5 CFR § 304.103 - Authority.

§ 304.103 Authority.

(a) Basic authority.

(1) When authorized by an appropriation or other statute to use 5 U.S.C. 3109, an agency may appoint a qualified expert or consultant to an expert or consultant position that requires only intermittent and/or temporary employment. Such an appointment is excepted from competitive examination, position classification, and the General Schedule pay rates.

(2) An expert or consultant who works on a strictly intermittent basis may be appointed under this authority without time limit or for any period determined by the agency. All other experts and consultants must receive temporary appointments. Temporary experts and consultants may be reappointed in the same agency only as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Inappropriate use. An agency must not use 5 U.S.C. 3109 to appoint an expert or consultant:

(1) To a position requiring Presidential appointment. However, subject to the conditions of this part, an agency may appoint an individual awaiting final action on a Presidential appointment to an expert or consultant position.

(2) To a Senior Executive Service position (including an FBI or DEA Senior Executive Service position).

(3) To perform managerial or supervisory work (although an expert may act as team leader or director of the specific project for which he/she is hired), to make final decisions on substantive policies, or to otherwise function in the agency chain of command (e.g., to approve financial transactions, personnel actions, etc.).

(4) To do work performed by the agency's regular employees.

(5) To fill in during staff shortages.

(6) Solely in anticipation of giving that individual a career appointment. However, subject to the conditions of this part, an agency may appoint an individual to an expert or consultant position pending Schedule C appointment or noncareer appointment in the Senior Executive Service.

(c) Reappointment. An agency may reemploy an expert or consultant to perform demonstrably different duties without regard to the length of that individual's previous expert or consultant service with the agency. Reappointment to perform substantially the same duties is subject to the following limits:

(1) An agency may employ an expert or consultant who works on a full-time basis for a maximum of 2 years—i.e., on an initial appointment not to exceed 1 year and a reappointment not to exceed 1 additional year.

(2) An agency may reappoint an expert or consultant who works on a part-time or intermittent schedule in accordance with one of the following options. The agency must determine which option it will use in advance of any reappointment and must base its determination on objective criteria (e.g., nature of duties, pay level, whether or not work is regularly scheduled). Option 1 must be applied to reappointments of experts and consultants appointed without compensation.

(i) Option 1—Annual service. An agency may reappoint an expert or consultant, with no limit on the number of reappointments, as long as the individual is paid for no more than 6 months (130 days or 1,040 hours) of work, or works for no more than that amount of time without compensation, in a service year. (The service year is the calendar year that begins on the date of the individual's initial appointment in the agency.) An expert or consultant who exceeds this limit in his/her first service year may be reappointed for 1 additional year. An expert or consultant who exceeds the limit during any subsequent service year may not be reappointed thereafter.

(ii) Option 2—Cumulative earnings. Each expert or consultant will have a lifetime limit of twice the maximum annual rate payable under the annualized basic pay limitations of section 304.105. The agency may adjust this limit to reflect statutory increases in basic pay rates. The agency may reappoint an expert or consultant until his/her total earnings from expert or consultant employment with the agency reach the lifetime maximum, as determined by using the applicable maximum salary rate. At that point, the employment must be terminated.

(3) OPM may authorize reappointment of an expert or consultant as an exception to the limits in the section when necessitated by unforeseen and unusual circumstances.