 allows agencies to review and select job candidates from another agency's best qualified list -- a list of applicants who have already undergone a competitive assessment process and are certified as eligible for selection by an agency selecting official.
"As an example, if an agency is looking to hire a Position Classification Specialist (PCS) that agency would be able to access a recent list of best-qualified candidates for a PCS position at any other agency. This tool would expand access to highly qualified candidates across the government and help streamline the hiring process, allowing agencies to recruit and hire top talent more easily. S. 1580 also requires that an agency provide up to ten days for their own employees to apply for the position and review those applications as part of the process to determine who is best qualified for the position.
"Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) have introduced bipartisan companion legislation (H.R. 2827) in the House, and I hope that chamber follows the Senate's lead. I look forward to the Competitive Service Act being passed and signed into law."