OPM to Launch Two Direct Hiring Authorities for Agencies; Margaret Weichert Quoted

The Office of Personnel Management has announced plans to introduce two direct hiring authorities as part of its civil service reform efforts, Federal Times reported Thursday.

Agencies will have a DHA for engineering; economics; math, statistics and actuarial sciences; physical science; and biological sciences effective next week.

The report said another DHA will authorize agencies to fill vacancies in cybersecurity and information technology areas.

“These are all critical components of focusing on mission, focusing on where we’re having a difficult time getting the right — particularly highly specialized, highly educated — individuals into government to pursue the mission of the 21st century,” Margaret Weichert, acting OPM director and  deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said at a press roundtable.

OPM also plans to set up an interagency working group to determine how to implement an alternative pay and classification platform for economists, according to the report.

Agency officials said OPM intends to have an operational system by the spring of 2019 and plans to build additional pay systems for three to five more roles in the next year.

The announcement comes days after the appointment of Weichert, who is also deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, as OPM's interim chief.

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