5 CFR 316.401 - Purpose and duration.
(a) Appropriate use. An agency may make a temporary limited appointment -
(1) To fill a short-term position (i.e., one that is not expected to last longer than 1 year);
(2) To meet an employment need that is scheduled to be terminated within the timeframe set out in paragraph (c) of this section for such reasons as abolishment, reorganization, or contracting of the function, anticipated reduction in funding, or completion of a specific project or peak workload; or
(3) To fill positions on a temporary basis when the positions are expected to be needed for placement of permanent employees who would otherwise be displaced from other parts of the organization.
(b) Certification of appropriate use. The supervisor of each position filled by temporary appointment must certify that the employment need is truly temporary and that the proposed appointment meets the regulatory time limits. This certification may constitute appropriate documentation of compliance with the limits set out in paragraph (c) of this section. The reason(s) for making a temporary limited appointment must be stated on the form documenting each such appointment.
(c) Time limits - general. (1) An agency may make a temporary appointment for a specified period not to exceed 1 year. The appointment may be extended up to a maximum of 1 additional year (24 months of total service). Appointment to a successor position (i.e., to a position that replaces and absorbs the position to which an individual was originally appointed) is considered to be an extension of the original appointment. Appointment to a position involving the same basic duties and in the same major subdivision of the agency and same local commuting area as the original appointment is also considered to be an extension of the original appointment.
(2) An agency may not fill a position by temporary appointment if that position has previously been filled by temporary appointment(s) for an aggregate of 2 years, or 24 months, within the preceding 3-year period.
(d) Exceptions to general time limits. (1) Agencies may make and extend temporary appointments to positions involving intermittent or seasonal work without regard to the requirements in paragraph (c) of this section, provided that:
(i) Appointments and extensions are made in increments of 1 year or less.
(ii) Employment in the same or a successor position under this and any other appointing authority totals less than 6 months (1,040 hours), excluding overtime, in a service year. The service year is the calendar year that begins on the date of the employee's initial appointment in the agency. Should employment in a position filled under this exception total 6 months or more in any service year, the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section will apply to subsequent extension or reappointment unless OPM approves continued exception under this section. An individual may be employed for training for up to 120 days following initial appointment and up to 2 weeks a year thereafter without regard to the service year limitation.
(2) OPM will authorize exceptions to the limits set out in paragraph (c) of this section only when necessitated by major reorganizations or base closings or other unusual circumstances. Requests based on major reorganization, base closing, restructuring, or other unusual circumstances that apply agencywide must be made by an official at the headquarters level of the Department or agency. Requests involving extension of appointments to a specific position or project based on other unusual circumstances may be submitted by the employing office to the appropriate OPM service center.