[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 174 (Monday, September 8, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51944-51960]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-20657]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 174 / Monday, September 8, 2008 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 51944]]



OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

5 CFR Parts 302, 330, 335, 337, and 410

RIN 3206-AL04


Recruitment, Selection, and Placement (General)

AGENCY: Office of Personnel Management.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proposing to 
revise the rules on Federal vacancy announcements, reemployment 
priority list requirements, positions restricted to preference 
eligibles, time after competitive appointment, the Career Transition 
Assistance Plan (CTAP), and the Interagency Career Transition 
Assistance Plan (ICTAP). The proposed rules clarify the regulations, 
incorporate longstanding OPM policies, revise placement assistance 
programs for consistency and effectiveness, remove references to two 
expired interagency placement assistance programs, and reorganize 
information for ease of reading.

DATES: We will consider comments received on or before November 7, 
2008.

ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to Angela Bailey, Deputy Associate 
Director, Center for Talent and Capacity Policy, Strategic Human 
Resources Policy, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Room 6551, 1900 
E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415-9700; e-mail to employ@opm.gov; or 
fax to (202) 606-2329. Comments may also be sent through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. All submissions 
received through the Portal must include the agency name and docket 
number or the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. 
Please specify the subpart and section number for each comment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For subparts A, D, and E, contact 
Linda Watson by telephone at (202) 606-0830; TTY at (202) 418-3134; fax 
at (202) 606-0390; or e-mail at linda.watson@opm.gov. For all other 
subparts, contact Pam Galemore by telephone at (202) 606-0960; TTY at 
(202) 418-3134; fax at (202) 606-2329; or e-mail at 
pamela.galemore@opm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is 
proposing to revise the regulations in 5 CFR part 330 governing Federal 
vacancy announcements, the Reemployment Priority List (RPL), positions 
restricted to preference eligibles, time after competitive appointment, 
the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), and the Interagency 
Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP). The proposed revisions are 
described below under each subpart heading.
    The proposed regulations also remove subparts K and L. Subpart K 
provided a priority consideration program for eligible displaced 
employees of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections. The 
statutory authority for this program expired on December 31, 2002. 
Subpart L provided selection priority to eligible displaced employees 
in the Panama Canal Zone. The statutory authority for this program 
expired on December 31, 2000.
    Throughout the proposed regulations, OPM has replaced the verb 
``shall'' with ``must'' for clarity. OPM intends that any provisions in 
this part using the verb ``must'' have the same meaning and effect as 
previous provisions in this part using ``shall.''
    These proposed regulations also include conforming changes in parts 
302--Employment in the Excepted Service, 335--Promotion and Internal 
Placement, 337--Examining System, and 410--Training of OPM's 
regulations, specifically to revise citations because of the movement 
of the rules governing vacancy announcements from subpart G to subpart 
A.

Subpart A

    We are proposing to retitle Subpart A from ``Discretion in Filling 
Vacancies'' to ``Filling Vacancies in the Competitive Service'' to more 
accurately reflect the content of the subpart. The proposed revised 
subpart A includes a list of specific items that must be included in 
all vacancy announcements published on OPM's USAJOBS Web site (which is 
the official job site for the Federal Government). Subpart A also adds 
requirements mandated by the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act, 
which is codified in part at 5 U.S.C. 3304(f)(4). These proposed 
changes will support the requirement for specific information in the 
vacancy announcement and establish consistency in the information 
provided to applicants. OPM's authority to require items in a vacancy 
announcement is in 5 U.S.C. 3330.
    We are proposing to add definitions in Sec.  330.101 and move the 
paragraph about ``agencies covered'' currently in Sec.  330.102 to 
Sec.  330.101. These revisions consolidate definitions that are 
applicable throughout part 330, and define vacancy solely for the 
purposes of subpart A in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3327.
    Under 5 U.S.C. 3330, OPM is required to keep a current list of all 
competitive service vacancy announcements for which agencies will 
accept applications from outside their respective workforces. 
Currently, subpart G of part 330, which covers the Interagency Career 
Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP), contains OPM's regulations 
prescribing information that agencies must include in Federal vacancy 
announcements (such as title, location, duties, etc.). We are proposing 
to move this information from subpart G, Sec.  330.707, to subpart A, 
Sec.  330.104, because the reporting requirement applies to all 
competitive service vacancy announcements. Conforming revisions to 
other CFR parts with the reference to Sec.  330.707 are included with 
these proposed regulations.
    OPM receives inquiries on a regular basis from agencies concerning 
how to add a vacancy announcement to OPM's USAJOBS Web site. We propose 
to add in Sec.  330.105 that agencies may locate these instructions on 
the Web site at www.usajobs.opm.gov.

Subpart B

    Subpart B governs the Reemployment Priority List (RPL), which is 
the program an agency must use to meet its statutory reemployment 
priority obligations under sections 3315 and 8151 of title 5, United 
States Code. Agencies establish an RPL to provide selection priority to 
their permanent competitive service employees who were or will be 
involuntarily separated through reduction in force (RIF) procedures 
under part 351, or who have recovered from a compensable work-related 
injury after more than 1 year, as required by 5

[[Page 51945]]

CFR 353.301(b). These employees may register for, and receive selection 
priority over, most other candidates from outside the agency's current 
permanent competitive service workforce. Agencies must apply veterans' 
preference when making RPL placements.
    Generally, the proposed revisions to subpart B clarify who is 
eligible for the RPL, delete references to outdated material (e.g., 
appointment authorities that no longer exist), and clarify the 
operation of the RPL through use of plain language and improved 
organization of the material.
    We are also proposing to define and rename certain terms (e.g., 
``priority consideration'' to ``placement priority'') to clearly 
distinguish the RPL program from other internal agency placement 
programs. The proposed regulations also clarify longstanding OPM policy 
concerning employees' rights, agency flexibility, and termination of 
eligibility.
    Other proposed revisions to subpart B include the following:
    Section 330.202 adds a ``Definitions'' section for terms used 
throughout the subpart. This section includes a definition of Qualified 
for RPL purposes. The proposed definition ensures that placement of the 
RPL registrant will not detract or hinder mission accomplishment by 
requiring that, for RPL placement priority, the placement of the RPL 
registrant in the position will not cause an undue interruption to 
required work. The undue interruption provision is currently provided 
as an exception to the RPL selection order in Sec.  330.207. Adding 
this provision as part of the Qualified definition makes the 
qualifications required for placement through the RPL consistent with 
those required for placement through RIF procedures. Also for 
consistency, the term ``selection placement factors'' is revised to 
``selective factors'' to align with terminology used in OPM's 
``Operating Manual: Qualification Standards for General Schedule 
Positions.''
    Revised Sec.  330.203 combines the conditions for RPL eligibility 
based on recovery from a compensable injury, currently in Sec.  
330.204, with RPL eligibility based on a notice of or actual RIF 
separation. Section 330.203(a)(2) clarifies that RPL eligibility ends 
if the employee receives a written notice of cancellation, rescission, 
or modification to the official notice which established RPL 
eligibility (for example, the agency cancels the employee's notice of 
RIF separation or the agency offers a position with a representative 
rate at least as high as that of the position from which the employee 
will be separated). In Sec.  330.203(a)(3), we are proposing to raise 
the minimum performance rating of record level required for RIF-based 
RPL eligibility from a rating above unacceptable (Level 1) to at least 
fully successful (Level 3) or equivalent. (The proposed definition of 
Rating of record in Sec.  330.202 corresponds to the definition in part 
351 to cover those cases where an appraisal system does not have a 
summary rating level of fully successful.) The proposed change makes 
the rating of record required for RIF-based RPL eligibility consistent 
with the minimum performance rating of record required for selection 
priority under both the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) in 
subpart F and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) 
in subpart G. A minimum rating of record is not required for RPL 
eligibility based on recovery from a compensable work-related injury.
    Section 330.204(b) adds a requirement for agencies to provide 
information about the agency's RPL program to each RPL eligible 
employee when the employee accepts a position at a lower grade or pay 
level or separates from the agency because of a compensable work-
related injury. This provision is added to ensure employees are 
informed of their rights under 5 U.S.C. 8151.
    Section 330.206(a)(3) revises the period for an employee with RPL 
eligibility because of a RIF to apply for the agency's RPL. The current 
regulation in Sec.  330.202(a)(1) requires the employee to apply within 
30 calendar days after the RIF separation date. We propose to require 
that RPL eligibles must apply on or before the RIF separation date. The 
proposed change is intended to ease the administrative burden on 
agencies while allowing a RIF-based RPL eligible at least 60 days (the 
minimum notice period under part 351) to apply for registration. We are 
not proposing to change the application period for RPL eligibles based 
on recovery from a compensable work injury.
    Section 330.207 clarifies and expands agency discretion for RPL 
registration areas. Specifically, Sec.  330.207(b) allows an agency the 
discretion to register an employee in a local commuting area other than 
the local commuting area from which the employee will be, or has been, 
separated if the agency does not, or will not, have any competitive 
service positions remaining in the local commuting area from which the 
employee will be, or has been, separated. This provision addresses 
closure situations that are not currently covered in the regulations.
    The proposed Sec.  330.207(d) requires an agency to establish a 
fair and consistent policy for expanding the registration area for an 
employee whose RPL eligibility is based on recovery from a compensable 
work injury. The current regulation in Sec.  330.206(b) requires an 
agency to determine when and how to provide for maximum opportunities 
for consideration; however, it does not require an agency to establish 
a policy for making such determinations.
    The proposed Sec.  330.207(e) deletes Alaska from the current Sec.  
330.206(a)(4), concerning RPL eligibility for overseas positions; 
Alaska does not meet the definition of ``overseas'' in part 210 of this 
chapter.
    Section 330.208 changes the period and expiration date of RPL 
eligibility from the current period in Sec.  330.203(c) of 2 years from 
the date of RPL registration for a tenure group I eligible and 1 year 
from the date of RPL registration for a tenure group II eligible. To 
ease the administrative burden on agencies and to maximize placement 
priority under this program, we propose to change the period and 
expiration date for RPL eligibility for both tenure groups to 2 years 
from the date of separation by RIF, or from the date of registration if 
eligibility is based on recovery from a compensable work injury. We 
also propose to add a provision that OPM may extend the eligibility 
period when an RPL eligible is not timely registered, for example, due 
to an administrative or procedural error. The current regulations do 
not specifically provide OPM with this authority. Adding this provision 
will avoid having to consider such an extension through a regulatory 
variation under Civil Service Rule 5.1 (5 CFR 5.1).
    Section 330.209(a)(2) clarifies that an RPL registrant is removed 
from the RPL if the registrant receives a written notice of 
cancellation, rescission, or modification to the official notice which 
established RPL eligibility (for example, the agency cancels the 
employee's notice of RIF separation or the agency offers a position 
with a representative rate at least as high as that of the position 
from which the employee will be separated).
    Sections 330.209(a)(5) and (6) clarify that RPL eligibility ends 
when the RPL registrant is actually placed in or appointed to a 
different position rather than when the registrant ``receives'' an 
appointment as currently described in Sec.  330.203(d)(2)(ii).
    Section 330.210(a) clarifies that RPL placement priority applies to 
permanent and time-limited positions to be filled by competitive 
service appointment.

[[Page 51946]]

    Section 330.211(a) clarifies that an agency may fill vacancies with 
candidates from within its permanent competitive service workforce 
without regard to the RPL, after the agency meets its CTAP obligations 
under subpart F of part 330.
    Paragraphs (d) and (e) of Sec.  330.213 add an alternative rating 
and selection procedure (also called category rating) and an 
application-based procedure, respectively, to provide agencies with 
additional referral and selection methods. The category rating 
procedure is derived from 5 U.S.C. 3319, as implemented in 5 CFR part 
337 and OPM's ``Delegated Examining Operations Handbook.'' The 
application-based procedure is similar to the employee-empowerment 
model established under CTAP and ICTAP procedures in subparts F and G 
of this part, respectively.
    The proposed regulation also deletes current paragraph (c) of Sec.  
330.208 concerning agency consideration of sex in determining 
qualifications for the RPL; this consideration is part of the 
qualification requirements.
    Subpart C remains reserved.

