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Scholarship For Service - Appointment Process Made Easier

Wednesday, February 5, 2003
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
Directors Of Human Resources And Chief Information Officers
From: 
Richard A. Whitford, Acting Director for Employment
Subject: 
Scholarship For Service - Appointment Process Made Easier

In previous letters, we made you aware of Scholarship For Service (SFS), a program created in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other agencies to boost the number of information assurance professionals graduating from our colleges and universities. Several of you have already made use of this program to fill Information Assurance (IA) positions with topnotch individuals from the talent-rich pool this program has made possible. To those agencies that have not yet used it, we want to remind you that the President and the Congress have funded and advocate the use of the program as a vehicle to bring well-trained information assurance professionals into the Federal workforce.

Numerous avenues are available ?to appoint? SFS students to internship or long-term positions. These include competitive examining, merit promotion, the Federal Career Intern Program, the Student Career Experience Program, and any appropriate noncompetitive placement authority for which the student may be eligible. However, OPM strongly recommends agencies use the authority for hiring individuals in fellowship and intern programs (5 CFR 213.3102(r)) to place Scholarship For Service (SFS) students. The ?r? authority has several advantages: public notice is not required, there is no limit on the grade level to which individuals may be appointed (providing they qualify) there is no limitation on promotion potential (provided they qualify), agencies can develop their own qualifications for positions filled through this authority because it is a schedule A excepted authority, and time-in-grade restrictions do not apply.

Over 150 students are currently enrolled in the program attending specialized, National Security Agency approved information assurance curricula. At least 50 more joined in January 2003. Most will be available for internship opportunities in the summer or fall of 2003. This superbly qualified pool of future IA professionals will be ready for post-graduation placement in the spring and fall of 2004. Early aggressive recruitment from this pool is the key to building a strong information assurance program.

By creating the SFS program, we have ensured a candidate pool of unmatched talent. By tapping into this pool, you can meet your information assurance needs. Please take advantage of this resource created specifically for you. Contact Kathy Roberson, Scholarship For Service Program Manager, at sfs@opm.gov or (210) 805-2423, extension 506, for more information or a candidate referral.