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 						   Calendar No. 299

115th Congress}                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                            { 115-205

=====================================================================
                                                                              
        DIRECT HIRE OF STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES ACT OF 2017

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE
                                 
                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              TO ACCOMPANY
                              
                                S. 1887


[GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] 


                February 5, 2018.--Ordered to be printed
       
       
                               __________
       
       
                U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE                    
                           WASHINGTON : 2018    
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
JOHN HOEVEN, North Dakota            KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
STEVE DAINES, Montana                DOUG JONES, Alabama

                  Christopher R. Hixon, Staff Director
                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Chief Counsel
    Courtney J. Allen, Deputy Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs
               Margaret E. Daum, Minority Staff Director
               Stacia M. Cardille, Minority Chief Counsel
       Charles A. Moskowitz, Minority Senior Legislative Counsel
                 Katherine C. Sybenga, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
  
  
  
                    
                                                   Calendar No. 299

115th Congress}                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
  2d Session  }                                            { 115-205

======================================================================
 
        DIRECT HIRE OF STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                February 5, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1887]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 1887) to grant 
expedited hiring authority to the head of an agency to appoint 
college graduates and post-secondary students, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with amendments 
and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................1
III. Legislative History..............................................4
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................4
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................7
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................7
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............8

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of S. 1887, the Direct Hire of Students and 
Recent Graduates Act of 2017, is to allow Federal agencies the 
flexibility to directly hire qualified post-secondary students 
and recent graduates outside the Federal competitive 
examination process.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    Hiring young adults has long been a human capital 
management objective for the Federal workforce, and it has been 
a particular focus for the last few decades due to the threat 
of a ``retirement wave'' of Federal employees.\1\ Robert 
Goldenkoff, Director of Strategic Issues at the Government 
Accountability Office, testified before the Committee's 
Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management in 
2016 that ``[a]cross Government, skills gaps and [sic] critical 
occupations, along with large numbers of employees eligible for 
retirement, are threatening the ability of agencies to carry 
out their vital missions . . . . Agencies need a robust talent 
management strategy that covers the full life cycle of Federal 
employment.''\2\ Mr. Goldenkoff also stated that ``[a]s 
retirements continue, agencies with few millennials may face 
future gaps in leadership, expertise, and critical skills 
because millennials represent the next generation of 
workers.''\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Stephen Barr, Retirement Wave Creates Vacuum, Washington Post 
(May 7, 2000 available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/
politics/2000/05/07/retirement-wave-creates-vacuum/6c7346ba-6f4f-4a08-
a6b7-dcca04a76579/?utm_term=.b618fd074aee.
    \2\Understanding the Millennial Perspective in Deciding to Pursue 
and Remain in Federal Employment: Hearing Before the S. Subcomm. on 
Regulatory Affairs and Fed. Mgmt., 114th Cong. 114-548 (2016) 
(testimony of Robert Goldenkoff, Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Gov't 
Accountability Office).
    \3\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Federal hiring process is often criticized as its own 
barrier to increasing the number of students and recent 
graduates in the Federal workforce. In 2011, Laurel McFarland, 
Executive Director of the National Association of Schools of 
Public Affairs and Administration, testified before the 
Committee:

          Unfortunately, there is overwhelming evidence from 
        recent years that the existing competitive hiring 
        system simply does not work for graduate students, who 
        have advanced training, but little full-time work 
        experience, especially in federal service. The current 
        competitive hiring process gives significant weight to 
        years of government service, but considerably less to 
        cutting-edge skills.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Inspiring Students to Federal Service: Hearing Before the 
S.Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 112th Cong. 112-
118 (statement of Laurel McFarland, Executive Director, National 
Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration).