Subpart D

    We are proposing to revise Sec. Sec.  330.401 through 330.403 to 
clarify that the statutory restriction of certain positions to 
preference eligibles applies to any competitive examination, regardless 
of whether OPM or an agency, through delegated authority under 5 U.S.C. 
1104(a)(2), performs the examination. We also specify exceptions to the 
restriction and include a staffing procedure inadvertently omitted 
during OPM's process of deleting references in the Code of Federal 
Regulations to the Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) because of its 
sunset. We propose to retitle Sec.  330.401 as ``Restricted 
Positions.'' This section identifies the restricted positions covered 
in 5 U.S.C. 3310. Definitions of these positions are located in OPM's 
Delegated Examining Operations Handbook at http://www.opm.gov/deu.
    We are proposing to retitle Sec.  330.402 as ``Exceptions to 
Restriction.'' Section 330.402 identifies the types of appointments an 
agency may use when filling a restricted position with a nonpreference 
eligible. Agencies will be required to obtain OPM's approval prior to 
making a selection if the type of appointment is not identified in 
Sec.  330.402.
    We are proposing to retitle Sec.  330.403 as ``Positions Brought 
into the Competitive Service.'' This section includes a staffing 
procedure formerly described in the FPM. Under this section, agencies 
will be able to convert the appointment of a nonpreference eligible 
whose restricted position was brought into the competitive service.

Subpart E

    We are proposing to revise this subpart for readability, to delete 
a reference to a part-time direct hire program that no longer exists, 
and to renumber the sections accordingly.

Subparts F and G

    Since the 1940s, and in addition to the statutory RPL, the Federal 
Government has had placement assistance programs to help its permanent 
workforce transition to other positions when employees have been 
adversely affected by reorganizations, reshaping, or contracting-out of 
work. These programs support both the Government as a whole and 
specific agency missions by preserving the investment in high-quality, 
well-trained, experienced employees.
    In 1994, Congress directed OPM to study competitive service 
placement programs to determine a better Governmentwide approach than 
the centralized, list-based programs in use at the time. OPM developed 
CTAP and ICTAP in 1995 in conjunction with agencies, labor 
organizations, Federal Executive Boards, employees, and other 
stakeholders.
    The CTAP (which applies in the employee's current agency) and the 
ICTAP (which applies to agencies other than the employee's current or 
last agency) established under subparts F and G, respectively, provide 
selection priority to employees displaced from their jobs through no 
fault of their own. Under CTAP and ICTAP, instead of the centralized 
listings that were used in the past, eligible employees apply directly 
for agency vacancies and receive selection priority only if they are 
determined to be well-qualified for the position under the agency's 
job-related evaluation criteria.
    Throughout subparts F and G, we are proposing to delete duplication 
and outdated references, to incorporate longstanding OPM policies and 
guidance, to clarify the material by using plain language, and to 
reorganize the subparts for ease of use. The proposed revisions clarify 
the difference between an employee eligible to apply under CTAP and 
ICTAP versus an employee eligible to receive selection priority under 
these plans. The proposed revision also clarifies that excepted service 
appointments are exempt from CTAP and ICTAP selection priority, which 
is limited to competitive service appointments. With this in mind, we 
are proposing to revise the definition of agency in Sec.  330.101 to 
include entities with positions in the competitive service by statute 
or Executive order, which is not clear under the current definitions in 
subparts F and G.
    We are also proposing to replace the term ``directed reassignment'' 
with ``directed geographic relocation'' in both subparts. This change 
clarifies that declination of any management-directed involuntary 
movement to a different commuting area (e.g., reassignment or change in 
duty station) establishes eligibility for CTAP and ICTAP selection 
priority.
    Through these proposed regulations, we are also inviting comments 
concerning the exceptions to CTAP and ICTAP selection priority. 
Currently, there are numerous exceptions to applying CTAP and ICTAP 
selection priority under subparts F and G, respectively. We are 
interested in stakeholders' views on the number and types of exceptions 
as well as additional exceptions that may be considered necessary for 
efficient and effective use of agency workforces. When replying to this 
invitation, please indicate the rationale behind proposing to delete or 
add specific exceptions.

Subpart F

    The following are specific proposed revisions within subpart F:
    Section 330.601(c) is revised to delete the specific reference to 
the Department of Defense exemption from certain portions of the CTAP 
regulations. The revision also provides the same flexibility for 
agencies to develop their own internal placement assistance programs as 
is available under the RPL regulations in subpart B.
    Section 330.602 is revised to delete definitions that have been 
consolidated in the proposed subpart A and to add definitions for CTAP 
eligible and CTAP selection priority candidate to clarify the 
difference between these two terms. The definition of Displaced is 
revised to add a provision that the employee must not have declined a 
RIF offer under part 351, subpart G, to a position with the same type 
of work schedule and a representative rate at least as high as that of 
the position from which the employee will be separated. Adding this 
provision makes CTAP eligibility consistent with RPL eligibility 
criteria. In addition, the proposed regulations move the criteria for 
agency definitions of ``well-qualified'' from the definitions section 
to a separate section, Sec.  330.606. Each agency is responsible for 
defining ``well-qualified'' for the purposes of its CTAP, and the 
revised Sec.  330.606

[[Page 51947]]

prescribes the minimum requirements for agency definitions. Because 
``well-qualified'' is an agency-defined term, the minimum criteria for 
the agency definition are more appropriate in the regulatory text. We 
have also deleted from the well-qualified criteria the statement, 
``Selective and quality ranking factors cannot be so restrictive that 
they run counter to the goal of placing displaced employees'' as 
unnecessary. Selective factors and quality ranking factors must be 
developed through job analysis and be job-related in accordance with 5 
CFR part 300. OPM provides guidance on developing these factors in the 
``Delegated Examining Operations Handbook.''
    Section 330.606(c) adds a provision that an agency may include the 
results of a scored structured interview process to determine whether a 
CTAP eligible is well-qualified when such a process is used to assess 
the qualified candidates being considered for the vacancy. Many 
agencies now use a scored interview as an assessment tool in addition 
to the initial evaluation of qualified candidates' applications against 
job-related criteria for rating and ranking purposes. Adding this 
provision clarifies that the results of this tool can be used in 
determining whether candidates are well-qualified. This provision is 
also proposed for addition to Sec.  330.704(c).
    Section 330.607(b) clarifies the provision in the current 
regulations at Sec.  330.606(a) concerning procuring temporary help 
services. The clarification states that agencies must make a 
determination under part 300, subpart E, that CTAP eligibles are not 
available before procuring temporary help services under that subpart. 
This provision is also proposed for addition to Sec.  330.706(b).
    Section 330.608(a) adds an option for agencies to provide the 
required CTAP orientation session in person or through the agency's 
automated training system or Intranet.
    Section 330.609 moves the list of exceptions to CTAP selection 
priority from current Sec.  330.606(d) to a separate section for easier 
reference.
    Section 330.609(y) (current paragraph (26) of Sec.  330.606) 
clarifies an unintentional difference between CTAP and ICTAP under 
subpart G which allows program exceptions for extensions of time-
limited promotions and appointments, including OPM-approved extensions. 
We are clarifying that OPM-approved exceptions are covered under 
subpart G.
    Section 330.609(dd) adds an exception to CTAP selection priority to 
include placements made under 5 CFR part 412, Senior Executive Service 
merit staffing procedures for developmental programs. This exception is 
also added at Sec.  330.707(v).
    Section 330.611(a) clarifies that, to establish selection priority, 
a CTAP eligible must submit all required materials and eligibility 
documentation within the timeframe established by the agency. The 
wording of the current regulation in Sec.  330.605(a)(5) implies that 
proof of eligibility does not have to be submitted within agency-
established timeframes, which was not the intent. This clarification is 
also proposed for addition to Sec.  330.709(a).

Subpart G

    In addition to the proposed revisions discussed under ``Subparts F 
and G'' above, the following are specific proposed revisions within 
subpart G.
    Section 330.701 deletes outdated material and clarifies that ICTAP 
selection priority applies only in agencies other than the employee's 
current or former agency. The CTAP and RPL programs provide selection 
and placement priority, respectively, in the employee's current or 
former agency.
    Section 330.702 is revised to delete definitions that have been 
consolidated in the proposed subpart A and to revise the definition of 
Displaced. Specifically, the proposed revision deletes ``A former 
career or career-conditional competitive service employee, in tenure 
group 1 or 2, at grades GS-15 level or equivalent or below, who 
received a RIF separation notice, and who retired on the effective date 
of the RIF or under discontinued service retirement option.'' from the 
current definition in Sec.  330.703(b)(5). This provision had the 
unintentional result of providing ICTAP selection priority to employees 
who left the employing agency before the agency effected the RIF 
action. We are proposing to delete this provision to make ICTAP 
selection priority consistent with the other placement assistance 
programs covered under this part that provide selection priority to 
employees whose agency has taken an action. Also, employees may receive 
an offer of continued employment during a RIF notice period.
    The revised definition of Displaced in Sec.  330.702 also adds a 
provision that the employee must not have declined a RIF offer under 
part 351, subpart G, to a position with the same type of work schedule 
and a representative rate at least as high as that of the position from 
which the employee was, or will be, separated. Adding this provision 
makes ICTAP eligibility consistent with RPL eligibility criteria.
    We added definitions for ICTAP eligible and ICTAP selection 
priority candidate to clarify the difference between these two terms.
    As discussed under subpart F, we moved the criteria for agency 
definitions of ``well-qualified'' from the definitions section to a 
separate section, Sec.  330.704, because each agency is responsible for 
defining ``well-qualified'' for the purposes of its ICTAP, and the 
revised Sec.  330.704 prescribes the minimum requirements for agency 
definitions. Because ``well-qualified'' is an agency-defined term, the 
minimum criteria for the agency definition are more appropriate in the 
regulatory text.
    Section 330.704(c) adds a provision that an agency may include the 
results of a scored structured interview process to determine whether 
an ICTAP eligible is well-qualified when such a process is used to 
assess the qualified candidates being considered for the vacancy. As 
discussed under subpart F above, many agencies now use a scored 
interview as an assessment tool in addition to the initial evaluation 
of qualified candidates' applications against job-related criteria for 
rating and ranking purposes. Adding this provision clarifies that the 
results of this tool can be used in determining whether candidates are 
well-qualified. This provision is also proposed for addition to Sec.  
330.606(c).
    Section 330.705(d)(2) adds provisions for an agency to make 
additional selections or reissue selection certificates without re-
determining whether potential ICTAP eligibles are available within the 
local commuting area. Under the current regulations, an agency must 
determine if ICTAP eligibles are available whenever it makes a 
selection that is not an authorized exception to ICTAP. The proposed 
Sec.  330.705(d)(2) allows agencies to make additional selections or 
reissue a selection certificate from an applicant pool previously 
established by a vacancy announcement under which ICTAP eligibles had 
an opportunity to apply.
    Section 330.705(f) adds a provision that an agency may deny an 
ICTAP eligible future selection priority for a position previously 
obtained through ICTAP if the eligible was terminated or removed for 
cause (e.g., for performance under 5 CFR part 432 or under adverse 
actions procedures under 5 CFR part 752) from that position. This could 
occur if the ICTAP eligible was placed in a temporary position.
    Section 330.707 moves the list of exceptions to ICTAP selection 
priority from current Sec.  330.705(b) to a separate section for easier 
reference. As

[[Page 51948]]

discussed earlier under subpart A, we are also proposing to revise and 
move the information concerning agency requirements for reporting 
vacancies to OPM from the current regulation at Sec.  330.707 to 
subpart A.
    Section 330.707(v) adds an exception to ICTAP to include placements 
made under 5 CFR part 412, Senior Executive Service merit staffing 
procedures for developmental programs. This exception is also added at 
Sec.  330.609(dd).
    Section 330.708 clarifies when ICTAP eligibility expires, depending 
on the basis for the eligibility. This clarification addresses 
inconsistencies in the interpretation of exactly when ICTAP eligibility 
expires. For example, some agencies provide selection priority for the 
duration of the selection process, meaning until a selection is made, 
even though the 1-year period of ICTAP eligibility may have expired 
during that process. OPM's intent was always to have a definitive 
eligibility cut-off date, consistent with the other placement 
assistance programs covered by this part. Agencies retain the option to 
select a displaced employee whose ICTAP eligibility has expired under 
the reinstatement authority provided by 5 CFR 315.401.
    We also propose to add a provision in Sec.  330.708(e) that OPM may 
extend the eligibility period when a displaced employee does not 
receive timely information on ICTAP eligibility or another 
administrative or procedural error occurs that adversely impacts the 
eligibility period. The current regulations do not specifically provide 
OPM with this authority. Adding this provision will avoid having to 
consider such an extension through a regulatory variation under Civil 
Service Rule 5.1 (5 CFR 5.1).
    Section 330.709(a) clarifies that, to establish selection priority, 
an ICTAP eligible must submit all required materials and eligibility 
documentation within the timeframe established by the agency. The 
wording of the current regulation in Sec.  330.704(a)(5) implies that 
proof of eligibility does not have to be submitted within agency 
established timeframes, which was not the intent. This clarification is 
also proposed for addition to Sec.  330.611(a).
    Subparts H and I remain reserved.
    Subpart J is unchanged.

