Carten Cordell, Federal Times 8:57 p.m. EST March 9, 2016
A bill to streamline the way the federal government hires its civil servants cleared the Senate on March 8 and is headed to the president’s desk.
The Competitive Service Act of 2015, which aims to make it easier for agencies to find qualified applicants, unanimously made it out of the Senate following minor House changes.
The legislation provides a pathway for agencies to select qualified applicants, even if they initially applied to other agencies. By opening the pool of qualified job seekers, the measure’s goal is to reform the civil service in a way that increases inclusion and competition.
The bill, which was sponsored Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., drew praise from policy watchers like The Partnership for Public Service.
“Congress has taken an important first step today towards modernizing our outdated civil service system,” Partnership president Max Stier said, in a statement.
“The Competitive Service Act of 2015 will allow new talent to overcome barriers to entering public service and better enable our government to recruit top talent and quickly fill mission-critical positions in fields ranging from cybersecurity to veterans health care.”
Tester said in a statement that the legislation would allow the federal government to attract more talent with a simple, effective solution.
“Eliminating hurdles so qualified workers can get jobs in public service is the kind of common sense legislation that we need more of back in Washington.”