    Ms. McFarland added that applicants that have advanced 
training and cutting-edge skills, but little full-time work 
``rarely get selected through USAJOBS.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Id. (testimony of Laurel McFarland, Executive Director, National 
Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration). USAJOBS 
is the central location for individuals to search for and apply to 
vacant Federal employment positions. See U.S. Off. of Personnel Mgmt., 
About USAJOBS, available at https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/About/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For several decades, the Federal Government has authorized 
various programs to hire students and recent graduates without 
being subject to the competitive service process.\6\ The most 
recent efforts are the Pathways Programs, created by President 
Barack Obama in 2010 through an executive order.\7\ The 
Pathways Programs began on July 10, 2012, and consist of three 
programs: the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program, 
and the Presidential Management Fellows Program.\8\ These 
programs allow the Federal Government to hire students and 
recent graduates into permanent positions after completing the 
requisite amount of service under the programs.\9\ The 
executive order noted the complexity of, and flaws in, the 
Federal hiring process:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\See, e.g., Exec. Order No. 11202, 30 Fed. Reg. 3185 (Mar. 9, 
1065); Exec. Order No. 11813, 39 Fed. Reg. 36,317 (Oct. 9, 1974); Exec. 
Order. No. 12008, 42 Fed. Reg. 43,373 (Aug. 25, 1977) (amended by Exec. 
Order No. 12107, 44 Fed. Reg. 1055 (Jan. 3, 1979)); Exec. Order No. 
12015, 42 Fed. Reg. 56,947 (Oct. 31, 1977) (amended by Exec. Order No. 
12107, 44 Fed. Reg. 1055 (Jan. 3, 1979) and Exec. Order No. 13024, 61 
Fed. Reg. 58,125 (Nov. 12, 1996)); Exec. Order No. 12364, 47 Fed. Reg. 
22,931 (May 26, 1982) (amended by Exec. Order No. 12645, 53 Fed. Reg. 
26,570 (July 12, 1988)); Exec. Order No. 12596, 52 Fed. Reg. 17,357 
(May 11, 1987); Exec. Order No. 13162, 65 Fed. Reg. 43,211 (July 12, 
2000); Exec. Order No. 13318, 68 Fed. Reg. 56,515 (Sept. 30, 2003).
    \7\Exec. Order 13562, 75 Fed. Reg. 82,585 (Dec. 27, 2010).
    \8\U.S. Off. of Personnel Mgmt., The Pathways Programs: Their Use 
and Effectiveness Two Years After Implementation, 4-6 (Aug. 2016), 
available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-
information/students-recent-graduates/reference-materials/report-on-
special-study-of-the-pathways-programs.pdf.
    \9\Id.

          The Federal Government benefits from a diverse 
        workforce that includes students and recent graduates, 
        who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, 
        talents, and unique perspectives. The existing 
        competitive hiring process for the Federal civil 
        service, however, is structured in a manner that, even 
        at the entry level, favors job applicants who have 
        significant previous work experience. This structure, 
        along with the complexity of the rules governing 
        admission to the career civil service, creates a 
        barrier to recruiting and hiring students and recent 
        graduates. It places the Federal Government at a 
        competitive disadvantage compared to private-sector 
        employers when it comes to hiring qualified applicants 
        for entry-level positions. To compete effectively for 
        students and recent graduates, the Federal Government 
        must improve its recruiting efforts; offer clear paths 
        to Federal internships for students from high school 
        through post-graduate school; offer clear paths to 
        civil service careers for recent graduates; and provide 
        meaningful training, mentoring, and career-development 
        opportunities.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Exec. Order 13562, 75 Fed. Reg. 82,585 (Dec. 27, 2010).