Subparts K and L

    We are proposing to remove these subparts, which provided special 
selection priority to certain displaced employees of the District of 
Columbia Department of Corrections and Panama Canal Zone, respectively. 
As explained above, the statutory authority for these programs has 
expired.
    For the convenience of the reader, the proposed part 330 is 
published in its entirety.

E.O. 12866, Regulatory Review

    This rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget 
in accordance with E.O. 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that these regulations would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they 
would apply only to Federal agencies and employees.

List of Subjects

5 CFR Parts 302, 335, and 337

    Government employees.

5 CFR Part 330

    Armed forces reserves, District of Columbia, Government employees.

5 CFR Part 410

    Education, Government employees.

Office of Personnel Management.
Michael W. Hager,
Acting Director.

    Accordingly, OPM proposes to amend 5 CFR parts 302, 330, 335, 337, 
and 410 as follows:

PART 302--EMPLOYMENT IN THE EXCEPTED SERVICE

    1. The authority citation for part 302 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1302, 3301, 3302, 8151, E.O. 10577 (3 CFR 
1954-1958 Comp., p. 218); Sec.  302.105 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 
1104, Pub. L. 95-454, sec. 3(5); Sec.  302.501 also issued under 5 
U.S.C. 7701 et seq.


Sec.  302.106  [Amended]

    2. In Sec.  302.106, remove the phrase ``Sec.  330.707 of subpart 
G'' and add in its place the phrase, ``part 330, subpart A''.
    3. Revise part 330 to read as follows:

PART 330--RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT (GENERAL)

Subpart A--Filling Vacancies in the Competitive Service
Sec.
330.101 Definitions.
330.102 Methods of filling vacancies.
330.103 Requirement to notify OPM.
330.104 Required items for a vacancy announcement.
330.105 Instructions on how to add a vacancy announcement to 
USAJOBS.
330.106 Funding.
Subpart B--Reemployment Priority List (RPL)
330.201 Purpose.
330.202 Definitions.
330.203 RPL eligibility.
330.204 Agency requirements and responsibilities.
330.205 Agency RPL applications.
330.206 RPL registration timeframe and positions.
330.207 Registration area.
330.208 Duration of RPL registration.
330.209 Removal from an RPL.
330.210 Applying RPL placement priority.
330.211 Exceptions to RPL placement priority.
330.212 Agency flexibilities.
330.213 Selection from an RPL.
330.214 Appeal rights.
Subpart C--[Reserved]
Subpart D--Positions Restricted to Preference Eligibles
330.401 Restricted positions.
330.402 Exceptions to restriction.
330.403 Positions brought into the competitive service.
330.404 Displacement of preference eligibles occupying restricted 
positions in contracting out situations.
330.405 Agency placement assistance.
330.406 OPM placement assistance.
330.407 Eligibility for the Interagency Career Transition Assistance 
Plan.
Subpart E--Restrictions to Protect Competitive Principles
330.501 Purpose.
330.502 General restriction on movement after competitive 
appointment.
330.503 Ensuring agency compliance with the principles of open 
competition.
330.504 Exception to the general restriction.
Subpart F--Agency Career Transition Assistance Plans (CTAP) for Local 
Surplus and Displaced Employees
330.601 Purpose.
330.602 Definitions.
330.603 Requirements for agency CTAPs.
330.604 Requirements for agency CTAP selection priority.
330.605 Agency responsibilities for well-qualified decisions.
330.606 Minimum criteria for agency well-qualified definition.
330.607 Applying CTAP selection priority.
330.608 Other agency CTAP responsibilities.
330.609 Exceptions to CTAP selection priority.
330.610 CTAP eligibility period.
330.611 Establishing CTAP selection priority.
330.612 Proof of eligibility.
330.613 OPM's role in CTAP.
Subpart G--Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) for 
Displaced Employees
330.701 Purpose.
330.702 Definitions.
330.703 Agency responsibilities for well-qualified decisions.
330.704 Minimum criteria for agency well-qualified definition.
330.705 Applying ICTAP selection priority.
330.706 Other agency ICTAP responsibilities.

[[Page 51949]]

330.707 Exceptions to ICTAP selection priority.
330.708 ICTAP eligibility period.
330.709 Establishing ICTAP selection priority.
330.710 Proof of eligibility.
330.711 OPM's role in ICTAP.
Subparts H-I--[Reserved]
Subpart J--Prohibited Practices
330.1001 Withdrawal from competition.
Subparts K-L--[Reserved]

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 105, 1104, 1302, 3301, 3302, 3304, and 3330; 
E.O. 10577, 3 CFR, 1954-58 Comp., p. 218.
    Section 330.102 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 3327. Subpart B also 
issued under 5 U.S.C. 3315 and 8151. Section 330.401 also issued 
under 5 U.S.C. 3310. Subpart G also issued under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) 
and 8456(b).

Subpart A--Filling Vacancies in the Competitive Service


Sec.  330.101  Definitions.

    In this part:
    Agency means:
    (1) The executive departments listed at 5 U.S.C. 101;
    (2) The military departments listed at 5 U.S.C. 102;
    (3) Government owned corporations in the executive branch as 
described at 5 U.S.C. 103;
    (4) Independent establishments in the executive branch as described 
at 5 U.S.C. 104, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and
    (5) Government Printing Office.
    Component means the first major subdivision of an agency, 
separately organized, and clearly distinguished in work function and 
operation from other agency subdivisions, e.g., the Internal Revenue 
Service under the Department of the Treasury or the National Park 
Service under the Department of the Interior.
    Local commuting area is defined in part 351 of this chapter.
    Permanent competitive service workforce and permanent competitive 
service employees mean agency employees in career and career 
conditional appointments, tenure groups I and II, respectively.
    Position change is defined in part 210 of this chapter.
    Rating of record is defined in part 351 of this chapter.
    Representative rate is defined in part 351 of this chapter.
    Tenure groups are defined in part 351 of this chapter.
    In this subpart:
    Vacancy means a vacant position in the competitive service, 
regardless of whether the position will be filled by permanent or time-
limited appointment, for which an agency is seeking applications from 
outside its current permanent competitive service workforce.


Sec.  330.102  Methods of filling vacancies.

    An agency may fill a vacancy in the competitive service by any 
method authorized in this chapter, including competitive appointment 
from a list of eligibles, noncompetitive appointment under special 
authority, reinstatement, transfer, reassignment, change to lower 
grade, or promotion. The agency must exercise discretion in each 
personnel action solely on the basis of merit and fitness, without 
regard to political or religious affiliation, marital status, or race, 
and veterans' preference entitlements.


Sec.  330.103  Requirement to notify OPM.

    An agency must notify OPM promptly when:
    (a) Filling a vacancy for more than 120 days from outside the 
agency's current permanent competitive service workforce, as required 
by the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan, subpart G of this 
part, unless the action to be taken is listed in subpart G as an 
exception to that subpart;
    (b) Filling any vacancy under the agency's merit promotion 
procedures when the agency will accept applications from outside its 
permanent competitive service workforce; and
    (c) Filling a vacancy by open competitive examination, including 
direct hire procedures under part 337 of this chapter, or in the Senior 
Executive Service, as required by 5 U.S.C. 3327.


Sec.  330.104  Required items for a vacancy announcement.

    (a) The vacancy announcement must contain the following 
information:
    (1) Name of issuing agency;
    (2) Announcement number;
    (3) Position title, series, pay plan, and grade (or pay rate);
    (4) Duty location;
    (5) Number of vacancies;
    (6) Opening date and application deadline (closing date), plus any 
other information dealing with how application receipt will be 
controlled, such as the use of early cut-off dates, received, or 
postmarked date;
    (7) Qualification requirements, including knowledge, skills, and 
abilities or competencies;
    (8) Starting pay;
    (9) Brief description of duties;
    (10) Basis of rating;
    (11) What to file;
    (12) Instructions on how to apply;
    (13) Information on how to claim veterans' preference, if 
applicable;
    (14) Definition of ``well-qualified,'' as required by subparts F 
and G of this part;
    (15) Information on how candidates eligible under subparts F and G 
of this part may apply, including required proof of eligibility;
    (16) Contact person or contact point;
    (17) Equal employment opportunity statement (OPM recommends using 
the following statement: ``The United States Government does not 
discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, 
national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital 
status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or 
other non-merit factor''); and
    (18) Reasonable accommodation statement.
    (b)(1) An agency may use wording of its choice in its statement 
that conveys the availability of reasonable accommodation required by 
Sec.  330.104(a)(18). In its reasonable accommodation statement, an 
agency may not list types of medical conditions or impairments 
appropriate for accommodation.
    (2) OPM recommends using the following statement:
    ``This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with 
disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation 
for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the 
agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be 
made on a case-by-case basis.''


Sec.  330.105  Instructions on how to add a vacancy announcement to 
USAJOBS.

    An agency can find the instructions to add a vacancy announcement 
to USAJOBS on OPM's Web site at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov. An 
electronic file of the complete vacancy announcement must be included.


Sec.  330.106  Funding.

    Each year, OPM will charge a fee for the agency's share of the cost 
of providing employment information to the public and to Federal 
employees as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 3330(f).

Subpart B--Reemployment Priority List (RPL)


Sec.  330.201  Purpose.

    (a) The Reemployment Priority List (RPL) is a required component of 
agency placement programs to assist its current and former competitive 
service employees who will be or were separated by reduction in force 
(RIF) under part 351 of this chapter, or who have recovered from a 
compensable work-related injury after more than 1

[[Page 51950]]

year, as required by part 353 of this chapter. In filling vacancies, an 
agency must give its RPL registrants placement priority for most 
competitive service vacancies before hiring someone from outside its 
own permanent competitive service workforce. An agency may choose to 
consider RPL placement priority candidates before other agency 
permanent competitive service employees under its Career Transition 
Assistance Plan (CTAP) established under subpart F of this part, after 
fulfilling agency obligations to its CTAP selection priority 
candidates.
    (b) Agencies must use an RPL to give placement priority to their:
    (1) Current competitive service employees with a specific notice of 
RIF separation or a Certification of Expected Separation issued under 
part 351 of this chapter;
    (2) Former competitive service employees separated by RIF under 
part 351 of this chapter; and
    (3) Former competitive service employees fully recovered from a 
compensable injury (as defined in part 353 of this chapter) after more 
than 1 year.
    (c) All agency components within the local commuting area use a 
single RPL and are responsible for giving placement priority to the 
agency's RPL registrants.
    (d) With prior OPM approval, an agency may operate an alternate 
placement program which satisfies the basic requirements of this 
subpart, including veterans' preference, as an exception to the RPL 
regulations under this subpart. This provision is limited to 
reemployment priority because of RIF separation and allows agencies to 
adopt different placement strategies that are effective for their 
programs and satisfy employee entitlements to reemployment priority.


