5 CFR § 337.205 - Critical hiring needs.
(a) OPM will determine when there is a critical hiring need for particular occupations, grades (or equivalent) and/or geographic locations. OPM may decide independently that such a need exists or may make this decision in response to a written request from an agency.
(1) Identify the position(s) that must be filled;
(2) Describe the event or circumstance that has created the need to fill the position(s);
(3) Specify the duration for which the critical need is expected to exist; and
(4) Include supporting evidence that demonstrates why the use of other hiring authorities is impracticable or ineffective.
(c) Information Technology (IT) positions.
(1) The head of a covered agency, as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, may determine whether a critical hiring need exists for any position in the information technology management series, general schedule (GS)-2210 or equivalent. In making such a determination, a covered agency must adhere to and use the supporting evidence criteria prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section. In addition, a covered agency must maintain a file of the supporting evidence for documentation and reporting purposes. Upon determination of such a finding, an agency head may approve a direct hire authority for covered positions within the agency.
(3) Notification to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Once the head of a covered agency affirmatively determines the presence of a critical hiring need and the direct hire authority is approved by the agency head, he or she must notify OPM within 10 business days. Such notification must include a description of the supporting evidence relied upon in making the determination.
(5) Length of appointments. A covered agency may use this authority to appoint individuals for a period of more than 1 year, but not more than 4 years, if the direct hire authority remains in effect.
(i) A covered agency may extend an appointment under this authority for up to 4 additional years.
(ii) No individual may serve more than 8 years on an appointment made under these provisions for information technology positions.
(iii) No individual hired under these provisions may be transferred to positions that are not IT positions.
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