    Despite the non-competitive hiring authority allowed by the 
Pathways Programs, the percentage of students and recent 
graduates in the Federal workforce continues to decrease. Since 
2011, the percentage of full-time Federal employees under the 
age of 30 dropped from 10.49 percent to 6.37 percent.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\U.S. Off. of Personnel Mgmt., Federal Employment Reports: Full-
Time Permanent Age Distributions (Sept. 2016), available at https://
www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-
employment-reports/reports-publications/full-time-permanent-age-
distributions/#2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Pathways Programs also resulted in a higher average age 
at the time of an individual's hire than previous Federal 
programs targeting the hiring of younger employees. The average 
age of new hires under the Pathways Programs in fiscal year 
2014 was 27.1 years compared to 25.4 years under previous 
comparable Federal intern programs in fiscal year 2010.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\U.S. Off. of Personnel Mgmt., supra note 8 at 16.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 
authorized the Department of Defense (DOD) to directly recruit 
and hire post-secondary students and recent graduates to 
civilian professional and administration positions in the 
competitive service.\13\ The DOD's authority to make these 
hires is limited to 15 percent of the number of employees hired 
in professional or administrative positions at the General 
Schedule (GS) Level 11\14\ or below.\15\ This hiring authority 
for DOD sunsets on September 30, 2021.\16\ This authority 
allows DOD to interview and make conditional offers of 
employment during on-campus recruiting events, allowing DOD to 
compete with the private sector for highly qualified 
individuals.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Nat'l Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Pub. L. 
No. 114-328, Sec. 1106, 130 Stat. 2000, 2447-48 (Dec. 23, 2016).
    \14\The maximum salary allowed for a GS-11 employee at the base 
level is $68,025. See U.S. Off. of Personnel Mgmt., Salary Table 2017-
GS, available at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/
salaries-wages/salary-tables/pdf/2017/GS.pdf.
    \15\Nat'l Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, supra 
note 13 at 2448.
    \16\Id.
    \17\S. Rep. No. 114-830, at 1177 (2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This bill would extend the authority given to DOD to 
directly hire post-secondary students and recent graduates to 
all government agencies. It would allow Federal agencies to 
directly hire an individual who received a baccalaureate or 
graduate degree within the last two years without going through 
the competitive hiring process. Veterans who serve in the 
military after graduating would still qualify as a recent 
graduate for two years after they complete their service. 
Agencies would also be able to directly hire, for time-limited 
appointments, students enrolled or accepted for enrollment in 
an institution of higher education and pursuing a baccalaureate 
or graduate degree. Agencies would be able to make these direct 
hires for professional or administrative positions at the GS-11 
level or below and would be subject to the same 15 percent 
limitation as DOD. If an agency may consider using this 
authority to hire a student or recent graduate to an available 
position, it must be publicly noticed. Agencies using this 
authority would also be required to report to Congress and to 
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on the use of this 
authority and its impact on the workforce.

                        III. Legislative History

    S. 1887, the Direct Hire of Students and Recent Graduates 
Act of 2017, was introduced on September 28, 2017, by Senator 
James Lankford. The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The Committee 
considered S. 1887 at a business meeting on October 4, 2017.
    During the business meeting, Senator Thomas Carper offered 
an amendment requiring agencies to provide to Congress and OPM 
an annual impact assessment of the use of this direct hire 
authority for the first three fiscal years of its use. The 
Committee adopted the amendment by voice vote and ordered the 
bill, as amended, reported favorably by voice vote en bloc with 
Senators Johnson, Lankford, Daines, McCaskill, Tester, 
Heitkamp, Hassan, and Harris present. Senators Harris and 
Hassan were recorded as voting ``no'' for the record.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Direct Hire of Students and Recent Graduates Act of 2017''.

Section 2. Expedited hiring for college graduates and post-secondary 
        students.