Sec.  330.202  Definitions.

    In this subpart:
    Competitive area is defined in part 351 of this chapter.
    Competitive service appointment includes new appointments, 
reinstatements, reemployment, and transfers as defined in part 210 of 
this chapter, and conversions as defined in OPM's ``Guide to Processing 
Personnel Actions.''
    Injury, in relation to the RPL, is defined in part 353 of this 
chapter.
    Overseas is defined in part 210 of this chapter.
    Qualified refers to an RPL registrant who:
    (1) Meets OPM-established or -approved qualification standards and 
requirements for the position, including minimum educational 
requirements, and agency-established selective factors (as this term is 
used in OPM's ``Operating Manual: Qualification Standards for General 
Schedule Positions'');
    (2) Will not cause an undue interruption that would prevent the 
completion of required work by the registrant 90 days after the 
registrant is placed in the position (This 90-day standard should be 
considered within the allowable limits of time and quality, taking into 
account the pressures of priorities, deadlines, and other demands.);
    (3) Is physically qualified, with or without reasonable 
accommodation, to perform the duties of the position;
    (4) Meets any special OPM-approved qualifying conditions for the 
position; and
    (5) Meets any other applicable requirements for competitive service 
appointment.
    RPL eligible means a current or former employee of the agency who 
meets the conditions in either paragraph (a) or (b) of Sec.  330.203. 
As used in this subpart, ``RPL eligible'' and ``eligible'' are 
synonymous.
    RPL placement priority candidate means an RPL registrant who is 
qualified and available for a specific agency vacancy.
    RPL registrant means an RPL eligible who submitted a timely RPL 
application and who is registered on the agency's RPL. As used in this 
subpart, ``RPL registrant'' and ``registrant'' are synonymous.
    Vacancy means any vacant position to be filled by a competitive 
service permanent or time-limited appointment.


Sec.  330.203  RPL eligibility.

    An employee must meet the conditions in either paragraph (a) or (b) 
of this section to be an RPL eligible.
    (a) For eligibility based on part 351 of this chapter, the 
employee:
    (1) Must be serving in an appointment in the competitive service in 
tenure group I or II;
    (2) Must have received either a specific notice of separation or a 
Certification of Expected Separation under part 351 of this chapter 
that has not been cancelled, rescinded, or modified so that the 
employee is no longer under notice of separation;
    (3) Must have received a rating of record of at least fully 
successful (Level 3) or equivalent as the most recent performance 
rating of record; and
    (4) Must not have declined an offer under part 351, subpart G, of 
this chapter of a position with the same type of work schedule and with 
a representative rate at least as high as that of the position from 
which the employee will be separated.
    (b) For eligibility based on part 353 of this chapter, the employee 
or former employee:
    (1) Must be serving in, or separated from, an appointment in the 
competitive service in tenure group I or II;
    (2) Must either have accepted a position at a lower grade or pay 
level in lieu of separation or have been separated because of a 
compensable injury or disability (For the purposes of this subpart, any 
reference to the ``position from which or will be separated'' includes 
the position from which the RPL eligible accepted the lower graded or 
pay level position under this paragraph.);
    (3) Must have fully recovered more than 1 year after compensation 
began; and
    (4) Must have received notification from the Office of Workers 
Compensation Programs, Department of Labor, that injury compensation 
benefits have ceased or will cease.


Sec.  330.204  Agency requirements and responsibilities.

    (a) An agency must establish policies and maintain an RPL for each 
local commuting area in which the agency has RPL eligibles.
    (b) An agency must give each RPL eligible information about its RPL 
program, including Merit Systems Protection Board appeal rights under 
Sec.  330.214, when:
    (1) The agency issues a RIF separation notice or a Certification of 
Expected Separation under part 351 of this chapter; or
    (2) The employee accepts a position at a lower grade or pay level 
or is separated from the agency because of a compensable work-related 
injury.
    (c) An agency must register an RPL eligible on the appropriate RPL 
no later than 10 calendar days after receiving the eligible's written 
application.
    (d) Agencies must include in their RPL policies established under 
this subpart how they will assist RPL eligibles who:
    (1) Request an RPL application;
    (2) Request help in completing the RPL application; and
    (3) Request help in identifying and listing on the RPL application 
those positions within the agency for which they are qualified and 
interested.
    (e) An agency must give RPL registrants placement priority for 
personnel actions as described in Sec.  330.210.
    (f) An agency must not remove an individual from the RPL under 
Sec.  330.209(a)(1), (b)(1), or (b)(2) without

[[Page 51951]]

evidence (such as a Postal Service return receipt signed by addressee 
only) showing that the offer, inquiry, or scheduled interview was made 
in writing. The written offer, inquiry, or scheduled interview must 
clearly state that failure to respond will result in removal from the 
RPL for positions at that grade or pay level and for positions at lower 
grades and pay levels for which registered.


Sec.  330.205  Agency RPL applications.

    Agencies may develop their own application format which must, at a 
minimum:
    (a) Allow an RPL eligible to register for positions at the same 
representative rate and work schedule (full-time, part-time, seasonal, 
or intermittent) as the position from which the RPL eligible was, or 
will be, separated; and
    (b) Allow an RPL eligible to specify the conditions under which he 
or she will accept a position, including grades or pay levels, 
appointment type (permanent or time-limited), occupations (e.g., 
position classification series or career groups), and minimum number of 
hours of work per week, as applicable.


Sec.  330.206  RPL registration timeframe and positions.

    (a) To register, an RPL eligible must:
    (1) Meet the eligibility conditions under Sec.  330.203(a) or (b);
    (2) Complete an RPL application prescribed by the current or former 
agency and keep the agency informed of any significant changes in the 
information provided; and
    (3) Submit the RPL application on or before the RIF separation date 
or, if an RPL eligible under Sec.  330.203(b), within 30 calendar days 
after the:
    (i) Date injury compensation benefits cease; or
    (ii) Date the Department of Labor denies an appeal for continuation 
of injury compensation benefits.
    (b) RPL eligibles may register and receive placement priority for 
positions for which they are qualified and that:
    (1) Have a representative rate no higher than the position from 
which they were, or will be, separated unless the eligible was demoted 
as a tenure group I or II employee in a previous RIF. If the eligible 
was so demoted, the eligible can register for positions with a 
representative rate up to the representative rate of the position held 
on a permanent appointment immediately before the RIF demotion was 
effective;
    (2) Have no greater promotion potential than the position from 
which they were, or will be, separated; and
    (3) Have the same type of work schedule as the position from which 
they were, or will be, separated.


Sec.  330.207  Registration area.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this 
section, RPL registration is limited to the local commuting area in 
which the eligible was, or will be, separated.
    (b) If the agency has, or will have, no competitive service 
positions remaining in the local commuting area from which the RPL 
eligible will be separated under part 351 of this chapter, the agency 
may designate a different local commuting area where there are 
continuing positions for the RPL eligible to exercise placement 
priority. The agency has sole discretion to offer this option and over 
which local commuting area to designate.
    (c) If the RPL eligible agreed to transfer with his or her function 
under part 351 of this chapter but will be separated by RIF from the 
gaining competitive area, registration is limited to the RPL covering 
the gaining competitive area's local commuting area.
    (d) If eligible under Sec.  330.203(b), registration is initially 
limited to the RPL covering the local commuting area of the position 
from which the employee was separated. Agencies must establish a fair 
and consistent policy which permits RPL eligibles to expand their 
registration to available local commuting areas mutually acceptable to 
the RPL eligible and the agency, up to agency-wide as required by 5 
U.S.C. 8151. In lieu of expanded registration, the agency policy may 
provide for the RPL eligible to elect to receive placement priority for 
the next best available position in the former local commuting area.
    (e) If the RPL eligible was, or will be, separated from an overseas 
position (see part 301 of this chapter), RPL registration is limited to 
the local commuting area in which the eligible was, or will be, 
separated, unless:
    (1) The agency approves a written request by the RPL eligible for 
registration in the local commuting area from which employed for 
overseas service, or in another area within the United States that is 
mutually acceptable to the eligible and the agency; or
    (2) The agency has a formal program for rotating employees between 
overseas areas and the United States, and the RPL eligible's preceding 
and prospective overseas service would exceed the maximum duration of 
an overseas duty tour in the rotation program. In this case, the 
eligible may register for a local commuting area within the United 
States that is mutually acceptable to the eligible and the agency.


Sec.  330.208  Duration of RPL registration.

    (a) RPL registration expires 2 years from the date of separation 
under part 351 of this chapter, or 2 years from the date the agency 
registers the RPL eligible under Sec.  330.206(a)(3)(i) or (ii), unless 
the registrant is removed from the RPL for a reason specified in Sec.  
330.209.
    (b) OPM may extend the registration period when an RPL eligible 
does not receive a full 2 years of placement priority, for example, 
because of administrative or procedural error.


Sec.  330.209  Removal from an RPL.

    (a) An RPL registrant is removed from the RPL at all registered 
grades or pay levels if the registrant:
    (1) Declines or fails to reply to the agency's inquiry about an RPL 
offer of a career, career-conditional, or excepted appointment without 
time limit for a position having the same type of work schedule and a 
representative rate at least as high as the position from which the 
registrant was, or will be, separated;
    (2) Receives a written cancellation, rescission, or modification 
to:
    (i) The RIF separation notice or Certification of Expected 
Separation so that the employee no longer meets the conditions for RPL 
eligibility in Sec.  330.203(a); or
    (ii) The notification of cessation of injury compensation benefits 
so that injury compensation benefits continue;
    (3) Separates from the agency for any other reason (such as 
retirement, resignation, or transfer) before the RIF separation 
effective date. Registration continues if the RPL registrant retires on 
or after the RIF separation effective date. This paragraph does not 
apply to an RPL registrant under Sec.  330.203(b);
    (4) Requests the agency to remove his or her name from the RPL;
    (5) Is placed in a position without time limit at any grade or pay 
level within the agency;
    (6) Is placed in a position under a career, career-conditional, or 
excepted appointment without time limit at any grade or pay level in 
any agency; or
    (7) Leaves the area covered by an overseas RPL (see 5 CFR part 301) 
or is ineligible for continued overseas employment because of previous 
service or residence.
    (b) An RPL registrant is removed from the RPL at registered grades 
or pay levels with a representative rate at and below the 
representative rate of a position offered by the agency if the offered 
position is below the last grade or pay level held and the registrant:

[[Page 51952]]

    (1) Declines or fails to reply to the agency's inquiry about an RPL 
offer of a career, career-conditional, or excepted appointment without 
time limit for a position meeting the acceptable conditions shown on 
the RPL registrant's application; or
    (2) Declines or fails to appear for a scheduled interview.
    (c) An RPL registrant removed from the RPL under paragraph (b) of 
this section at lower grade(s) or pay level(s) than the last grade or 
pay level held remains on the RPL for positions with a representative 
rate higher than the offered position up to the grade or pay level last 
held, unless registration expires or otherwise terminates.
    (d) Declination of time-limited employment does not affect RPL 
eligibility.


Sec.  330.210  Applying RPL placement priority.

    (a) RPL placement priority applies to:
    (1) Permanent and time-limited positions to be filled by 
competitive service appointment; and
    (2) The grade or pay level at which the agency fills the position. 
If a position is available at multiple grades or pay levels, placement 
priority applies at the grade or pay level at which the position is 
ultimately filled.
    (b) An agency must not effect a permanent or time-limited 
competitive service appointment of another individual if there is an 
RPL placement priority candidate registered for the vacancy, unless the 
action is listed as an exception in Sec.  330.211.
    (c) An agency must document that there are no RPL placement 
priority candidates for the vacancy when requesting a competitive 
certificate of eligibles under part 332 of this chapter. Similarly, an 
agency must offer the vacancy to any RPL placement priority 
candidate(s) before effecting an appointment under a noncompetitive 
appointing authority, such as under part 315 of this chapter.
    (d) Once an agency has ensured there are no RPL placement priority 
candidates for a particular vacancy and documents in writing an 
employment offer that is accepted by another individual, the agency may 
fulfill that employment offer to that individual.


