Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), any individual who is eligible to be selected for a position under the provisions of subsection (a) and is a preference eligible as defined in section 2108(3) of title 5 shall be given an employment preference, consistent with the preference in the excepted service as defined in section 2103 of such title.
In this subsection, the term “immediate family member” means a person related to a deceased employee that was a member of the household of the deceased employee at the time of death.
The Secretary shall from time to time prepare and submit to the Congress reports indicating the actions taken in carrying out the provisions of subsection (a) of this section together with any recommendations for legislation in furtherance of the purposes of this section.
Nothing in subsection (a) provides that any person hired pursuant to the program established under that subsection is not eligible for competitive status in the same manner as any other employee hired as part of the competitive service.
Employees who satisfactorily complete two years of continuous service in a permanent appointment made under subsection (a) and who meet satisfactory performance and competitive service qualification requirements shall have their appointment converted to competitive service career-conditional or career employment as appropriate. This paragraph applies to individuals appointed on or after March 30, 2009. An employee who does not meet competitive service qualification requirements after two years of continuous service in an appointment made under subsection (a) shall be converted upon meeting such qualification requirements. Temporary and time-limited appointments will be made in the excepted service. There is no provision for conversion to competitive service when appointments are time-limited.
Not later than 60 days after March 30, 2009, with respect to any person hired into a permanent position pursuant to the program established under subsection (a) who is serving in that position as of March 30, 2009, the Secretary shall redesignate that position and the person serving in that position as having been part of the competitive service as of the date that the person was hired into that position.