OPM asks agencies to review emergency resources

As the Gulf Coast deals with the aftermath of torrential rains and the nation looks forward to three more months of hurricane season, the Office of Personnel Management reminded agencies to be ready to take advantage of the human resources policies and flexibilities that are available during severe weather incidents and disasters.

In an Aug. 11 memo to chief human capital officers, OPM acting Director Beth Cobert referred agencies to a number of OPM guides, including its Human Resources Flexibilities and Authorities Handbookwhich lays out details on the flexibilities and authorities OPM administers—and its Handbook on Pay and Leave Benefits for Federal Employees Affected by Severe Weather Conditions or Other Emergency Situations, which summarizes pay and leave benefits in emergency situations. 

Flexibilities she discussed in the memo included the emergency leave transfer program, which allows federal employees to donate annual leave to other adversely affected employees, as well as various hiring authorities—including emergency critical hiring authority under which agencies can make 30-day appointments in the excepted service to fill critical hiring needs, and direct hire authorities that allow agencies to directly appoint candidates to critically needed medical, IT and acquisition positions.

The memo also reviewed a number of other hiring mechanisms, as well as information related to telework, charitable solicitation and other resources and flexibilities.

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