Sec.  330.211  Exceptions to RPL placement priority.

    An agency may effect the following personnel actions as exceptions 
to Sec.  330.210:
    (a) Fill a vacancy with an employee of the agency's current 
permanent competitive service workforce through detail or position 
change, subject to the requirements of subpart F of this part;
    (b) Appoint a 10-point preference eligible through an appropriate 
appointing authority;
    (c) Appoint a current or former employee exercising restoration 
rights under part 353 of this chapter based on return from military 
service or recovery from a compensable injury or disability within 1 
year;
    (d) Appoint a current or former employee exercising other statutory 
or regulatory reemployment rights;
    (e) Fill a specific position when all RPL placement priority 
candidates decline an offer of the position or fail to respond to a 
written agency inquiry about their availability;
    (f) Convert an employee serving under an appointment that provides 
noncompetitive conversion eligibility to a competitive service 
appointment, including from:
    (1) A Veterans Recruitment Appointment under part 307 of this 
chapter;
    (2) An appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3112 and part 316 of this chapter 
of a veteran with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 
percent or more; and
    (3) An excepted service appointment under part 213 of this chapter, 
such as for persons with disabilities or in the Presidential Management 
Fellow Program, the Student Career Experience Program, or the Federal 
Career Intern Program;
    (g) Reappoint without a break in service to the same position 
currently held by an employee serving under a temporary appointment of 
1 year or less (only to another temporary appointment not to exceed 1 
year or less);
    (h) Extend an employee's temporary or term appointment up to the 
maximum permitted by the appointment authority or as authorized by OPM; 
or
    (i) Appoint an individual under an excepted service appointing 
authority.


Sec.  330.212  Agency flexibilities.

    An agency may provide the following flexibilities within its 
written RPL policies established under this subpart:
    (a) Allow RPL eligibles to register only for certain sub-areas of a 
local commuting area when the agency has components dispersed 
throughout a large commuting area. However, an agency cannot deny 
registration throughout the local commuting area if the RPL eligible 
requests it.
    (b) Suspend an RPL registration for all positions, permanent and 
time-limited, if the agency is unable, through documented written 
means, to contact the RPL registrant; however, the agency must 
reactivate an RPL registration when the registrant submits an updated 
application or otherwise requests reactivation in writing. Registration 
suspension and reactivation do not change the expiration date of the 
original registration period set in Sec.  330.208.
    (c)(1) Modify the OPM or OPM-approved qualification standard used 
to determine if an RPL eligible is qualified for a position, provided 
the:
    (i) Exception is applied consistently and equitably in filling a 
position;
    (ii) RPL registrant meets any minimum educational requirements for 
the position; and
    (iii) RPL registrant has the capacity, adaptability, and special 
skills needed to satisfactorily perform the duties and responsibilities 
of the position, as determined by the agency.
    (2) Any modification to the qualification standard under paragraph 
(c)(1) of this section does not authorize a waiver of the selection 
order required under Sec.  330.210.
    (d) Permit RPL eligibles to register for positions with work 
schedules different from the work schedule of the position from which 
they were, or will be, separated.
    (e) Permit RPL registrants to update their qualifications or 
conditions for accepting positions during the RPL registration period. 
If adopted, the agency must update the RPL registrant's registration 
information within 10 calendar days of receipt of the registrant's 
written request. The updated registration information would apply only 
to those vacancies becoming available after the agency updates the RPL 
registrant's registration.


Sec.  330.213  Selection from an RPL.

    (a) Methods. An agency must adopt one of the selection methods in 
paragraphs (b), (c), or (d) of this section for a single RPL. The 
agency may adopt the same method for each RPL it establishes or may 
vary the method by location, but it must adopt a written policy for 
each RPL it establishes and maintains. While an agency may not vary the 
method used for an individual vacancy, it may at any time change the 
selection method for all positions covered by a single RPL.
    (b) Retention standing order. For each vacancy to be filled, the 
agency places qualified RPL placement priority candidates in tenure 
group and subgroup order in accordance with part 351 of this chapter. 
In making a selection, an agency may not pass over a candidate in 
tenure group I to select from tenure group II and, within a tenure 
group, may not pass over a candidate in a higher subgroup to select

[[Page 51953]]

from a lower subgroup. Within a subgroup, an agency may select any 
candidate without regard to order of retention standing.
    (c)(1) Numerical scoring. For each vacancy to be filled, the agency 
rates RPL placement priority candidates according to their job 
experience and education. The agency must use job-related evaluation 
criteria for the position to be filled that is capable of 
distinguishing differences in qualifications measured and must apply 
the criteria in a fair and consistent manner. The agency assigns the 
candidates a numerical score of at least 70 on a scale of 100, based on 
the evaluation criteria developed under this paragraph. The agency must 
grant 5 additional points to veterans' preference eligibles under 5 
U.S.C. 2108(3)(A) and (B), and 10 additional points to veterans' 
preference eligibles under 5 U.S.C. 2108(3)(C) through (G).
    (2) RPL placement priority candidates with an eligible numerical 
score are ranked in the following order:
    (i) Veterans' preference eligibles having a compensable service-
connected disability of 10 percent or more in the order of their 
augmented ratings, unless the position to be filled is a professional 
or scientific position at or above the GS-9 level, or equivalent; and
    (ii) All other candidates in the order of their augmented ratings. 
At each score, candidates entitled to 10 point veterans' preference 
will be entered ahead of all other candidates, and those entitled to 5 
point veterans' preference will be entered ahead of those candidates 
not entitled to veterans' preference.
    (3) The agency must make its selection from among the highest three 
candidates available and may not pass over a veterans' preference 
eligible to select a nonpreference eligible.
    (d) Alternative rating and selection. (1) For each vacancy to be 
filled, the agency may use alternative rating (also called category 
rating) as described in 5 U.S.C. 3319 and part 337 of this chapter. The 
agency assesses RPL placement priority candidates against job-related 
evaluation criteria and then places them into two or more pre-defined 
quality categories.
    (2) To use this method, the agency must:
    (i) Establish a system for evaluating RPL placement priority 
candidates that provides for two or more quality categories;
    (ii) Define each quality category through job analysis conducted in 
accordance with the ``Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection 
Procedures'' at 29 CFR part 1607 and part 300 of this chapter. Each 
quality category must have a clear definition that distinguishes it 
from other quality categories; and
    (iii) Place candidates into the appropriate quality categories 
based upon their job-related competencies, knowledge, skills, and 
abilities.
    (3) Veterans' preference must be applied as prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 
3319(b) and (c)(2). Veterans' preference points as prescribed in 
paragraph (c)(1) of this section are not applied under this method.
    (4) The agency must make its selection from the highest quality 
category.
    (e) Application-based procedure. (1) An agency may adopt an 
application-based procedure which allows RPL registrants to apply 
directly for RPL placement priority under an advertised vacancy 
announcement. Before using this procedure, the agency must establish 
policies and procedures for:
    (i) Informing RPL registrants of available vacancies;
    (ii) Informing RPL registrants of acceptable application formats, 
including how to permanently change initial registration information 
and how to apply changes only to the specific vacancy announcement for 
which the application is made;
    (iii) Determining the method under which the RPL registrant will be 
rated and ranked (paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section); and
    (iv) Informing each RPL registrant who applies under this method 
whether he or she was determined to be an RPL placement priority 
candidate and the outcome of the selection process, if the candidate 
was referred for selection.
    (2) RPL registrants may not be removed from the RPL for failure to 
apply for a vacancy under this paragraph. Registration continues until 
it expires or the registrant is removed from the RPL under Sec.  
330.209.


Sec.  330.214  Appeal rights.

    An RPL registrant who believes the agency violated his or her 
reemployment rights under this subpart by employing another person who 
otherwise could not have been appointed properly may appeal to the 
Merit Systems Protection Board under the Board's regulations.

Subpart C--[Reserved]

Subpart D--Positions Restricted to Preference Eligibles


Sec.  330.401  Restricted positions.

    Under 5 U.S.C. 3310, competitive examinations for the positions of 
custodian, elevator operator, guard, and messenger (referred to in this 
subpart as restricted positions) are restricted to preference eligibles 
as long as a preference eligible is available. For more information on 
these restricted positions, refer to the OPM Delegated Examining 
Operations Handbook.


Sec.  330.402  Exceptions to restriction.

    (a) An agency may fill a restricted position with a nonpreference 
eligible under the following circumstances:
    (1) By competitive examination when no preference eligible applies;
    (2) By position change (promotion, demotion, or reassignment) to a 
position in the organizational entity (i.e., the part of an agency from 
which selections are normally made for promotion or reassignment to the 
position in question) in which the nonpreference eligible is employed;
    (3) By reemployment in the agency where the nonpreference eligible 
was formerly employed when he or she is being appointed from the 
Reemployment Priority List under subpart B of this part;
    (4) By reinstatement in the agency where the nonpreference eligible 
was formerly employed when he or she was last separated because of 
disability retirement; or
    (5) By reappointment of certain temporary employees as provided for 
in part 316 of this chapter.
    (b) Except as indicated in paragraph (a) of this section, OPM must 
authorize any other agency noncompetitive action (e.g., under an 
authority specified in part 315 of this chapter) to fill a restricted 
position with a nonpreference eligible.


Sec.  330.403   Positions brought into the competitive service.

    An agency may convert the appointment of a nonpreference eligible 
whose restricted position was brought into the competitive service 
under part 316 of this chapter, and who meets the requirements for 
conversion under part 315 of this chapter, to career or career 
conditional appointment.


Sec.  330.404   Displacement of preference eligibles occupying 
restricted positions in contracting out situations.

    An individual agency and OPM both have additional responsibilities 
when the agency decides, in accordance with the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76, to contract out the work of a 
preference eligible who holds a restricted position. These additional 
responsibilities as described in Sec. Sec.  330.405 and 330.406 are 
applicable if a preference eligible holds a competitive service 
position that is:

[[Page 51954]]

    (a) A restricted position as designated in 5 U.S.C. 3310 and Sec.  
330.401; and
    (b) In tenure group I or II, as defined in Sec.  351.501(b)(1) and 
(2) of this chapter.


Sec.  330.405  Agency placement assistance.

    An agency that separates a preference eligible from a restricted 
position by reduction in force under part 351 of this chapter because 
of a contracting out situation covered in Sec.  330.404 must, 
consistent with Sec.  330.603, advise the employee of the opportunity 
to participate in available career transition programs. The agency is 
also responsible for:
    (a) Applying OMB's policy directives on the preference eligible's 
right of first refusal for positions that are contracted out to the 
private sector; and
    (b) Cooperating with State units as designated or created under 
title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to retrain displaced 
preference eligibles for other continuing positions.


Sec.  330.406  OPM placement assistance.

    OPM's responsibilities include:
    (a) Assisting agencies in operating positive placement programs, 
such as the Career Transition Assistance Plan, which is authorized by 
subpart F of this part;
    (b) Providing interagency selection priority through the 
Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan, which is authorized by 
subpart G of this part; and
    (c) Encouraging cooperation between local Federal activities to 
assist these displaced preference eligibles in applying for other 
Federal positions, including positions with the U.S. Postal Service.


Sec.  330.407  Eligibility for the Interagency Career Transition 
Assistance Plan.

    (a) A preference eligible who is separated from a restricted 
position by reduction in force under part 351 of this chapter because 
of a contracting out situation covered in Sec.  330.404 has interagency 
selection priority under the Interagency Career Transition Assistance 
Plan, which is authorized by subpart G of this part.
    (b) A preference eligible covered by this subpart is eligible for 
the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan for 2 years following 
separation by reduction in force from a restricted position.

Subpart E--Restrictions to Protect Competitive Principles


Sec.  330.501  Purpose.

