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114th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {      114-182

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



 
               LAND MANAGEMENT WORKFORCE FLEXIBILITY ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 25, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1531]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1531) to amend title 5, United 
States Code, to provide a pathway for temporary seasonal 
employees in Federal land management agencies to compete for 
vacant permanent positions under internal merit promotion 
procedures, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     4
Explanation of Amendments........................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Roll Call Votes..................................................     6
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     6
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     7
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     7
Earmark Identification...........................................     7
Committee Estimate...............................................     7
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (H.R. 1531) 
authorizes qualifying employees serving under time-limited 
appointments in federal land management agencies to compete for 
vacant permanent positions under internal merit promotion 
procedures, just as any permanent federal employee is eligible 
to do. H.R. 1531 increases the pool of individuals eligible to 
compete for vacant federal permanent positions. The bill does 
not change the total number of federal jobs available or the 
salaries paid to federal employees.
    Removing arbitrary barriers that prevent long-term 
temporary seasonal employees from competing for vacant 
permanent positions under internal merit promotion procedures 
will improve government effectiveness by enhancing the quality 
of the pool of applicants to include proven, experienced 
individuals serving under temporary appointments in land 
management agencies that were originally obtained through open, 
competitive examination.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Federal agencies are authorized to make temporary 
appointments to fill positions that do not require an 
employee's services on a permanent basis. According to OPM's 
testimony at a June 30, 2010, oversight hearing before the 
House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal 
Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, ``. . 
. a temporary appointment can be used to fill a position that 
is not expected to last more than one year, or to meet an 
employment need that is scheduled to be terminated within one 
or two years for reasons such as an agency's reorganization or 
abolishment, or the completion of a specific project or peak 
workload.''\1\
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    \1\Statement of Angela Bailey, Deputy Associate Director for 
Recruitment and Diversity, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, for 
hearing, ``Temporary Employee Practices: How Long Does Temporary 
Last?'' U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, 
and the District of Columbia (June 30, 2010) at 22. Available at: 
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg62948/pdf/CHRG-
111hhrg62948.pdf
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    Certain individuals serving under temporary appointments, 
including employees at federal land management agencies who 
receive temporary appointments lasting less than 6 months or 
1,040 hours, often have their temporary appointments repeatedly 
extended on an annual basis. As the then-Chairman of the 
Federal Workforce Subcommittee stated at the 2010 hearing, 
``Oftentimes, seasonal temporary employees have worked in the 
same capacity year after year, decade after decade.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Statement of Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Chairman, 
Subcommittee Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of 
Columbia, for hearing, ``Temporary Employee Practices: How Long Does 
Temporary Last?'' U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal 
Service, and the District of Columbia (June 30, 2010) at 3. Available 
at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg62948/pdf/CHRG-
111hhrg62948.pdf
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    Temporary employees, irrespective of experience, are not 
eligible to compete for vacant permanent positions under 
internal merit promotion procedures. Internal merit promotion 
procedures vary by agency, but must adhere to the first merit 
system principle\3\ and according to the United States Merit 
Systems Protection Board (MSPB), ``. . . are generally open to 
current or former Federal employees who have or had permanent 
appointments.''\4\ Many agencies fill non-entry level jobs 
using merit promotion procedures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\5 USC Sec. 2301(b)(1) describes the first merit system 
principle: ``Recruitment should be from qualified individuals from 
appropriate sources in an endeavor to achieve a work force from all 
segments of society, and selection and advancement should be determined 
solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge, and skills, after 
fair and open competition which assures that all receive equal 
opportunity.''
    \4\U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Office of Policy and 
Evaluation, Report to the President and Congress, ``Help Wanted: A 
Review of Federal Vacancy Announcements'' (April 2003) at 5-6. 
Available at: http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=
253634&version;=253921&
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    No matter how long an individual serves under a time-
