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114th Congress    }                                   {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                   {       114-367

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



 
                    COMPETITIVE SERVICE ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

December 3, 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 S. 1580]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (S. 1580) to allow additional appointing 
authorities to select individuals from competitive service 
certificates, 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...............................................     3
Explanation of Amendments........................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Roll Call Votes..................................................     3
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     3
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     4
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     4
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     4
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     4
Earmark Identification...........................................     4
Committee Estimate...............................................     4
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The Competitive Service Act of 2015, S. 1580, allows 
federal agencies to share information on qualified applicants 
when filling similar positions.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Under current law, agencies operate as separate entities 
with regard to agency hiring. Due to the lengthy amount of time 
it takes some agencies to fill job announcements, many 
applicants are reluctant to apply for jobs with the federal 
government. S. 1580 provides agencies with a method to 
streamline the hiring process.
    S. 1580 provides federal agencies additional appointing 
authorities to select individuals for competitive service 
positions by allowing federal agencies to share their lists of 
best-qualified candidates with other agencies.
    S. 1580 allows an agency to hire an individual from another 
agency's certificate of eligible candidates within 240 days of 
issuance as long as the job announcement provided notice that 
the list of eligible candidates may be used by another agency, 
the position is in the same occupational category, and the 
position is at a similar grade level.
    The bill also requires that before a selection is made the 
other agency must provide notice of the available position to 
its internal employees, give up to ten business days for its 
employees to submit applications, and consider those 
applications. As long as those requirements are met, the other 
agency does not need to make any additional postings and may 
hire from the list of certified applicants.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1580, the Competitive Service Act of 2015, was 
introduced on June 16, 2015 by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), and 
referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs. On June 24, 2015, the Senate Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs considered S. 1580 
and ordered the bill reported favorably by voice vote. On 
September 17, 2015, S. 1580 passed the Senate without amendment 
by unanimous consent and was referred to the House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), 
Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Heidi Heitkamp 
(D-ND) are original cosponsors. Representative Gerald E. 
Connolly (D-VA) introduced similar legislation, H.R. 2827, on 
June 18, 2015 with Representative Robert J. Wittman (R-VA) as 
an original cosponsor. H.R. 2827 was referred to the House 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
    In the 113th Congress, the Competitive Service Act of 2014, 
S. 2541, was introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) on June 
26, 2014 and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) 
was an original cosponsor. Similar legislation, H.R. 5174, was 
introduced by Representative Gerald E. Connolly, with 
Representative Robert J. Wittman as an original cosponsor, on 
July 23, 2014. H.R. 5174 was referred to the House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform. Both bills saw no further 
action.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Designates the short title of the bill as the Competitive 
Service Act of 2015.

Section 2. Additional appointing authorities for competitive service

    This section amends sections 3318 and 3319 of title 5, 
United States Code, to provide additional appointing 
authorities for agencies selecting individuals for competitive 
service positions under the Rule of Three and Category Ranking 
rating and selection procedures.
    The additional appointing authorities allow an appointing 
authority other than the appointing authority requesting the 
certificate of eligibles (referred to as the other appointing 
authority) to select an individual from that certificate within 
240 days of issuance of the certificate provided certain 
conditions are met. First, the position must be in the same 
occupational series and grade level for which the certificate 
of eligibles was issued. Second, the job announcement must have 
provided notice that the list of eligible candidates may be 
used by another appointing authority.
    This section also requires the other appointing authority 
to provide internal notice of the available position to its 
employees for up to ten business days. The other appointing 
authority must review the qualifications of employees who 
submitted applications and consider those applications before 
making a selection from the original certificate of eligibles. 
If these requirements are met, the other appointing authority 
does not need to make an additional job posting under section 
3327.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    No amendments were offered during Full Committee 
consideration of S. 1580.

                        Committee Consideration

    On October 9, 2015, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered S. 1580 reported favorably, by unanimous consent, a 
quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    No recorded votes were requested or conducted during Full 
Committee consideration of S. 1580.

              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 bill provides federal agencies with additional appointing 
authorities to select individuals from competitive service 
certificates. As such this bill does not relate to employment 
or access to public services and accommodations.

  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 amend section 3318 and 3319 
of title 5, United States Code, to provide additional 
appointing authorities for competitive service.