    The restrictions in this subpart are designed to prevent 
circumvention of the open competitive examination system defined in 
Civil Service Rule 1.3 (5 CFR 1.3). These restrictions limit an 
appointee's immediate movement to another position after appointment 
from a competitive certificate of eligibles.


Sec.  330.502  General restriction on movement after competitive 
appointment.

    (a) An agency must wait at least 90 days since an employee's latest 
nontemporary competitive appointment before the agency may take the 
following actions:
    (1) Promote an employee;
    (2) Transfer, reinstate, reassign, or detail an employee to a 
different position; or
    (3) Transfer, reinstate, reassign, or detail an employee to a 
different geographical area.
    (b) Upon written request from an agency, OPM may waive the 
restriction against movement to a different geographical area when 
moving such an employee is consistent with open competition principles.


Sec.  330.503  Ensuring agency compliance with the principles of open 
competition.

    OPM will review appointments made from competitive examinations and 
subsequent position changes to determine if agencies are complying with 
open competition principles. The fact that an agency waited 90 days to 
make the changes, as required under this subpart, is not an absolute 
protection. If OPM finds that an agency has not complied with these 
principles, either in an individual instance or on a program-wide 
basis, OPM will order an agency to correct the situation.


Sec.  330.504  Exception to the general restriction.

    The restrictions in this subpart do not apply to a person who is 
eligible for a competitive appointment from a certificate of eligibles 
under part 332 of this chapter.

Subpart F--Agency Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) for 
Local Surplus and Displaced Employees


Sec.  330.601  Purpose.

    (a) Agency Career Transition Assistance Plans (CTAPs) provide 
intra-agency selection priority for its eligible surplus and displaced 
employees. This subpart sets forth minimum requirements for agency 
plans and establishes requirements for CTAP selection priority.
    (b) Consistent with these regulations and at their discretion, 
agencies may supplement these requirements to expand career transition 
opportunities to their surplus and displaced workers.
    (c) With prior OPM approval, an agency may operate an alternate 
placement program which satisfies the basic requirements of this 
subpart as an exception to CTAP selection priority under this subpart. 
This provision allows agencies to adopt different placement strategies 
that are effective for their programs while satisfying employee 
entitlements to selection priority.


Sec.  330.602  Definitions.

    For purposes of this subpart:
    CTAP eligible means an agency surplus or displaced employee who has 
a current performance rating of record of at least fully successful 
(Level 3) or equivalent. As used in this subpart, ``CTAP eligible'' and 
``eligible'' are synonymous.
    CTAP selection priority candidate means a CTAP eligible who applied 
for and was determined to be well-qualified by the agency and whom the 
agency must select over any other applicant for the vacancy, unless the 
action to be taken is listed as an exception under Sec.  330.609.
    Displaced means an agency employee in one of the following two 
categories:
    (1) A current career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) 
competitive service employee at grade GS-15 (or equivalent) or below 
who:
    (i) Received a reduction in force (RIF) separation notice under 
part 351 of this chapter and has not declined an offer under part 351, 
subpart G, of this chapter of a position with the same type of work 
schedule and a representative rate at least as high as that of the 
position from which the employee will be separated; or
    (ii) Received a notice of proposed removal under part 752 of this 
chapter for declining a directed geographic relocation outside of the 
local commuting area (e.g., a directed reassignment or change in duty 
station).
    (2) A current excepted service employee on an appointment without 
time limit at grade level GS-15 (or equivalent) or below who:
    (i) Is covered by a law providing both noncompetitive appointment 
eligibility to, and selection priority for, competitive service 
positions; and
    (ii) Received a RIF separation notice under part 351 of this 
chapter or a notice of proposed removal under part 752 of this chapter 
for declining a directed geographic relocation outside the local 
commuting area (e.g., a directed reassignment or a change in duty 
station).
    Surplus means an agency employee in one of the following three 
categories:
    (1) A current career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) 
competitive service employee at grade

[[Page 51955]]

GS-15 (or equivalent) or below who received a Certification of Expected 
Separation under part 351 of this chapter or other official agency 
certification or notification indicating that the employee's position 
is surplus (for example, a notice of position abolishment or a notice 
of eligibility for discontinued service retirement).
    (2) A current excepted service employee on an appointment without 
time limit at grade GS-15 (or equivalent) or below who:
    (i) Is covered by a law providing both noncompetitive appointment 
eligibility to, and selection priority for, competitive service 
positions; and
    (ii) Received a Certification of Expected Separation under part 351 
of this chapter or other official agency certification or notification 
indicating that the employee's position is surplus (for example, a 
notice of position abolishment or a notice of eligibility for 
discontinued service retirement).
    (3) A current excepted service employee on a Schedule A or B 
appointment without time limit at grade level GS-15 (or equivalent) or 
below who is in an agency offering CTAP selection priority to its 
excepted service employees and who:
    (i) Received a Certification of Expected Separation under part 351 
of this chapter or other official agency certification indicating that 
the employee is surplus (for example, a notice of position abolishment, 
or notice of eligibility for discontinued service retirement); or
    (ii) Received a RIF notice of separation under part 351 of this 
chapter or a notice of proposed removal under part 752 of this chapter 
for declining a directed geographic relocation outside the local 
commuting area (e.g., a directed reassignment or a change in duty 
station).
    Vacancy means a vacant competitive service position at grade GS-15 
(or equivalent) or below to be filled for a total of 121 days or more, 
including all extensions, regardless of whether the agency issues a 
specific vacancy announcement.


Sec.  330.603  Requirements for agency CTAPs.

    (a) Each agency must establish a CTAP for their surplus and 
displaced employees. Each agency must send its plan, and any 
modifications, to OPM's Division of Strategic Human Resources Policy 
after approval by an authorized agency official.
    (b) Each agency must uniformly and consistently apply its CTAP and 
these regulations to all surplus and displaced employees.
    (c) In addition to a description of the agency's selection priority 
policies required by Sec.  330.604, a CTAP must describe the agency's 
policies with regard to how it will provide career transition services 
to all its surplus and displaced agency employees, including excepted 
service and Senior Executive Service employees. The plan must describe:
    (1) The types of career transition services the agency will 
provide;
    (2) Policies on employees' and former employees' use of transition 
services and facilities, including:
    (i) Excused absences for transition-related activities;
    (ii) Access to services or facilities after separation;
    (iii) Orientation sessions on career transition services and 
information as described in Sec.  330.608(a) and (b), respectively;
    (iv) Retraining policies;
    (v) Access to agency CTAP services and resources by all employees, 
including those with disabilities, those in field offices, and those in 
remote sites;
    (vi) Access to other Federal, State, and local resources available 
to support career transition for employees with disabilities; and
    (vii) Availability of employee assistance programs and services.
    (d) An agency's CTAP must also describe the agency's policies and 
procedures for its Reemployment Priority List established under subpart 
B of this part and the Interagency Career Transition Placement Plan 
established under subpart G of this part.


Sec.  330.604  Requirements for agency CTAP selection priority.

    In addition to the overall requirements of Sec.  330.603, an 
agency's CTAP must describe:
    (a) How the agency will provide CTAP selection priority to surplus 
and displaced employees for vacancies in the local commuting area 
before selecting any other candidate from either within or outside the 
agency;
    (b) Procedures for reviewing CTAP eligibles' qualifications and 
resolving qualification issues or disputes;
    (c) Decisions involving discretionary areas under Sec.  330.607 
(such as whether excepted service employees will receive CTAP selection 
priority, priority of surplus versus displaced employees, designation 
of agency components, and selection priority beyond the local commuting 
area); and
    (d) When and how the agency will inform its surplus and displaced 
employees about CTAP eligibility criteria, as required by Sec.  
330.608(b), how to apply for agency vacancies, and how to request CTAP 
selection priority.


Sec.  330.605  Agency responsibilities for well-qualified decisions.

    (a) An agency must define what constitutes a well-qualified 
candidate for its specific vacancies, consistent with this subpart, and 
uniformly apply that definition to all CTAP eligibles being considered 
for the vacancy.
    (b) An agency must conduct an independent second review and 
document the specific job-related reasons whenever a CTAP eligible is 
determined to be not well-qualified under the agency's definition. The 
agency must give the CTAP eligible the written results of this review 
as required by Sec.  330.608(e).


Sec.  330.606  Minimum criteria for agency well-qualified definition.

    (a) At a minimum, the agency must define ``well-qualified'' as 
having knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or competencies clearly 
exceeding the minimum qualification requirements for the vacancy. The 
agency definition may or may not equate to the highly or best qualified 
assessment criteria established for the vacancy; however, the agency 
definition of ``well-qualified'' must satisfy the criteria in paragraph 
(b) of this section.
    (b) Under an agency's definition of ``well-qualified,'' the agency 
must be able to determine whether a CTAP eligible:
    (1) Meets the basic eligibility requirements (including employment 
suitability requirements under part 731 of this chapter and any medical 
qualifications requirements), qualification standards (including 
minimum educational and experience requirements), and any applicable 
selective factors;
    (2) Is physically qualified, with or without reasonable 
accommodation, to perform the essential duties of the position;
    (3) Meets any special qualifying conditions of the position;
    (4) Is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position 
upon entry; and
    (5) At agency discretion, either:
    (i) Rates at or above specified level(s) on all quality ranking 
factors; or
    (ii) Rates above minimally qualified in the agency's rating and 
ranking process.
    (c) An agency may include the results of a scored structured 
interview process in determining whether a CTAP eligible is well-
qualified.


Sec.  330.607  Applying CTAP selection priority.

    (a) An agency must not place any other candidate from within or 
outside

[[Page 51956]]

the agency into a vacancy if there is an available CTAP selection 
priority candidate, unless the personnel action to be effected is an 
exception under Sec.  330.609.
    (b) In accordance with the conditions of part 300, subpart E, of 
this chapter, an agency may not procure temporary help services under 
that subpart until a determination is made that no CTAP eligible is 
available.
    (c) CTAP selection priority applies to a vacancy that:
    (1) Is at a grade or pay level with a representative rate no higher 
than the representative rate of the grade or pay level of the CTAP 
eligible's permanent position of record;
    (2) Has no greater promotion potential than the CTAP eligible's 
permanent position of record;
    (3) Is in the same local commuting area as the CTAP eligible's 
permanent position of record;
    (4) Is filled during the CTAP eligible's eligibility period; and, 
if applicable,
    (5) Is filled under the same excepted appointing authority as the 
CTAP eligible's permanent position of record if the CTAP eligible is an 
excepted service employee and the agency CTAP provides selection 
priority in the excepted service.
    (d) An agency may take actions under Sec.  335.102 of this chapter 
to place a permanent competitive service employee into a vacancy if 
there are no CTAP eligible employees in the local commuting area or if 
no CTAP eligibles apply for the vacancy.
    (e) An agency component may place a component employee within the 
local commuting area in the vacancy after the component applies CTAP 
selection priority to its employees.
    (f) If there are two or more CTAP selection priority candidates for 
a vacancy, the agency may place any of them. An agency may decide the 
specific order of selection among CTAP selection priority candidates. 
For example, an agency may:
    (1) Provide a displaced candidate higher priority than a surplus 
candidate; or
    (2) Provide an internal component candidate higher priority than 
another component's candidate.
    (g) After an agency makes the vacancy available to its CTAP 
eligibles and meets its obligation to any CTAP selection priority 
candidates, the agency may place into the vacancy any other permanent 
competitive service candidate from within its workforce, under 
appropriate staffing procedures.
    (h) An agency may provide CTAP selection priority to eligible 
employees from another commuting area after fulfilling its obligation 
to CTAP selection priority candidates in the local commuting area.
    (i) An agency may deny a CTAP eligible future selection priority if 
the eligible:
    (1) Declines an offer of a permanent appointment at any grade or 
pay level in the competitive or excepted service; or
    (2) Fails to respond within a reasonable period of time, as defined 
by the agency, to an offer of a permanent appointment at any grade or 
pay level in the competitive or excepted service.
    (j) Before appointing an individual from outside the agency's 
permanent competitive service workforce, the agency must follow the 
requirements of subparts B and G of this part.