limited appointment that he or she initially obtained under 
open, competitive examination, the employee never acquires the 
status that would enable them to compete for vacant permanent 
positions being filled under internal merit promotion 
procedures.
    Bipartisan concerns have been raised over the prohibition 
on temporary employees competing for permanent positions. For 
example, a former Chairman of the House Civil Service 
Subcommittee noted at 1993 oversight hearing, ``Furthermore, 
there needs to be better access for all temporary employees, 
not just term employees, to apply for permanent positions 
within the Federal Government. It is simply unfair that after 
years of employment, a temporary applying for a permanent 
position job is no better off than someone off of the street 
applying for a job. Agencies could save large sums of money on 
education and training by hiring more temporary employees for 
permanent positions.''\5\ At the same hearing, another Member 
submitted a statement for the record expressing the view that, 
``One of the best things we can do for temporary employees is 
to increase their opportunities to compete for permanent 
positions in the Federal workforce when these become available. 
I think that a temporary employee who has done a good job 
should be eligible to compete for permanent Federal positions 
that currently are open only to permanent Federal 
employees.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Statement of Representative Frank McClosky, Chairman of the 
Subcommittee on the Civil Service, for the hearing ``Use of Temporary 
Employee in the Federal Government'' U.S. House Subcommittee on the 
Civil Service (June 22, 1993), Available at https://www.archive.org/
stream/useoftemporaryem00unit/useoftemporaryem00unit_djvu.txt
    \6\Id. Statement of Representative Dan Burton
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a May 17, 2011 letter, the Chief of the U.S. Forest 
Service committed to work with stakeholders towards 
establishing a ``path to permanence'' for long-term seasonal 
employees, noting that legislation would be necessary to 
accomplish this outcome.\7\ A specific goal identified by the 
Forest Service Chief was to ``Grant competitive standing to 
long-term temporary seasonal employees so they can compete for 
career jobs like any other federal employee.''\8\ The Land 
Management Workforce Flexibility Act achieves this objective.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Letter issued by Thomas L. Tidwell, Chief of the United States 
Forest Service (May 17, 2011), available at http://www.nffe-fsc.org/
committees/legislative/FS_110517_Chief_
TempLtr.pdf
    \8\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be eligible to compete under H.R. 1531, an employee of a 
land management agency would need to be serving under a 
temporary or term appointment that he or she was initially 
appointed to under open, competitive examination; have served 
with that land management agency under one or more time-limited 
appointments for a period or periods totaling more than 24 
months of service, without an intervening break in service of 
two or more years; and achieve an acceptable level of 
performance for the duration of his or her service under the 
time-limited appointment or appointments.
    Former temporary land management agency employees that meet 
all of the qualification requirements would be eligible to 
compete under H.R. 1531 if these former employees apply for a 
vacant permanent position within two years of their date of 
separation from the land management agency, and the separation 
was for reasons other than misconduct or performance.
    In determining an employee's eligibility to compete under 
H.R. 1531, an examining agency is required to waive age 
requirements, unless an age requirement is essential to the 
performance of the position in question. This ensures that an 
experienced temporary seasonal firefighter is eligible to 
compete for a permanent position that he or she may be well 
qualified for.
    An individual that successfully competes for a vacant 
permanent position under H.R. 1531 would, upon appointment, 
become a career-conditional employee, unless the employee has 
otherwise completed the service requirements for career tenure; 
and acquire competitive status upon appointment.
    H.R. 1531 is consistent with the United States Office of 
Personnel Management's (OPM) stated support for the goal that, 
``. . . long-term temporaries who have demonstrated their 
abilities on the job should not have to compete with the public 
for permanent vacancies.''\9\ The federal government benefits 
from the dedicated service of long-serving temporary seasonal 
wildland firefighters and other long-term temporary employees. 
It is appropriate that these individuals be provided the same 
opportunity to compete for career advancement opportunities 
available to other federal employees.
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    \9\Federal Register, Vol. 59, No. 176 (September 13, 1994). 
Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-1994-09-13/html/94-
22447.htm
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                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 1531, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, 
was introduced on March 23, 2015, by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly 
(D-VA), and referred to the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform. Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Rob 
Bishop (R-UT) are original cosponsors.
    On March 25, 2014, the Committee held a Full Committee 
Business Meeting to consider H.R. 1531. The bill was ordered 
favorably reported, without amendment, by voice vote.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Designates the short title of the bill as the ``Land 
Management Workforce Flexibility Act.''

