Policy Guidance and Clarification for Exceptions to the Army-wide Hiring Freeze

It will be interesting if the Army hiring freeze policies set an example for other agency layoffs and hiring freezes.  Some of the Army exceptions are predicted on specific funding sources or authority for placement different than the normal civilian employee budgetary and authorities.

For details of the Army’s guidance  see the memorandum dated 2013 February 27 from the Department of Army, Office of Assistant Secretary, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, subject “Policy Guidance and Clarification for Army-wide Hiring Freeze and Release of Terms and Temporary Civilian Personnel.”

I do not address here the Army guidance on release of temporary employees.   Some excerpts of hiring freeze exceptions follow.

Recruitment within the Army and placement is excepted.   This recruitment narrows past efforts to recruit candidates from outside of the Army but with a warning not to violate veterans preference rights, other merit principles, or specific Command hiring freeze guidance.

Some position conversions and internal placements are permitted.  Examples include upgraded positions, certain temporary appointments eligible to convert to permanent positions (e.g., 30% disabled veterans), and employees in downsizing commands who are seeking to be internally placed after receipt of separation notices.

Some positions are funded by different budgets or are funded by a different authority than are most Army civilian positions.

Examples of these excepted positions are Foreign Militarv Sales (FMS) positions (the FMS program generates funds which are paid into the Army budget), positions not funded by Army (e.g., in NATO), and positions funded by Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF).

Civilians excepted from the hiring freeze include “all civilians deploying to theaters of operations supporting contingencies; emergency operations; humanitarian missions; disaster relief; restoration of order, drug interdiction; and stability operations (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Philippines, Georgia, Thailand, Lebanon).”

Internal recruitment of current permanent Army employees is allowed within the commuting area.   These recruitment efforts may be from prior recruitment efforts  for outside Army candidates, but cannot violate Veterans’ preference, merit system principles, or specific Command hiring freeze guidance.

Positions may be upgraded due to accretion of duties and internal promotions may continue, provided the upgrades are consistent with budget reduction plans.

“Employees hired/to be hired under Section 852, FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act, who are funded by the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF), are approved Army-wide exceptions to the hiring freeze,” including interns.

Employees within some placement and scholarship programs with return or placement rights are excepted.  For  example,  the potential Program Manager (PM) placements are excepted per the Army Acquisition Centralized Selection List -Command Selection List Program.  The Acquisition Placement Policy on Rotating Civilian Project Product Managers program is excepted.   The employees in three years Career Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellows (CDG/AAF) program continue to have return rights to their former positions.   Scholarship graduates with an agreement to provide continued service agreement is an example of employee who committed to continued service in exchange for the scholarship and are excepted from the freeze.

In addition to Department of Army hiring freeze policies, Commanders and the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army with delegated authority may place further restrictions and requirements upon their own commands.

I only have attempted a summary here.   See the memorandum  for details.     And please let me know what other agencies are doing.  The lines  and distinctions drawn here are interesting and it will be fun to see if other agencies act similarly.

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