Sec.  330.608  Other agency CTAP responsibilities.

    (a) An agency must make a career transition orientation session 
available to all agency surplus and displaced employees with 
information on selection priority under this subpart and subparts B and 
G. Such orientation sessions may be in person or web-based through an 
agency automated training system or intranet.
    (b) An agency must give each agency CTAP eligible written 
information on selection priority under its plan, explaining how to 
locate and apply for agency vacancies and request selection priority. 
The agency may meet this requirement by providing a copy of its CTAP 
established under Sec.  330.603.
    (c) An agency must take reasonable steps to ensure that agency CTAP 
eligibles have access to information on all vacancies, including how 
CTAP eligibles can apply, what proof of eligibility is required, and 
the agency definition of ``well-qualified'' for the vacancy.
    (d) If the agency can document that there are no CTAP eligibles in 
a local commuting area, the agency need not post the vacancy for CTAP 
eligibles.
    (e) An agency must provide a CTAP eligible who applied for a 
specific vacancy written notice of the final status of his or her 
application, including whether the eligible was determined to be well-
qualified. The agency notice must include the results of the 
independent, second review under Sec.  330.605(b), if applicable; 
whether another CTAP selection priority candidate was hired; whether 
the position was filled under an exception listed in Sec.  330.609; and 
whether the recruitment was cancelled.


Sec.  330.609  Exceptions to CTAP selection priority.

    An agency may effect the following personnel actions as exceptions 
to Sec.  330.607:
    (a) Reemploy a former agency employee with regulatory or statutory 
reemployment rights, including the reemployment of an injured worker 
who either has been restored to earning capacity by the Office of 
Workers' Compensation Programs, Department of Labor, or has received a 
notice that his or her compensation benefits will cease because of full 
recovery from the disabling injury or illness;
    (b) Reassign or demote an employee under part 432 or 752 of this 
chapter;
    (c) Appoint an individual for a period limited to 120 or fewer 
days, including all extensions;
    (d) Reassign agency employees between or among positions in the 
local commuting area (sometimes called job swaps) when there is no 
change in grade or promotion potential and no actual vacancy results;
    (e) Convert an employee currently serving under an appointment 
providing noncompetitive conversion eligibility to a competitive 
service appointment, including from:
    (1) A Veterans Recruitment Appointment under part 307 of this 
chapter;
    (2) An appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3112 and part 316 of this chapter 
of a veteran with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 
percent or more; and
    (3) An excepted service appointment under part 213 of this chapter, 
such as for persons with disabilities or in the Presidential Management 
Fellow Program, the Student Career Experience Program, or the Federal 
Career Intern Program;
    (f) A personnel action taken under, or specifically in lieu of, 
part 351 of this chapter;
    (g) A position change of an employee into a different position as a 
result of a formal reorganization, as long as the former position 
ceases to exist and no actual vacancy results;
    (h) Assign or exchange an employee under a statutory program, such 
as subchapter VI of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code (also 
called the Intergovernmental Personnel Act), or the Information 
Technology Exchange Program under chapter 37 of title 5, United States 
Code;
    (i) Appoint an individual under an excepted service appointing 
authority;
    (j) A position change of an employee within the excepted service;
    (k) Detail an employee within the agency;

[[Page 51957]]

    (l) Promote an employee for a period limited to 120 or fewer days, 
including all extensions;
    (m) A position change of a surplus or displaced employee in the 
local commuting area;
    (n) A position change of an employee under 5 U.S.C. 8337 or 8451 to 
allow continued employment of an employee who is unable to provide 
useful and efficient service in his or her current position because of 
a medical condition;
    (o) A position change of an employee to a position that constitutes 
a reasonable offer as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8336(d) and 8414(b);
    (p) A position change of an employee resulting from a 
reclassification action (such as accretion of duties or an action 
resulting from application of new position classification standards);
    (q) Promote an employee to the next higher grade or pay level of a 
designated career ladder position;
    (r) Recall a seasonal or intermittent employee from nonpay status;
    (s) A position change of an injured or disabled employee to a 
position in which he or she can be reasonably accommodated;
    (t) A personnel action for an employee pursuant to the settlement 
of a formal complaint, grievance, appeal, or other litigation;
    (u) Reassign or demote an employee under Sec.  315.907 of this 
chapter for failure to complete a supervisory or managerial 
probationary period;
    (v) Retain an individual whose position is brought into the 
competitive service under part 316 of this chapter and convert that 
individual, when applicable, under part 315 of this chapter;
    (w) Retain an employee covered by an OPM-approved variation under 
Civil Service Rule 5.1 (5 CFR 5.1);
    (x) Reemploy a former agency employee who retired under a formal 
trial retirement and reemployment program and who requests reemployment 
under the program's provisions and applicable time limits;
    (y) Extend a time-limited promotion or appointment up to the 
maximum period allowed (including any OPM-approved extensions beyond 
the regulatory limit on the time-limited promotion or appointment), if 
the original action was made subject to CTAP selection priority and the 
original announcement or notice stated that the promotion or 
appointment could be extended without further announcement;
    (z) Transfer an employee between agencies under appropriate 
authority during an interagency reorganization, interagency transfer of 
function, or interagency mass transfer;
    (aa) Appoint a member from the Senior Executive Service into the 
competitive service under 5 U.S.C. 3594;
    (bb) Transfer an employee voluntarily from one agency to another 
under a Memorandum of Understanding or similar agreement under 
appropriate authority resulting from an interagency reorganization, 
interagency transfer of function, or interagency mass transfer, when 
both the agencies and the affected employee agree to the transfer;
    (cc) Reassign an employee whose position description or other 
written mobility agreement provides for reassignment outside the 
commuting area as part of a planned agency rotational program; or
    (dd) Transfer or a position change of an employee under part 412 of 
this chapter.


Sec.  330.610  CTAP eligibility period.

    (a) CTAP eligibility begins on the date the employee meets the 
definition of surplus or displaced in Sec.  330.602.
    (b) CTAP eligibility ends on the date that the employee:
    (1) Separates from the agency either voluntarily or involuntarily;
    (2) Receives a notice rescinding, canceling, or modifying the 
notice which established CTAP eligibility so that the employee no 
longer meets the definition of surplus or displaced.
    (3) Is placed in another position within the agency at any grade or 
pay level, either permanent or time-limited, before the agency 
separates the employee; or
    (4) Is appointed to a career, career-conditional, or excepted 
appointment without time limit in any agency at any grade or pay level.


Sec.  330.611  Establishing CTAP selection priority.

    (a) CTAP selection priority for a specific agency vacancy begins 
when a CTAP eligible:
    (1) Submits all required application materials, including proof of 
eligibility, within agency-established timeframes; and,
    (2) The agency determines the eligible is well-qualified for the 
vacancy.
    (b) An agency may allow CTAP eligible employees to become CTAP 
selection priority candidates for positions in other local commuting 
areas only if there are no CTAP selection priority candidates within 
the local commuting area of the vacancy.
    (c) An agency may deny future CTAP selection priority for agency 
positions if the CTAP eligible declines an offer of permanent 
appointment at any grade level (whether it is a competitive or excepted 
appointment).


Sec.  330.612  Proof of eligibility.

    (a) The CTAP eligible must submit a copy of one of the documents 
listed under the definition of displaced or surplus in Sec.  330.602 to 
establish selection priority under Sec.  330.611.
    (b) The CTAP eligible may also submit a copy of a RIF notice with 
an offer of another position, accompanied by the signed declination of 
the offer. The RIF notice must state that declination of the offer will 
result in separation under RIF procedures.


Sec.  330.613  OPM's role in CTAP.

    OPM has oversight of CTAP and may conduct reviews of agency 
compliance and require corrective action at any time.

Subpart G--Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) 
for Displaced Employees


Sec.  330.701  Purpose.

    The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) 
provides eligible displaced Federal employees with interagency 
selection priority for vacancies in agencies that are filling positions 
from outside their respective permanent competitive service workforces. 
The ICTAP selection priority does not apply in the ICTAP eligible's 
current or former agency and it does not prohibit movement of permanent 
competitive service employees within an agency, as permitted by subpart 
F of this part. This subpart establishes requirements for ICTAP 
selection priority.


Sec.  330.702  Definitions.

    In this subpart:
    Displaced means an individual in one of the following categories:
    (1) A current career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) 
competitive service employee of any agency at grade GS-15 (or 
equivalent) or below whose current performance rating of record is at 
least fully successful (Level 3) or equivalent and who:
    (i) Received a reduction in force (RIF) separation notice under 
part 351 of this chapter and has not declined an offer under part 351, 
subpart G, of this chapter of a position with the same type of work 
schedule and a representative rate at least as high as that of the 
position from which the employee will be separated; or
    (ii) Received a notice of proposed removal under part 752 of this 
chapter for declining a directed geographic relocation outside the 
local commuting

[[Page 51958]]

area (e.g., a directed reassignment or a change in duty station).
    (2) A former career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) 
competitive service employee of any agency at grade GS-15 (or 
equivalent) or below whose last performance rating of record was at 
least fully successful (Level 3) or equivalent who was either:
    (i) Separated by RIF under part 351 of this chapter and did not 
decline an offer under part 351, subpart G, of this chapter of a 
position with the same type of work schedule and a representative rate 
at least as high as that of the position from which the employee was 
separated; or
    (ii) Removed under part 752 of this chapter for declining a 
directed geographic relocation outside the local commuting area (e.g., 
a directed reassignment or a change in duty station).
    (3) A former career or career-conditional employee of any agency 
who was separated because of a compensable work-related injury or 
illness as provided under 5 U.S.C. chapter 81, subchapter I, whose 
compensation was terminated and who has received certification from the 
former employing agency that it is unable to place the employee as 
required by part 353 of this chapter.
    (4) A former career or career-conditional (tenure group I or II) 
competitive service employee of any agency who retired with a 
disability annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337 or 8451 and who has received 
notification from OPM that the disability annuity has been or will be 
terminated.
    (5) A former Military Reserve Technician or National Guard 
Technician receiving a special disability retirement annuity under 5 
U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456 and who has certification of such annuity from 
the military department or National Guard Bureau.
    (6) A current or former excepted service employee on an appointment 
without time limit at grade GS-15 (or equivalent) or below whose 
current or last performance rating of record is or was at least fully 
successful (Level 3) or equivalent and who:
    (i) Has been provided by law with both noncompetitive appointment 
eligibility and selection priority for competitive service positions; 
and
    (ii) Has received a RIF separation notice under part 351 of this 
chapter or notice of proposed removal under part 752 of this chapter 
for declining a directed geographic relocation outside the local 
commuting area (e.g., a directed reassignment or a change in duty 
station) or has been separated by RIF procedures or removed for 
declining a geographic relocation outside the local commuting area.
    ICTAP eligible means an individual who meets the definition of 
displaced. As used in this subpart, ``ICTAP eligible'' and ``eligible'' 
are synonymous.
    ICTAP selection priority candidate means an ICTAP eligible who 
applied for a vacancy, was determined by the agency to be well-
qualified for that vacancy, and who the agency must select over any 
other candidate from outside the agency's current competitive service 
workforce for the vacancy, unless the action to be taken is listed as 
an exception under Sec.  330.707.
    Vacancy means a vacant competitive service position at grade GS-15 
(or equivalent) or below to be filled for 121 days or more, including 
extensions.


Sec.  330.703  Agency responsibilities for well-qualified decisions.

    (a) Agencies must define ``well-qualified'' for their specific 
vacancies, consistent with this subpart, and uniformly apply that 
definition to all ICTAP eligibles being considered for the vacancy.
    (b) Agencies must conduct an independent second review and document 
the specific job-related reasons whenever an ICTAP eligible is 
determined to be not well-qualified for the vacancy under the agency's 
definition. An agency must give the ICTAP eligible the written results 
of this review as required by Sec.  330.706(d).


Sec.  330.704  Minimum criteria for agency well-qualified definition.

