Lawmakers Want Agencies to Share Information on Job Applicants

“This common-sense bill makes government more efficient without targeting our hard-working federal employees,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. “This common-sense bill makes government more efficient without targeting our hard-working federal employees,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. Matthew Brown/AP

A pair of Democratic senators has introduced a bill to improve federal hiring by allowing agencies to share information on job applicants.

Currently, agencies with similar hiring needs cannot share assessments of applications with each other. The Competitive Service Act, sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, would allow agencies to use another agency’s applicant pool when looking to fill a position in the same occupational series and within a similar grade level.

“This common-sense bill makes government more efficient without targeting our hard-working federal employees,” said Tester, chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the federal workforce. “It also helps speed up the hiring process so we can make sure we have a strong federal workforce that is ready to serve the American people.”

Good government advocates praised the measure.

“Kudos to Sen. Tester for proposing common-sense, cost-effective federal hiring reforms that will allow agencies to more efficiently hire top-flight candidates,” said Max Stier, president of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, in a statement. “The legislation will authorize agencies to share their best-qualified job candidates with one another, which will enable our government to recruit better talent, in addition to saving time and money. We urge Congress to pass Sen. Tester’s legislation.”

The bill would ensure no collective bargaining agreements are violated. 

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