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OPM Implements Direct Hire Authority to Fill Critical IT Positions

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The Office of Personnel Management released a final rule implementing direct-hire authority for mission-critical information technology positions. OPM said in the document published Wednesday that the authority will allow agency leaders to bypass select steps in hiring new personnel to address the shortage of applicants in critical IT roles. 

“IT managers who are looking to hire in critical roles who cannot get people to fill those critical roles are able to get the head of the agency to authorize direct-hire authority for those roles,” said Margaret Weichert, deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget and current acting director of OPM, at the FedScoop IT Modernization Summit. 

OPM will require IT officials to submit justification before exercising the hiring authority. The office said it will closely monitor each agency’s use of the authority to avoid abuse.

Agencies can use the authority to hire IT professionals for limited terms. Employees hired under the rule can work in government for up to eight years. Direct-hire authority is expected to take effect on May 3.

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