    (a) At a minimum, agencies must define ``well-qualified'' as having 
knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or competencies clearly exceeding the 
minimum qualification requirements for the vacancy. The agency 
definition may or may not equate to the highly or best qualified 
assessment criteria established for the vacancy; however, the agency 
definition of ``well-qualified'' must satisfy the criteria in paragraph 
(b) of this section.
    (b) Under an agency's definition of ``well-qualified,'' the agency 
must be able to determine whether an ICTAP eligible:
    (1) Meets the basic eligibility requirements (including employment 
suitability requirements under part 731 of this chapter and any medical 
qualification requirements), qualification standards (including minimum 
educational and experience requirements), and any applicable selective 
factors;
    (2) Is physically qualified, with or without reasonable 
accommodation, to perform the essential duties of the position;
    (3) Meets any special qualifying conditions of the position;
    (4) Is able to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position 
upon entry; and
    (5) At agency discretion, either:
    (i) Rates at or above specified level(s) on all quality ranking 
factors; or
    (ii) Rates above minimally qualified in the agency's rating and 
ranking process.
    (c) An agency may include the results of a scored structured 
interview process in determining whether an ICTAP eligible is well-
qualified.


Sec.  330.705  Applying ICTAP selection priority.

    (a) An agency must not appoint any candidate from outside its 
permanent competitive service workforce if there is an ICTAP selection 
priority candidate available for the vacancy, unless the personnel 
action to be effected is an exception under Sec.  330.707.
    (b) ICTAP selection priority applies to a vacancy that:
    (1) Is at a grade or pay level with a representative rate no higher 
than the representative rate of the grade or pay level of the ICTAP 
eligible's current or last permanent position of record;
    (2) Has no greater promotion potential than the ICTAP eligible's 
current or last permanent position of record;
    (3) Is in the same local commuting area as the ICTAP eligible's 
current or last permanent position of record; and
    (4) Is filled during the ICTAP eligible's eligibility period.
    (c) An agency may appoint any ICTAP selection priority candidate 
for a vacancy.
    (d)(1) After an agency announces the vacancy and meets its 
obligation to any ICTAP selection priority candidates, the agency may 
appoint any other candidate from outside its current permanent 
competitive service workforce, under appropriate staffing procedures.
    (2) An agency may make additional selections or reissue selection 
certificates in accordance with its merit promotion program without 
readvertising for ICTAP eligibles only if the additional selections are 
made from the applicant pool established by the original vacancy 
announcement, including readvertisements for the same vacancy.
    (e) An agency may deny an ICTAP eligible future selection priority 
for vacancies in that agency if the ICTAP eligible:
    (1) Declines an offer of a permanent appointment at any grade or 
pay level in the competitive or excepted service; or
    (2) Fails to respond within a reasonable period of time, as defined 
by

[[Page 51959]]

the agency, to an offer or official inquiry of availability for a 
permanent appointment at any grade or pay level in the competitive or 
excepted service.
    (f) An agency may deny an ICTAP eligible future selection priority 
for a position previously obtained through ICTAP if the eligible was 
terminated or removed from that position under part 432 or 752 of this 
chapter.


Sec.  330.706  Other agency ICTAP responsibilities.

    (a) Before appointing any other candidate from outside the agency's 
permanent competitive service workforce, the agency must first fulfill 
its obligation to any employees entitled to selection priority under 
subparts B and F of this part.
    (b) In accordance with the conditions of part 300, subpart E, of 
this chapter, an agency may not procure temporary help services under 
that subpart until a determination is made that no ICTAP eligible is 
available.
    (c) An agency must announce all vacancies it intends to fill from 
outside its permanent competitive service workforce. Vacancy 
announcements must meet the requirements of subpart A of this part.
    (d) An agency must provide an ICTAP eligible who applied for a 
specific vacancy written notice of the final status of his or her 
application, including whether the eligible was determined to be well-
qualified. The agency notice must include the results of the 
independent second review under Sec.  330.703(b), if applicable; 
whether another ICTAP selection priority candidate was hired; whether 
the position was filled under an exception listed in Sec.  330.707; and 
whether the recruitment was cancelled.


Sec.  330.707  Exceptions to ICTAP selection priority.

    An agency may effect the following personnel actions as exceptions 
to Sec.  330.705:
    (a) Place a current or reinstate a former agency employee with RPL 
selection priority under subpart B of this part;
    (b) A position change of a current permanent competitive service 
agency employee;
    (c) Appoint a 10-point veteran preference eligible through an 
appropriate appointing authority;
    (d) Reemploy a former agency employee with regulatory or statutory 
reemployment rights, including the reemployment of an injured worker 
who either has been restored to earning capacity by the Office of 
Workers' Compensation Programs, Department of Labor, or has received a 
notice that his or her compensation benefits will cease because of 
recovery from disabling injury or illness;
    (e) Appoint an individual for a period limited to 120 or fewer 
days, including all extensions;
    (f) A personnel action effected under, or specifically in lieu of, 
part 351 of this chapter;
    (g) Appoint an individual under an excepted service appointing 
authority;
    (h) Convert an employee serving under an appointment that provides 
noncompetitive conversion eligibility to a competitive service 
appointment, including from:
    (1) A Veterans Recruitment Appointment under part 307 of this 
chapter;
    (2) An appointment under 5 U.S.C. 3112 and part 316 of this chapter 
of a veteran with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 
percent or more;
    (3) An excepted service appointment under part 213 of this chapter, 
such as for persons with disabilities or in the Presidential Management 
Fellow Program, the Student Career Experience Program, or the Federal 
Career Intern Program;
    (i) Transfer an employee between agencies under appropriate 
authority during an interagency reorganization, interagency transfer of 
function, or interagency mass transfer;
    (j) Reemploy a former agency employee who retired under a formal 
trial retirement and reemployment program and who requests reemployment 
under the program's provisions and applicable time limits;
    (k) A personnel action for an employee pursuant to the settlement 
of a formal complaint, grievance, appeal, or other litigation;
    (l) Extend a time-limited appointment up to the maximum period 
allowed (including any OPM-approved extension past the regulatory limit 
on the time-limited appointment), if the original action was made 
subject to ICTAP selection priority and the original vacancy 
announcement stated that the appointment could be extended without 
further announcement;
    (m) Reappoint a former agency employee into a hard-to-fill position 
requiring unique skills and experience to conduct a formal skills-based 
agency training program;
    (n) Retain an individual whose position is brought into the 
competitive service under part 316 of this chapter and convert that 
individual, when applicable, under part 315 of this chapter;
    (o) Retain an employee covered by an OPM-approved variation under 
Civil Service Rule 5.1 (5 CFR 5.1);
    (p) Appoint a member from the Senior Executive Service into the 
competitive service under 5 U.S.C. 3594;
    (q) Assign or exchange an employee under a statutory program, such 
as subchapter VI of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code (also 
called the Intergovernmental Personnel Act), or the Information 
Technology Exchange Program under chapter 37 of title 5, United States 
Code;
    (r) Detail an employee to another agency;
    (s) Transfer employees under an OPM-approved interagency job swap 
plan designed to facilitate the exchange of employees between agencies 
to avoid or minimize involuntary separations;
    (t) Transfer or reinstate an ICTAP eligible who meets the agency's 
definition of ``well-qualified'';
    (u) Transfer an employee voluntarily from one agency to another 
under a Memorandum of Understanding or similar agreement under 
appropriate authority resulting from an interagency reorganization, 
interagency transfer of function, or interagency realignment, when both 
the agencies and the affected employee agree to the transfer; or
    (v) Transfer or a position change of an employee under part 412 of 
this chapter.


Sec.  330.708  ICTAP eligibility period.

    (a) ICTAP eligibility begins on the date the employee or former 
employee meets the definition of displaced in Sec.  330.702.
    (b) ICTAP eligibility ends 1 year from the date of:
    (1) Separation by RIF under part 351 of this chapter;
    (2) Removal by the agency under part 752 of this chapter for 
declining a directed geographic relocation outside the local commuting 
area (e.g., a directed reassignment or a change in duty station);
    (3) Agency certification that it cannot place the employee under 
part 353 of this chapter; or
    (4) OPM notification that an employee's disability annuity has 
been, or will be, terminated.
    (c) ICTAP eligibility ends 2 years after RIF separation if eligible 
under subpart D of this part.
    (d) ICTAP eligibility also ends on the date the eligible:
    (1) Receives a notice rescinding, canceling, or modifying the 
notice which established ICTAP eligibility so that the employee no 
longer meets the definition of displaced in Sec.  330.702;
    (2) Separates from the agency for any reason before the RIF or 
removal effective date; or

[[Page 51960]]

    (3) Is appointed to a career, career-conditional, or excepted 
appointment without time limit in any agency at any grade or pay level.
    (e) OPM may extend the eligibility period when an ICTAP eligible 
does not receive a full 1 year (or 2 years under subpart D of this 
part) of eligibility, for example, because of administrative or 
procedural error.


Sec.  330.709  Establishing ICTAP selection priority.

    ICTAP selection priority for a specific vacancy begins when an 
ICTAP eligible:
    (a) Submits all required application materials, including proof of 
eligibility, within agency-established timeframes; and
    (b) The agency determines the eligible is well-qualified for the 
vacancy.


Sec.  330.710  Proof of eligibility.

    (a) The ICTAP eligible must submit a copy of one of the documents 
listed under the definition of displaced in Sec.  330.702 to establish 
selection priority under Sec.  330.709.
    (b) The ICTAP eligible may also submit a copy of the RIF notice 
with an offer of another position accompanied by the signed declination 
of that offer. The RIF notice must state that declination of the offer 
will result in separation under RIF procedures.


Sec.  330.711  OPM's role in ICTAP.

    OPM has oversight of ICTAP and may conduct reviews of agency 
compliance and require corrective action at any time.

Subparts H-I--[Reserved]

Subpart J--Prohibited Practices


Sec.  330.1001  Withdrawal from competition.

    An applicant for competitive examination, an eligible on a 
register, and an officer or employee in the Executive branch of the 
Government may not persuade, induce, or coerce, or attempt to persuade, 
induce, or coerce, directly or indirectly, a prospective applicant to 
withhold filing an application, or an applicant or eligible to withdraw 
from competition or eligibility, for a position in the competitive 
service, for the purpose of improving or injuring the prospects of an 
applicant or eligible for appointment. OPM will cancel the application 
or eligibility of an applicant or eligible who violates this section, 
and will impose such other penalty as it considers appropriate.

Subpart K-L--[Reserved]

PART 335--PROMOTION AND INTERNAL PLACEMENT

    4. The authority citation for part 335 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 3301, 3302, 3330; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-
1958 Comp., p. 218; 5 U.S.C. 3304(f), and Pub. L. 106-117.


Sec.  335.105  [Amended]

    5. In Sec.  335.105, remove the phrase ``Sec.  330.707 of subpart 
G'' and add in its place the phrase, ``part 330, subpart A''.

PART 337--EXAMINING SYSTEM

    6. The authority citation for part 337 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1104(a), 1302, 2302, 3301, 3302, 3304, 3319, 
5364; E.O. 10577, 3 CFR 1954-1958 Comp., p. 218; 33 FR 12423, Sept. 
4, 1968; and 45 FR 18365, Mar. 21, 1980; 116 Stat. 2135, 2290; and 
117 Stat 1392, 1665.


Sec.  337.203  [Amended]

    7. In Sec.  337.203, remove the phrase ``subpart G'' and add in its 
place the phrase, ``subpart A''.

PART 410--TRAINING

    8. The authority citation for part 410 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 4101, et seq.; E.O. 11348, 3 CFR, 1967 
Comp., p. 275.


Sec.  410.307  [Amended]

    9. In Sec.  410.307:
    a. In paragraph (c)(3), remove the phrase ``5 CFR 330.604(b) and 
(f)'' and add in its place the phrase, ``5 CFR 330.602''.
    b. In paragraph (c)(4), remove the phrase ``5 CFR 330.602'' and add 
in its place the phrase, ``5 CFR part 330, subpart F''.

[FR Doc. E8-20657 Filed 9-5-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6325-39-P