    Section 2 authorizes agencies to directly hire post-
secondary students and recent graduates into Federal service 
through the addition of two new sections to Title 5, United 
States Code.
    New section 3115 of Title 5, United States Code, describes 
the authority for agencies to directly hire recent college 
graduates. Subsection (a) sets definitions for the terms 
``director'' and ``institution of higher education.''
    Subsection (b) authorizes the head of an agency to directly 
hire a recent college graduate to a competitive service 
position that is classified in a professional or administrative 
occupational category at the GS-11 level, or an equivalent 
level, or below. The OPM Director is required to prescribe 
regulations for agencies to follow when making these direct 
hires.
    Subsection (c) describes the qualifications for a recent 
college graduate to be hired under this section. A recent 
graduate must have received a baccalaureate or graduate degree 
from an institution of higher education (as defined by the 
Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended) no more than two 
years from the date of applying for the position. For 
individuals with at least four years of obligated service in a 
uniformed service, they must apply for a position no more than 
two years after their date of discharge or release from 
service. Recent graduates must also meet each minimum 
qualification standard under the OPM Director's regulations in 
order to be hired.
    Subsection (d) requires agencies to publicly advertise 
positions for which this direct hire authority may be used. 
Agencies must also adhere to merit system principles, advertise 
positions in a manner to provide for diverse and qualified 
applicants, and ensure potential applicants have appropriate 
information relevant to the available positions.
    Subsection (e) limits the number of positions for which 
this direct hire authority of recent college graduates may be 
used by an agency. The use of this authority would be limited 
to 15 percent of the number of individuals from the previous 
fiscal year that the agency hired to a professional or 
administrative occupational category at the GS-11 level, or an 
equivalent level, or below under a competitive examining 
procedure. The OPM Director would be able to lower this limit.
    Subsection (f) requires the OPM Director to issue interim 
regulations for the administration of this direct hire 
authority not later than 180 after enactment of this bill.
    Subsection (g) requires agencies using this direct hire 
authority to issue annual reports during the first three fiscal 
years after enactment of this bill. One report is an impact 
assessment submitted to Congress. Agencies must also submit a 
report to OPM that contains the necessary data for OPM to 
assess the impact and effectiveness of the authority to 
directly hire students and recent graduates. These reports must 
include information about the total number of individuals hired 
under this authority that are minorities or members of 
underrepresented groups or veterans, the recruitment sources 
used to hire individuals under this authority, and the total 
number of individuals the agencies hired in positions for which 
this authority is eligible.
    Subsection (h) clarifies that the authority provided to 
agencies under this bill, and the subsequent regulations 
prescribed, does not apply to DOD's authority provided under 
the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.
    New section 3116 of Title 5, United States Code, describes 
the authority for agencies to directly hire post-secondary 
students. Subsection (a) sets definitions for the terms 
``director'', ``institution of higher education'', and 
``student''.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the head of an agency to directly 
hire a post-secondary student on a time-limited basis to a 
competitive service position at the GS-11 level, or an 
equivalent level, or below. The OPM Director is required to 
prescribe regulations for agencies to follow when making these 
direct hires.
    Subsection (c) requires agencies to publicly advertise 
positions for which this direct hire authority may be used. 
Agencies must also adhere to merit system principles, advertise 
positions in a manner to provide for diverse and qualified 
applicants, and ensure potential applicants have appropriate 
information relevant to the available positions.
    Subsection (d) limits the number of positions for which 
this direct hire authority of post-secondary students may be 
used by an agency. The use of this authority would be limited 
to 15 percent of the number of students from the previous 
fiscal year that the agency hired in competitive service 
positions at the GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or below. 
The OPM Director would be able to lower this limit.
    Subsection (e) allows agencies to convert a student 
directly hired to a time-limited position under this section to 
a permanent competitive service position if the student 
completed the course of study leading to a baccalaureate or 
graduate degree, completed not less than 640 hours of current 
continuous employment under the direct hire authority of this 
section, and meets the qualification standards for the position 
to which the student would be converted.
    Subsection (f) requires agencies to terminate the 
employment of any student hired under this section once the 
student completes the course of study, unless the student is 
converted to a permanent position under subsection (e).
    Subsection (g) requires the OPM Director to issue interim 
regulations for the administration of this direct hire 
authority not later than 180 after enactment of this bill.
    Subsection (h) requires agencies using this direct hire 
authority of post-secondary students to issue annual reports 
during the first three fiscal years after enactment of this 
bill. One report is an impact assessment submitted to Congress. 
Agencies must also submit a report to OPM that contains the 
necessary data for OPM to assess the impact and effectiveness 
of the authority to directly hire students and recent 
graduates. These reports must include information about the 
total number of individuals hired under this authority that are 
minorities or members of underrepresented groups or veterans, 
the recruitment sources used to hire individuals under this 
authority, and the total number of individuals the agencies 
hired in positions for which this authority is eligible.
    Subsection (i) clarifies that the authority provided to 
agencies under this bill, and the subsequent regulations 
prescribed, does not apply to DOD's authority provided under 
the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the bill contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                  October 30, 2017.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1887, the Direct 
Hire of Students and Recent Graduates Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 1887--Direct Hire of Students and Recent Graduates Act of 2017

