5 CFR 5.1 - Civil Service regulations.
The Director, Office of Personnel Management, shall promulgate and enforce regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of the Civil Service Act and the Veterans' Preference Act, as reenacted in title 5, United States Code, the Civil Service Rules, and all other statutes and Executive orders imposing responsibilities on the Office. The Director is authorized, whenever there are practical difficulties and unnecessary hardships in complying with the strict letter of the regulation, to grant a variation from the strict letter of the regulation if such a variation is within the spirit of the regulations, and the efficiency of the Government and the integrity of the competitive service are protected and promoted. Whenever a variation is granted the Director shall note the official record to show:
(a) The particular practical difficulty or hardship involved, (b) what is permitted in place of what is required by regulations, (c) the circumstances which protect or promote the efficiency of the Government and the integrity of the competitive service, and (d) a statement limiting the application of the variation to the continuation of the conditions which gave rise to it. Like variations shall be granted whenever like conditions exist. All such decisions and information concerning variations noted in the official record shall be published promptly in a Federal Personnel Manual Letter or Bulletin and in the Director's next annual report.