- Temporary emergency need: Individuals may be appointed for up to one year.
- 30-day critical need: Individuals may be appointed for 30 days and the appointment can be extended for an additional 30 days. Under the law, an agency may not employ the same individual under this authority for more than 60 days in any 12-month period.
OPM also granted managers special authority to hire personnel in senior-level positions. Usually OPM must individually approve appointments for personnel with special, senior-level expertise. But under authority granted Friday, "they don't have to come to OPM and ask for it. If the Defense Department wants to bring on a counterterrorist expert, they don't have to ask, they can just do it and tell us after the fact. Normally we would have to review it," explained Joyce Edwards, director of OPM's Office of Executive Resources Management. OPM has also pledged to immediately process requests for Senior Executive Service emergency appointments, which are explained in Title 5, Chapter 1, Part 317 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
OPM also suggested that federal managers contract with private sector temporary firms to meet emergency needs and reminded agencies of their authority to make appointments of 120 days or less without clearing their career transition assistance program or interagency career transition plan. Those programs give special selection status to employees displaced by government downsizing. Another immediate source of personnel are employees on re-employment priority lists, OPM said.