    S. 1887 would provide special hiring authorities for 
federal agencies with the aim of expediting the hiring process 
for college graduates or veterans pursuing employment at the 
GS-11 level or below. The total number of such hires would be 
limited to 15 percent of the employees an agency hired in the 
previous year. In addition, the Office of Personnel Management 
(OPM) and agencies using this authority would need to report to 
the Congress on the effectiveness of the program over the next 
three years.
    In recent years, around 20,000 federal employees have been 
hired annually at or below the GS-11 level. OPM also 
administers an effort that is similar to the proposed 
legislation, the Pathways Program, which expedites the hiring 
of recent graduates. Because that program is ongoing and 
because the potential number of hires under S. 1887 would be 
limited to 15 percent (or about 3,000) of the openings at or 
below GS-11, CBO estimates that there would be no significant 
cost to create the new program.
    Enacting S. 1887 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1887 would not increase 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 1887 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew 
Pickford. This estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 5--GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subpart B--Employment and Retention

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER 31--AUTHORITY FOR EMPLOYMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter I--Employment Authorities

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Table of Sections
Sec.
3101. General authority to employ
3102. Employment of personal assistants for handicapped employees, 
          including blind and deaf employees
3103. Employment at seat of Government only for services rendered
3104. Employment of specially qualified scientific and professional 
          personnel
3105. Appointment of administrative law judges
3106. Employment of attorneys; restrictions
3107. Employment of publicity experts; restrictions
3108. Employment of detective agencies; restrictions
3109. Employment of experts and consultants; temporary or intermittent
3110. Employment of relatives; restrictions
3111. Acceptance of volunteer service
3111a. Federal internship programs
3112. Disabled veterans; noncompetitive appointment
3113. Restriction on reemployment after conviction of certain crimes
3114. Appointment of candidates to certain positions in the competitive 
          service by the Securities and Exchange Commission
3115. Expedited hiring authority for college graduates; competitive 
          service
3116. Expedited hiring authority for post-secondary students; 
          competitive service.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3115. EXPEDITED HIRING AUTHORITY FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES; 
                    COMPETITIVE SERVICE.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the 
        Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
          (2) Institution of higher education.--The term 
        ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 101(a) of the Higher 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
    (b) Appointment.--
          (1) In general.--The head of an agency may appoint, 
        without regard to any provision of sections 3309 
        through 3319 and 3330, a qualified individual to a 
        position in the competitive service classified in a 
        professional or administrative occupational category at 
        the GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or below.
          (2) Restrictions--An appointment under paragraph (1) 
        shall be made in accordance with regulations prescribed 
        by the Director.
    (c) Qualifications for Appointment.--The head of an agency 
may make an appointment under subparagraph (b) only if the 
individual being appointed--
          (1) has received a baccalaureate or graduate degree 
        from an institution of higher education;
          (2) applies for the position--
                  (A) not later than 2 years after the date on 
                which the individual being appointed received 
                the degree described in paragraph (1); or
                  (B) in the case of an individual who has 
                completed a period of not less than 4 years of 
                obligated service in a uniformed service, not 
                later than 2 years after the date of the 
                discharge or the release of the individual from 
                that service; and
