OPM sets rules for government-industry IT job exchanges

Agency IT managers soon can try industry work without losing their government jobs.

Under the IT Exchange Program, federal executives at GS-11 or higher grades can take a detail job for up to two years with an IT company.

The Office of Personnel Management today issued a proposed rule outlining the details of the program. Congress created the program in the E-Government Act of 2002.

A final rule allowing agencies to begin the program won't come before spring. OPM is accepting comments about the rule until March 15.

Industry employees also will be eligible to work for the government under the program.

Agencies must develop implementation plans before making assignments and establish written agreements with the participating employees.

The rule said eligible federal employees:

  • Work in the field of IT management

  • Are considered exceptional performers by their agencies

  • Can be expected to assume more responsibilities when they return to the government

  • Are GS-11 or higher career employees.

  • Employees may be on detail for between three months and one year with a second year option based on three-month increments. Workers also must return to the government for a period equal to the length of their detail.

    OPM will except comments via e-mail at employ@opm.gov.

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