                    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

    S. 1580 requires the Office of Personnel Management to 
issue regulations related to the alternative ranking and 
selection procedures established by the bill. S. 1580 requires 
an interim final rule with comment to be published no later 
than one year after the date of enactment 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 
Mandates 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:

S. 1580--Competitive Service Act of 2015

    S. 1580 would amend federal law with the goal of expediting 
the federal hiring process by allowing agencies to share their 
assessments of job applicants with one another. Under this 
legislation, an agency that has compiled a list of candidates 
based on a rating system to fill a vacancy could share that 
information with other agencies.
    Based on information from the Office of Personnel 
Management, CBO expects that without a formal and structured 
human resources process to share assessments between agencies 
few managers would use this authority. Because the bill would 
not establish such a mechanism, CBO estimates that any 
implementation costs or savings would be insignificant.
    Enacting S. 1580 could affect direct spending by some 
agencies (such as the Tennessee Valley Authority) because they 
are authorized to use receipts from the sale of goods, fees, 
and other collections to cover their operating costs. 
Therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Because most of 
those agencies can make adjustments to the amounts collected as 
operating costs change, CBO estimates that any net changes in 
direct spending by those agencies would be negligible. Enacting 
the bill would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1580 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion 
in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 
2026.
    S. 1580 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.
    On July 13, 2015, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1580 as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs on June 24, 2015. The two 
versions of the legislation are identical, and the estimated 
budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy 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 (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, 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

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART B--EMPLOYMENT AND RETENTION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 33--EXAMINATION, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER I--EXAMINATION, CERTIFICATION, AND APPOINTMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 3318. Competitive service; selection from certificates

  (a) The nominating or appointing authority shall select for 
appointment to each vacancy from the highest three eligibles 
available for appointment on the certificate furnished under 
section 3317(a) of this title, unless objection to one or more 
of the individuals certified is made to, and sustained by, the 
Office of Personnel Management for proper and adequate reason 
under regulations prescribed by the Office.
  (b) Other Appointing Authorities.--
          (1) In general.--During the 240-day period beginning 
        on the date of issuance of a certificate of eligibles 
        under section 3317(a), an appointing authority other 
        than the appointing authority requesting the 
        certificate (in this subsection referred to as the 
        ``other appointing authority'') may select an 
        individual from that certificate in accordance with 
        this subsection for an appointment to a position that 
        is--
                  (A) in the same occupational series as the 
                position for which the certification of 
                eligibles was issued (in this subsection 
                referred to as the ``original position''); and
                  (B) at a similar grade level as the original 
                position.
          (2) Applicability.--An appointing authority 
        requesting a certificate of eligibles may share the 
        certificate with another appointing authority only if 
        the announcement of the original position provided 
        notice that the resulting list of eligible candidates 
        may be used by another appointing authority.
          (3) Requirements.--The selection of an individual 
        under paragraph (1)--
                  (A) shall be made in accordance with 
                subsection (a); and
                  (B) subject to paragraph (4), may be made 
                without any additional posting under section 
                3327.
          (4) Internal notice.--Before selecting an individual 
        under paragraph (1), and subject to the requirements of 
        any collective bargaining obligation of the other 
        appointing authority, the other appointing authority 
        shall--
                  (A) provide notice of the available position 
                to employees of the other appointing authority;
                  (B) provide up to 10 business days for 
                employees of the other appointing authority to 
                apply for the position; and
                  (C) review the qualifications of employees 
                submitting an application.
          (5) Collective bargaining obligations.--Nothing in 
        this subsection limits any collective bargaining 
        obligation of an agency under chapter 71.
  [(b)] (c)(1) If an appointing authority proposes to pass over 
a preference eligible on a certificate in order to select an 
individual who is not a preference eligible, such authority 
shall file written reasons with the Office for passing over the 
preference eligible. The Office shall make the reasons 
presented by the appointing authority part of the record of the 
preference eligible and may require the submission of more 
detailed information from the appointing authority in support 
of the passing over of the preference eligible. The Office 
shall determine the sufficiency or insufficiency of the reasons 
submitted by the appointing authority, taking into account any 
response received from the preference eligible under paragraph 
(2) of this subsection. When the Office has completed its 
review of the proposed passover, it shall send its findings to 
the appointing authority and to the preference eligible. The 
appointing authority shall comply with the findings of the 
Office.
  (2) In the case of a preference eligible described in section 
2108(3)(C) of this title who has a compensable service-
connected disability of 30 percent or more, the appointing 
authority shall at the same time it notifies the Office under 
paragraph (1) of this subsection, notify the preference 
eligible of the proposed passover, of the reasons therefor, and 
of his right to respond to such reasons to the Office within 15 
days of the date of such notification. The Office shall, before 
completing its review under paragraph (1) of this subsection, 
require a demonstration by the appointing authority that the 
passover notification was timely sent to the preference 
eligible's last known address.
  (3) A preference eligible not described in paragraph (2) of 
this subsection, or his representative, shall be entitled, on 
request, to a copy of--
          (A) the reasons submitted by the appointing authority 
        in support of the proposed passover, and
          (B) the findings of the Office.
  (4) In the case of a preference eligible described in 
paragraph (2) of this subsection, the functions of the Office 
under this subsection may not be delegated.
  [(c)] (d) When three or more names of preference eligibles 
are on a reemployment list appropriate for the position to be 
filled, a nominating or appointing authority may appoint from a 
register of eligibles established after examination only an 
individual who qualifies as a preference eligible under section 
2108(3)(C)-(G) of this title.