Section 2. Personnel flexibilities relating to land management agencies

    Amends Subpart I of part III of title 5, United States 
Code, by inserting a new chapter addressing personnel 
flexibilities for land management agencies. The new chapter, 
``Chapter 96--Personnel Flexibilities Relating to Land 
Management Agencies,'' contains two sections, ``Section 9601. 
Definitions'' and ``Section 9602. Competitive service; time-
limited appointments.''
    Section 9601 defines the term ``land management agency'' to 
mean the Forest Service of the United States Department of 
Agriculture, and the following component agencies of the United 
States Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management, 
National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Reclamation. Section 9601 also 
defines the term ``time-limited appointment'' to include 
temporary appointments and term appointments, as defined by 
OPM.
    Section 9602 establishes that notwithstanding chapter 33 or 
any other provision of law relating to the examination, 
certification, and appointment of individuals in the 
competitive service, an employee of a land management agency 
serving under a time-limited appointment in the competitive 
service is eligible to compete for a permanent appointment in 
the competitive service at any land management agency or any 
other agency (as defined in section 101 of title 31) under the 
internal merit promotion procedures of the applicable agency if 
the employee meets three criteria.
    First, the employee must have been appointed initially 
under open, competitive examination under subchapter I of 
chapter 33 to the time-limited appointment. Second, the 
employee has served under one or more time-limited appointments 
by a land management agency for a period or periods totaling 
more than 24 months without a break of 2 or more years. Third, 
the employee's performance must have been at an acceptable 
level of performance throughout the period or periods of 
service.
    Section 9602 also authorizes that in determining the 
eligibility of a time-limited employee under this section to be 
examined for or appointed in the competitive service, OPM or 
another examining agency shall waive requirements as to age, 
unless the requirement is essential to the performance of the 
duties of the vacant position.
    Section 9602 also establishes that an individual appointed 
under the section becomes a career-conditional employee, unless 
the employee has otherwise completed the service requirements 
for career tenure; and acquires competitive status upon 
appointment.
    Section 9602 also requires that a former employee of a land 
management agency who served under a time-limited appointment 
and who otherwise meets the requirements of Section 9602 shall 
be deemed a time-limited employee for purposes of the section 
if such employee applies for a position covered by this section 
within 2 years after the most recent date of separation; and if 
such employee's separation was for reasons other than 
misconduct or performance.
    Section 9602 authorizes OPM to prescribe such regulations 
as may be necessary to carry out the Act.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered during Full Committee 
consideration of H.R. 1531.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 25, 2015, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1531, by voice vote, 
a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were no recorded votes during Full Committee 
consideration of H.R. 1531.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This amends title 5, United States Code, to provide a pathway 
for temporary seasonal employees in Federal land management 
agencies to compete for vacant permanent positions under 
internal merit promotion procedures. Thus, the bill does relate 
to the terms and conditions of employment.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of the bill is to provide a pathway for 
temporary seasonal employees in Federal land management 
agencies to compete for vacant permanent positions under 
internal merit promotion procedures.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does direct 
the completion of a specific rule making within the meaning of 
5 U.S.C. 551. Section 2 requires that the Office of Personnel 
Management prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to 
carry out the requirements of the bill.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement, the Committee 
has received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office 
included herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1531--Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act

    H.R. 1531 would make individuals serving as temporary 
employees for federal land management agencies eligible to 
compete for permanent positions with those agencies under 
internal merit promotion procedures. CHO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would have no significant effect 
on the federal budget. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    Information from the Office of Personnel Management 
indicates that while the bill would expand the pool of people 
eligible for federal land management positions, it would not 
change the total number of federal jobs available or the 
salaries paid to federal employees.
    H.R. 1531 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                          PART III--EMPLOYEES

Chap                                                                Sec.
      Definitions...................................................2101
     * * * * * * *
      Personnel flexibilities relating to land management agencies..9601
     * * * * * * *

Subpart I--Miscellaneous

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 96--PERSONNEL FLEXIBILITIES RELATING TO LAND MANAGEMENT 
                                AGENCIES

Sec.
9601. Definitions.
9602. Competitive service; time-limited appointments.

Sec. 9601. Definitions

  For purposes of this chapter--
          (1) the term ``land management agency'' means--
                  (A) the Forest Service of the Department of 
                Agriculture;
                  (B) the Bureau of Land Management of the 
                Department of the Interior;
                  (C) the National Park Service of the 
                Department of the Interior;
                  (D) the Fish and Wildlife Service of the 
                Department of the Interior;
                  (E) the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the 
                Department of the Interior; and
                  (F) the Bureau of Reclamation of the 
                Department of the Interior; and
          (2) the term ``time-limited appointment'' includes a 
        temporary appointment and a term appointment, as 
        defined by the Office of Personnel Management.

Sec. 9602. Competitive service; time-limited appointments

  (a) Notwithstanding chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, an employee of a land 
management agency serving under a time-limited appointment in 
the competitive service is eligible to compete for a permanent 
appointment in the competitive service at any land management 
agency or any other agency (as defined in section 101 of title 
31) under the internal merit promotion procedures of the 
applicable agency if--
          (1) the employee was appointed initially under open, 
        competitive examination under subchapter I of chapter 
        33 to the time-limited appointment;
          (2) the employee has served under 1 or more time-
        limited appointments by a land management agency for a 
        period or periods totaling more than 24 months without 
        a break of 2 or more years; and
          (3) the employee's performance has been at an 
        acceptable level of performance throughout the period 
        or periods (as the case may be) referred to in 
        paragraph (2).
  (b) In determining the eligibility of a time-limited employee 
under this section to be examined for or appointed in the 
competitive service, the Office of Personnel Management or 
other examining agency shall waive requirements as to age, 
unless the requirement is essential to the performance of the 
duties of the position.
  (c) An individual appointed under this section--
          (1) becomes a career-conditional employee, unless the 
        employee has otherwise completed the service 
        requirements for career tenure; and
          (2) acquires competitive status upon appointment.
  (d) A former employee of a land management agency who served 
under a time-limited appointment and who otherwise meets the 
requirements of this section shall be deemed a time-limited 
employee for purposes of this section if--
          (1) such employee applies for a position covered by 
        this section within the period of 2 years after the 
        most recent date of separation; and
          (2) such employee's most recent separation was for 
        reasons other than misconduct or performance.
  (e) The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe such 
regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]