The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has again extended the Schedule A hiring authority that allows Federal agencies to temporarily hire personnel to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Dec. 10 OPM memo.

The memo extends the hiring authority until June 30, 2022. However, agencies can use the authority to make temporary appointments that last up to a year. The exemption applies to any positions required to deal with the direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“OPM understands that during this time, agencies need more tools to conduct strategic, targeted hiring for specific, short-term roles to meet mission and/or hiring needs,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja wrote in the memo.

OPM first granted this authority in March 2020, in order to combat the need for additional personnel in the early days of the pandemic. OPM extended the hiring authority in March of this year, with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2021.

With the newest extension, agencies now have until June 30, 2022, to make necessary appointments, or until the public health emergency is declared over, whichever comes first.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.