Sec. 3319. Alternative ranking and selection procedures

  (a) The Office, in exercising its authority under section 
3304, or an agency to which the Office has delegated examining 
authority under section 1104(a)(2), may establish category 
rating systems for evaluating applicants for positions in the 
competitive service, under 2 or more quality categories based 
on merit consistent with regulations prescribed by the Office 
of Personnel Management, rather than assigned individual 
numerical ratings.
  (b) Within each quality category established under subsection 
(a), preference-eligibles shall be listed ahead of individuals 
who are not preference eligibles. For other than scientific and 
professional positions at GS-9 of the General Schedule 
(equivalent or higher), qualified preference-eligibles who have 
a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or 
more shall be listed in the highest quality category.
  [(c)(1) An appointing official may select any applicant in 
the highest quality category or, if fewer than 3 candidates 
have been assigned to the highest quality category, in a merged 
category consisting of the highest and the second highest 
quality categories.
  [(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the appointing official 
may not pass over a preference-eligible in the same category 
from which selection is made, unless the requirements of 
section 3317(b) or 3318(b), as applicable, are satisfied.]
  (c) Selection.--
          (1) In general.--An appointing official may select 
        any applicant in the highest quality category or, if 
        fewer than 3 candidates have been assigned to the 
        highest quality category, in a merged category 
        consisting of the highest and the second highest 
        quality categories.
          (2) Use by other appointing officials.--Under 
        regulations prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
        Management, appointing officials other than the 
        appointing official described in paragraph (1) (in this 
        subsection referred to as the ``other appointing 
        official'') may select an applicant for an appointment 
        to a position that is--
                  (A) in the same occupational series as the 
                position for which the certification of 
                eligibles was issued (in this subsection 
                referred to as the ``original position''); and
                  (B) at a similar grade level as the original 
                position.
          (3) Applicability.--An appointing authority 
        requesting a certificate of eligibles may share the 
        certificate with another appointing authority only if 
        the announcement of the original position provided 
        notice that the resulting list of eligible candidates 
        may be used by another appointing authority.
          (4) Requirements.--The selection of an individual 
        under paragraph (2)--
                  (A) shall be made in accordance with this 
                subsection; and
                  (B) subject to paragraph (5), may be made 
                without any additional posting under section 
                3327.
          (5) Internal notice.--Before selecting an individual 
        under paragraph (2), and subject to the requirements of 
        any collective bargaining obligation of the other 
        appointing authority (within the meaning given that 
        term in section 3318(b)(1)), the other appointing 
        official shall--
                  (A) provide notice of the available position 
                to employees of the appointing authority 
                employing the other appointing official;
                  (B) provide up to 10 business days for 
                employees of the other appointing authority to 
                apply for the position; and
                  (C) review the qualifications of employees 
                submitting an application.
          (6) Collective bargaining obligations.--Nothing in 
        this subsection limits any collective bargaining 
        obligation of an agency under chapter 71.
          (7) Preference eligibles.--Notwithstanding paragraphs 
        (1) and (2), an appointing official may not pass over a 
        preference eligible in the same category from which 
        selection is made, unless the requirements of section 
        3317(b) and 3318(c), as applicable, are satisfied.
  (d) Each agency that establishes a category rating system 
under this section shall submit in each of the 3 years 
following that establishment, a report to Congress on that 
system including information on--
          (1) the number of employees hired under that system;
          (2) the impact that system has had on the hiring of 
        veterans and minorities, including those who are 
        American Indian or Alaska Natives, Asian, Black or 
        African American, and native Hawaiian or other Pacific 
        Islanders; and
          (3) the way in which managers were trained in the 
        administration of that system.
  (e) The Office of Personnel Management may prescribe such 
regulations as it considers necessary to carry out the 
provisions of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBPART I--MISCELLANEOUS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 CHAPTER 95--PERSONNEL FLEXIBILITIES RELATING TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE 
SERVICE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 9510. General workforce staffing

