[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 149 (Thursday, August 4, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44847-44848]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-15259]

Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 149 / Thursday, August 4, 2005 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 44847]]


5 CFR Part 337

RIN 3206-AK85

Examining System

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing an interim 
regulation to amend its direct-hire authority regulations to allow non-
Department of Defense agencies to recruit and appoint highly qualified 
individuals for certain Federal acquisition positions deemed as a 
shortage category under the Services Acquisition Reform Act.

DATES: These regulations are effective August 4, 2005. We will consider 
comments received on or before October 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Send, deliver or fax comments to Mark Doboga, Deputy 
Associate Director for Talent and Capacity Policy, U.S. Office of 
Personnel Management, Room 6551, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20415-9700; e-mail at [email protected]; or fax at (202) 606-2329.
    Comments may also be sent through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
at: http://www.regulations.gov. All submissions received through the 
Portal must include the agency name and docket number or Regulation 
Identifier Number (RIN) for this rulemaking.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Linda Watson by telephone at (202) 
606-0830; by fax at (202) 606-2329; by TTY at (202) 418-3134; or by e-
mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 15, 2004, OPM published final 
regulations at 69 FR 33271, to implement provisions of the Chief Human 
Capital Officers Act of 2002 (Act), Public Law 107-296. This Act 
provides Federal agencies with a number of human resources 
flexibilities to enhance their recruitment and hiring programs. These 
flexibilities include direct-hire authority and alternative (that is, 
category) rating and selection procedures. Under direct-hire authority, 
agencies may recruit and appoint candidates to positions when OPM 
determines there is a severe shortage of candidates or critical hiring 
    Section 1413 of Public Law 108-136 allows department and agency 
heads (other than the Secretary of Defense) to determine under 
regulations prescribed by OPM, when certain Federal acquisition 
positions are shortage category positions for purposes of direct-hire 
authority. The Federal acquisition positions covered by section 1413 
are listed in title 41, United States Code (U.S.C.) 433(g)(1)(A).
    OPM is amending its regulation to allow non-Department of Defense 
(DoD) agencies to determine whether a shortage of highly qualified 
individuals exists for Federal acquisition positions covered under 
title 41, U.S.C. 433(g)(1)(A). When determining the existence of a 
shortage of highly qualified individuals, agencies are required to use 
the supporting evidence prescribed in section 337.204(b) of title 5, 
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The supporting evidence must be kept 
in a file for documentation and reporting purposes.
    Agencies must comply with public notice requirements as prescribed 
in 5 U.S.C. 3327 and 3330, and 5 CFR part 330, subpart G, with respect 
to these positions.
    The direct-hire authority for Federal acquisition positions under 
the provisions of section 1413 of Public Law 108-136 will terminate on 
September 30, 2007. Agencies may not appoint any individual to a 
position of employment using this authority after September 30, 2007.
    In accordance with section 1413(c), OPM is required to submit to 
Congress a report on the implementation and effectiveness of the 
direct-hire authority in attracting employees with unusually high 
qualifications to the acquisition workforce and to make any appropriate 
recommendations regarding whether to extend the authority. Non-DoD 
agencies are required to submit a report to OPM on their implementation 
and use of section 1413 of Public Law 108-136 by December 31, 2006.

E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
in accordance with E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (including 
small businesses, small organizational units, and small governmental 
jurisdictions) because they will only apply to Federal agencies and 

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 337

    Government employees.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Linda M. Springer,

Accordingly, OPM is amending 5 CFR part 337 as follows:


1. Revise the authority citation for part 337 to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1104(a)(2), 1302, 2302, 3301, 3302, 3304, 
3319, 5364; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; 33 FR 12423, 
Sept. 4, 1968; 45 FR 18365, Mar. 21, 1980; 116 Stat. 2135, 2290; and 
117 Stat. 1392, 1665.

Subpart B--Direct-Hire Authority

2. Add new paragraph (c) to Sec.  337.204 to read as follows:

Sec.  337.204  Severe shortage of candidates.

* * * * *
    (c) A department or agency head (other than the Secretary of 
Defense) may determine, pursuant to section 1413 of Public Law 108-136, 
that a shortage of highly qualified candidates exists for certain 
Federal acquisition positions (covered under section 433(g)(1)(A) of 
title 41, United States Code). To make such a determination, the 
deciding agency official must use the supporting evidence prescribed in 
5 CFR 337.204(b)(1)-(8) and must maintain a file of the supporting 
evidence for documentation and reporting purposes.

[[Page 44848]]

3. Add new paragraphs (d) and (e) to Sec.  337.206 to read as follows:

Sec.  337.206  Terminations, modifications, extensions, and reporting.

* * * * *
    (d) No new appointments may be made under the provisions of section 
1413 of Public Law 108-136 after September 30, 2007; and
    (e) Those departments and agencies, excluding the Department of 
Defense, that use the direct-hire authority provided in Sec.  
337.204(c) must submit to OPM a report on their implementation of 
section 1413 of Public Law 108-136 no later than December 31, 2006. The 
report must include:
    (1) A description of how the agency's implementation satisfied each 
of the elements laid out in Sec. Sec.  337.203 and 337.204(b)(1)-(8), 
as applicable;
    (2) An assessment of the effectiveness of the authority in 
attracting employees with unusually high qualifications to the 
acquisition workforce; and
    (3) Any recommendations on whether the authority should be 
[FR Doc. 05-15259 Filed 8-3-05; 8:45 am]