          (3) meets each minimum qualification standard 
        prescribed by the Director for the position to which 
        the individual is being appointed.
    (d) Public Notice and Advertising.--
          (1) In general.--The head of an agency making an 
        appointment under subsection (b) shall publicly 
        advertise positions under this section.
          (2) Requirements.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the 
        head of an agency shall--
                  (A) adhere to merit system principles;
                  (B) advertise positions in a manner that 
                provides for diverse and qualified applicants; 
                and
                  (C) ensure potential applicants have 
                appropriate information relevant to the 
                positions available.
    (e) Limitation on Appointments.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        the total number of employees that the head of an 
        agency may appoint under this section during a fiscal 
        year may not exceed the number equal to 15 percent of 
        the number of individuals that the agency head 
        appointed during the previous fiscal year to a position 
        in the competitive service classified in a professional 
        or administrative occupational category, at the GS-11 
        level, or an equivalent level, or below, under a 
        competitive examining procedure.
          (2) Exceptions.--Under a regulation prescribed under 
        subsection (f), the Director may establish a lower 
        limit on the number of individuals that may be 
        appointed under paragraph (1) of this subsection during 
        a fiscal year based on any factor the Director 
        considers appropriate.
    (f) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of the Direct Hire of Students and Recent Graduates 
Act of 2017, the Director shall issue interim regulations, with 
an opportunity to comment, for the administration of this 
section.
    (g) Reporting.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than September 30 of each 
        of the first 3 fiscal years beginning after the date of 
        enactment of the Direct Hire of Students and Recent 
        Graduates Act of 2017, the head of an agency that makes 
        an appointment under this section shall submit a report 
        to--
                  (A) Congress that assesses the impact of the 
                use of the authority provided under this 
                section during the fiscal year in which the 
                report is submitted; and
                  (B) the Director that contains data that the 
                Director considers necessary for the Director 
                to assess the impact and effectiveness of the 
                authority described in subparagraph (A).
          (2) Content.--The head of an agency shall include in 
        each report under paragraph (1)--
                  (A) the total number of individuals appointed 
                by the agency under this section, as well as 
                the number of such individuals who are--
                          (i) minorities or members of other 
                        underrepresented groups; or
                          (ii) veterans;
                  (B) recruitment sources;
                  (C) the total number of individuals appointed 
                by the agency during the applicable fiscal year 
                to a position in the competitive service 
                classified in a professional or administrative 
                occupational category at the GS-11 level, or an 
                equivalent level, or below; and
                  (D) any additional data specified by the 
                Director.
    (h) Special Provision Regarding the Department of 
Defense.--
          (1) Authority.--Nothing in this section shall 
        preclude the Secretary of Defense from exercising any 
        authority to appoint a recent graduate under section 
        1106 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
        Fiscal Year 2017 (10 U.S.C. note prec. 1580), or any 
        applicable successor statute.
          (2) Regulations.--Any regulations prescribed by the 
        Director for the administration of this section shall 
        not apply to the Department of Defense during the 
        period ending on the date on which the appointment 
        authority of the Secretary of Defense under section 
        1106 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
        Fiscal Year 2017 (10 U.S.C. note prec. 1580), or any 
        applicable successor statute, terminates.

