(WASHINGTON) – AFGE is pleased to see the Presidential memorandum on federal hiring reform. Efforts to engage operational managers more in the hiring process will undoubtedly lead to better and faster hiring decisions. In addition, it makes sense to eliminate mandatory KSAs for the initial application for a federal job. AFGE is reviewing the decision about moving to category rating instead of “rule of three.” While OPM has assured us that category rating is a better tool for ensuring veterans preference than the rule of three, we will monitor this to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.
We are disappointed, however, that the President has not used the memorandum to restrict the use of the Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP). Numerous agencies have been using the FCIP almost exclusively for new hires, evading competitive procedures and veterans’ preference in the process. While the Obama administration has committed to evaluate the use of the FCIP, there is already ample evidence that the FCIP is on the verge of replacing the competitive service. If the hiring reforms the administration has presented are to have any relevance, the FCIP must be either repealed or vastly scaled back. We strongly urge the Obama administration to scrap FCIP promptly so that its reformed competitive hiring with veterans preference can become the standard for the federal government.