  (a)(1) Except as otherwise provided by this section, an 
employee of the Internal Revenue Service may be selected for a 
permanent appointment in the competitive service in the 
Internal Revenue Service through internal competitive promotion 
procedures if--
          (A) the employee has completed, in the competitive 
        service, 2 years of current continuous service under a 
        term appointment or any combination of term 
        appointments;
          (B) such term appointment or appointments were made 
        under competitive procedures prescribed for permanent 
        appointments;
          (C) the employee's performance under such term 
        appointment or appointments met established retention 
        standards, or, if not covered by a performance 
        management system established under section 9508, was 
        rated at the fully successful level or higher (or 
        equivalent thereof); and
          (D) the vacancy announcement for the term appointment 
        from which the conversion is made stated that there was 
        a potential for subsequent conversion to a permanent 
        appointment.
  (2) An appointment under this section may be made only to a 
position in the same line of work as a position to which the 
employee received a term appointment under competitive 
procedures.
  (b)(1) Notwithstanding subchapter I of chapter 33, the 
Secretary of the Treasury may establish category rating systems 
for evaluating applicants for Internal Revenue Service 
positions in the competitive service under which qualified 
candidates are divided into two or more quality categories on 
the basis of relative degrees of merit, rather than assigned 
individual numerical ratings.
  (2) Each applicant who meets the minimum qualification 
requirements for the position to be filled shall be assigned to 
an appropriate category based on an evaluation of the 
applicant's knowledge, skills, and abilities relative to those 
needed for successful performance in the position to be filled.
  (3) Within each quality category established under paragraph 
(1), preference eligibles shall be listed ahead of individuals 
who are not preference eligibles. For other than scientific and 
professional positions at or higher than GS-9 (or equivalent), 
preference eligibles who have a compensable service-connected 
disability of 10 percent or more, and who meet the minimum 
qualification standards, shall be listed in the highest quality 
category.
  (4) An appointing authority may select any applicant from the 
highest quality category or, if fewer than three candidates 
have been assigned to the highest quality category, from a 
merged category consisting of the highest and second highest 
quality categories.
  (5) Notwithstanding paragraph (4), the appointing authority 
may not pass over a preference eligible in the same or higher 
category from which selection is made unless the requirements 
of section 3317(b) or [3318(b)] 3318(c), as applicable, are 
satisfied.
  (c) The Secretary of the Treasury may detail employees among 
the offices of the Internal Revenue Service without regard to 
the 120-day limitation in section 3341(b).
  (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary 
of the Treasury may establish a probationary period under 
section 3321 of up to 3 years for Internal Revenue Service 
positions if the Secretary of the Treasury determines that the 
nature of the work is such that a shorter period is 
insufficient to demonstrate complete proficiency in the 
position.
  (e) Nothing in this section exempts the Secretary of the 
Treasury from--
          (1) any employment priority established under 
        direction of the President for the placement of surplus 
        or displaced employees; or
          (2) any obligation under a court order or decree 
        relating to the employment practices of the Internal 
        Revenue Service or the Department of the Treasury.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                                  [all]