Status Report

NASA HQ Memo: Uncovered Capacity Memorandum 29 July 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
August 9, 2004
Filed under ,

Uncovered Capacity Memorandum, dated July 29, 2004

Questions and Answers

Effective Date

Question: What is the effective date of the agency’s restriction on hiring new NASA employees?

Answer: The effective date of the policy was July 29, 2004, however, any commitments made on or before August 4, 2004 may be honored. No new commitments may be made after August 4, 2004, except as outlined in this set of “Questions and Answers”. By close of business Monday, August 9, 2004, each Center with outstanding commitments must provide a list of all commitments to the Headquarters Office of Human Capital Management, Management Systems Division. The list shall contain the selectee’s name, position title, series, grade, and reporting date.

Filling Permanent Positions

Question: How does this policy affect filling positions using a permanent appointment?

Answer: Only a current permanent NASA employee may be selected for a permanent NASA position. For permanent positions at Ames Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Center, Glenn Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center, (hereafter referred to as the “affected centers”) only permanent employees from that Center may be selected to fill a permanent position at that center. All exceptions must be approved by the Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management.

Corporate Recruitment Program

Question: Is the Corporate Recruitment Program impacted by these restrictions?

Answer: No, at this time the Fall allocations for Corporate Recruitment are an exception to these hiring restrictions.

Special Intern Programs: Cooperative Education Program, Federal Career Intern Program and Presidential Management Fellows Program

Question: Centers have aggressively used special programs to recruit individuals recently out of college. May Centers convert employees from these programs, Cooperative Education Program (COOP) (or other Student Career Employment Program positions), Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP), or Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF), to permanent positions?

Answer: Centers may convert employees from any of these programs to permanent positions without prior approval by the Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management. Centers should effect these conversions on a limited basis, consistent with their long-term needs. Centers that are unable to convert these employees should pursue the potential for conversion opportunities for these employees at other centers.

Question: May Centers convert employees from the COOP Program (or other Student Career Employment Program positions), FCIP, or PMF Program to term positions?

Answer: All Centers may move employees from any of these programs to term appointments. In the case of the FCIP and PMF, the Center must advertise the term opportunity, as these programs do not provide for a non-competitive conversion opportunity to a term appointment.

Question: These special programs provide an important mechanism for Centers to bring new talent into the agency. The Centers have worked aggressively with colleges and universities over the past years to rebuild these recruitment programs. May Centers continue to hire under the COOP, FCIP, and PMF programs?

Answer: Non-affected Centers (Goddard Space Flight Center, Headquarters, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, and Stennis Space Center) may continue to hire using the above authorities. Affected Centers may continue to hire using the above authorities, but should limit their use of these programs.

Internal Promotions and Accretions

Question: Does the guidance in the July 29, 2004 memorandum impact internal career promotions or accretions?

Answer: No, these hiring restrictions do not impact career promotions or accretions.

Buyout Plans: Staggering the buyout programs

Question: The guidance in the July 29, 2004 memorandum states that the affected centers submit buyout plans to HQ by August 13, 2004 (except that DFRC may submit their plans by September 1, 2004). Non-affected centers must submit buyout plans by September 1, 2004.

Can the non-affected centers submit buyout plans after the affected centers have conducted their buyout programs in order to facilitate creating vacancies for placement of the surplus employees?

Answer: No, the non-affected centers must submit their plans in September 2004. However, plans for non-affected centers may be delayed until no later than September 15, 2004.

Hiring temporary/term employees

Question: Can centers continue to hire temporary or term employees? Can they extend current temporary or term employees or convert them to new temporary or term appointments?

Answer: Affected centers cannot make any new term or temporary appointments. They cannot extend the appointments of current term or temporary employees. They cannot convert current term or temporary employees to new appointments of any kind. Affected centers may request exceptions on a case by case basis, using the defined exception process. Non-affected centers can make new temporary or term appointments as long as the not-to-exceed date is no later than September 30, 2006. Non-affected centers can extend or convert current temporary/term employees to new temporary/term appointments as long as the not-to-exceed date of the new appointment is no later than September 30, 2006.

Use of Retention Bonuses/Allowances

Question: Can retention allowances under the Federalwide authority or retention bonuses under the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 be offered to permanent employees as an incentive to convert to term appointments?

Answer: No. Providing the bonus/allowance in order to better manage attrition, transition to a workforce of employees on time-limited appointments, or avoid adverse actions are not among the criteria for approving such bonuses. More importantly, one of the criteria that must be met as a condition of authorizing a retention allowance or bonus is that the employee would be likely to leave in the absence of the bonus/allowance. Since the objective is to incentivize the employee to vacate his/her permanent position, using a retention bonus in this circumstance is inappropriate.

SpaceRef staff editor.