The Office of Personnel Management issued final rules late last week extending the deadline for career assistance programs to help federal employees who lose their jobs in agency downsizing efforts.
The final rules, which take effect September 5, extend career transition programs for two years-a provision included in the July 1999 draft regulations. Only minor changes in language were made to last summer's interim regulations.
The draft regulations extended the original deadline for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) and the Interagency Career Transition Plan (ICTAP) from September 30, 1999 to September 30, 2001.
In 1995, President Clinton directed agencies to give special selection status to employees displaced by government downsizing and to develop career transition assistance programs to help them get back on their feet. The first set of regulations took effect in February 1996.
According to OPM, during the first seven months the program was in operation in 1996, more than 1,000 non-Defense surplus and displaced employees were selected for other jobs within their agencies. ICTAP placed over 400 more employees affected by downsizing in jobs with other federal agencies.
Agencies' career transition assistance efforts include:
- Providing job hunting assistance for employees who are served reduction-in-force notices.
- Retraining employees for new career opportunities.
- Giving employees who are laid off preference for vacant positions within agencies.
Most agencies project a slight increase in the number of full-time employees for 2001, according to President Clinton's proposed fiscal 2001 budget.