Senate approves federal hiring reform bill
By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:
The effort to improve the federal hiring process is on a roll.
Last week, President Obama ordered a series of actions designed to revamp the way Uncle Sam hires. Late Tuesday, the Senate approved the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act of 2010.
The legislation, passed with unanimous consent, would require the heads of executive agencies to develop a strategic workforce plan designed to, among other things, streamline the hiring process. The plan also would include recruitment strategies to bring in highly qualified workers from diverse backgrounds and to meet gaps in critical skills.
Like the reforms outlined in the presidential memorandum signed May 11, the legislation, which still must be approved by the House, would allow applicants to apply using cover letters and résumés, as is the practice in the private sector, instead of writing essays on their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Agencies also would be required to give job candidates notice of the status of their applications or provide them with the ability to check that on their own. The bill calls for officials to develop a plan to fill vacancies within 80 calendar days. And the legislation would put into law the president's order that job announcements be written in plain language.
The bill was sponsored by Sens. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), the chairman and top Republican, respectively, of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs federal workforce subcommittee.
"I am pleased that the Senate unanimously passed this legislation to fix the broken hiring system," Akaka said. "The federal government must adapt to meet the best practices of the private sector for hiring in order to be the nation’s employer of choice. Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act will make sure efficient, common sense hiring practices are used government-wide and that these practices last through time."
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| May 19, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories: Congress, Workplace Issues
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