The Merit Systems Protection Board issued a decision Tuesday that appears to put the controversial Federal Career Intern Program on ice.
“The MPSB decision precludes OPM from continuing the Federal Career Intern Program until such time that OPM brings the program into compliance with Title 5,” AFGE Assistant General Counsel Andres Grajales said in a statement.
More to come.
UPDATE 1: MSPB ruled that the federal government has improperly placed FCIP positions in the excepted service, which let agencies avoid the legal requirement to notify the public that competitive service vacancies were available. Job seeker and plaintiff David Dean, a disabled veteran, argued that this violates his right to seek federal employment, and MSPB agreed.
MSPB further ruled that FCIP violates veterans preference laws because it doesn’t require the government to justify the placement of positions in the excepted service. (Excepted service is primarily meant to fill jobs where it isn’t practical to hold a competition.) MSPB said FCIP has been used to fill positions with non-veterans, who ordinarily should not have been picked ahead of job seekers who were veterans.
MSPB ordered OPM to bring FCIP into compliance with Title 5 laws governing veterans preference within 120 days. MSPB also ordered the Veterans Affairs Department to “reconstruct the hiring process” for nine positions in Columbia, S.C., that another plaintiff, Larry Evans, applied for in 2009.
This is big news. We’ll keep looking into this — check back tomorrow for more.