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Direct Hire Authority for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Cybersecurity Positions

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From: 
DR. JEFF T.H. PON, DIRECTOR
Subject: 
Direct Hire Authority for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Cybersecurity Positions

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is aware that individuals with the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and cybersecurity occupations are in heavy demand and that this demand could, perhaps, be affecting mission critical functions.  For this reason, OPM is exploring the feasibility, under applicable law, of issuing direct hire authority (DHA) for certain STEM and cybersecurity occupations. 

As you know, any OPM-issued DHA must conform to applicable statutory and regulatory criteria.  In order to assess whether available evidence meets these requirements, OPM is proactively reviewing Government-wide data; however, we will need input from you.  In the coming weeks, OPM will be distributing to you a survey aimed at obtaining additional information we need to determine whether a Government-wide or multi-agency DHA for STEM and cybersecurity positions could be justified, given the totality of the evidence.  The data we need will be both qualitative and quantitative – to get a better picture of how the hiring process is working today, and better understand any challenges you may indicate you have encountered in trying to recruit for these positions.  When you receive your survey I urge you to respond honestly, thoughtfully, and promptly.   Your cooperation will greatly assist us in this effort. 

For additional information on this initiative, please contact Ms. Kimberly A. Holden, Deputy Associate Director for Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping, at Kimberly.Holden@opm.gov, or (202) 606-8097.