President Trump Signs Bill Adopting Volcker Alliance Recommendations for Federal Civil Service Hiring Practices

Monday, August 13, 2018
  • U.S. President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

Today, President Trump signed H.R. 5515, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, into law, which includes improvements to federal employee hiring practices endorsed by the Volcker Alliance and Partnership for Public Service. The new legislation contains provisions focused on recruiting, hiring, and attracting a younger workforce outlined in the Renewing America’s Civil Service, a joint initiative of the Alliance and the Partnership. The two nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations focused on helping build a high-performing, effective government, formed the initiative to identify specific policy, regulatory, and statutory opportunities to improve how the federal government recruits, develops, and manages its workforce.

“Federal agencies have struggled to attract young, highly talented people to the workforce and this problem must be addressed given the aging Federal workforce. I am pleased President Trump and Congress have acknowledged this issue and taken some important initial steps to improving its slow, often overly bureaucratic system,” said Thomas W. Ross, president of the Volcker Alliance.

The recommendations of the Volcker Alliance and Partnership for Public Service that were adopted in the new bill will allow:

• Expedited hiring for college graduates and post-secondary students;

• Federal agencies to determine recruitment sources and processes for the solicitation of applications in order to compete for top talent;

• Changes to the Department of Defense’s authority to directly hire recent graduates into the competitive service; and

• Federal agencies to have flexibility in setting the minimum number of candidates who must be considered on a referral list for each vacancy.

“The Volcker Alliance and the Partnership for Public Service are committed to modernization of the Federal Civil Service System and we are delighted to see some progress toward this goal,” said Mr. Ross.

It has been 40 years since the last meaningful civil service reform legislation. The FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act takes one step toward a much-needed modernization of the civil service system.

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