SEC. 3116. EXPEDITED HIRING AUTHORITY FOR POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS; 
                    COMPETITIVE SERVICE.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the 
        Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
          (2) Institution of higher education.--The term 
        ``institution of higher education'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 101(a) of the Higher 
        Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)).
          (3) Student.--The term ``student'' means an 
        individual enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an 
        institution of higher education who is pursuing a 
        baccalaureate or graduate degree on at least a part-
        time basis as determined by the institution of higher 
        education.
    (b) Appointment.--
          (1) In general.--The head of an agency may make a 
        time-limited appointment of a student, without regard 
        to any provision of sections 3309 through 3319 and 
        3330, to a position in the competitive service at the 
        GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or below for which 
        the student is qualified.
          (2) Restriction.--An appointment under paragraph (1) 
        shall be made in accordance with regulations prescribed 
        by the Director.
    (c) Public Notice.--
          (1) In general.--The head of an agency making an 
        appointment under subsection (b) shall publicly 
        advertise positions available under this section.
          (2) Requirements.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the 
        head of an agency shall
                  (A) adhere to merit system principles;
                  (B) advertise positions in a manner that 
                provides for diverse and qualified applicants; 
                and
                  (C) ensure potential applicants have 
                appropriate information relevant to the 
                positions available.
    (d) Limitations on Appointments.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        the total number of students that the head of an agency 
        may appoint under this section during a fiscal year may 
        not exceed the number equal to 15 percent of the number 
        of students that the agency head appointed during the 
        previous fiscal year to a position in the competitive 
        service at the GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or 
        below.
          (2) Exceptions.--Under a regulation prescribed under 
        subsection (g), the Director may establish a lower 
        limit on the number of students that may be appointed 
        under paragraph (1) of this subsection during a fiscal 
        year based on any factor the Director considers 
        appropriate.
    (e) Conversion.--The head of an agency may, without regard 
to any provision of chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, convert a student 
serving in an appointment under subsection (b) to a permanent 
appointment in the competitive service within the agency 
without further competition if the student--
          (1) has completed the course of student leading to 
        the baccalaureate or graduate degree;
          (2) has completed not less than 640 hours of current 
        continuous employment in an appointment under 
        subsection (b); and
          (3) meets the qualification standards for the 
        position to which the student will be converted.
    (f) Termination.--The head of an agency shall, without 
regard to any provision of chapter 35 or 75, terminate the 
appointment of a student appointed under subsection (b) upon 
completion of the designated academic course of study unless 
the student is selected for conversion under subsection (e).
    (g) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of the Direct Hire of Students and Recent Graduates 
Act of 2017, the Director shall issue interim regulations, with 
an opportunity for comment, for the administration of this 
section.
    (h) Reporting.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than September 30 of each 
        of the first 3 fiscal years beginning after the date of 
        enactment of the Direct Hire of Students and Recent 
        Graduates Act of 2017, the head of an agency that makes 
        an appointment under this section shall submit a report 
        to--
                  (A) Congress that assesses the impact of the 
                use of the authority provided under this 
                section during the fiscal year in which the 
                report is submitted; and
                  (B) the Director that contains data that the 
                Director considers necessary for the Director 
                to assess the impact and effectiveness of the 
                authority described in subparagraph (A).
          (2) Content.--The head of an agency shall include in 
        each report under paragraph (1)--
                  (A) the total number of individuals appointed 
                by the agency under this section, as well as 
                the number of such individuals who are--
                          (i) minorities or members of other 
                        underrepresented groups; or
                          (ii) veterans;
                  (B) recruitment sources;
                  (C) the total number of individuals appointed 
                by the agency during the applicable fiscal year 
                to a position in the competitive service at the 
                GS-11 level, or an equivalent level, or below; 
                and
                  (D) any additional data specified by the 
                Director.
    (i) Special Provision Regarding The Department Of 
Defense.--
          (1) Authority.--Nothing in this section shall 
        preclude the Secretary of Defense from exercising any 
        authority to appoint a post-secondary student under 
        section 1106 of the National Defense Authorization Act 
        for Fiscal Year 2017 (10 U.S.C. note prec. 1580), or 
        any applicable successor statute.
          (2) Regulations.--Any regulations prescribed by the 
        Director for the administration of this section shall 
        not apply to the Department of Defense during the 
        period ending on the date on which the appointment 
        authority of the Secretary of Defense under section 
        1106 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
        Fiscal Year 2017 (10 U.S.C. note prec. 1580), or any 
        applicable successor statute, terminates.

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