Congress passed the Competitive Service Act (S. 1580) this week, sending it on to the President.
The legislation is sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT). Tester touts the bill as one that would save taxpayers money, make government more efficient and strengthen the federal workforce.
Specifically, it would allow federal agencies to review and select job candidates from other federal agencies’ “best qualified list” of applicants. It will also allow applicants who have already undergone a competitive assessment process to be eligible for hiring across multiple federal agencies. Currently, agencies that have similar hiring needs cannot share applicant information with one another.
The bill has the support of groups such as the Partnership for Public Service and the Federal Manager’s Association.
Max Stier, CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, said in a statement about passage of the bill:
“Congress has taken an important first step today towards modernizing our outdated civil service system. The Competitive Service Act of 2015 will allow new talent to overcome barriers to entering public service and better enable our government to recruit top talent and quickly fill mission-critical positions in fields ranging from cybersecurity to veterans health care. This bipartisan legislation is a common-sense way of treating our government as a single enterprise trying to achieve shared goals, rather than a disconnected collection of many agencies competing for the same talent.”