OPM finalizes rule for IT Exchange program

Nearly three years after the E-Government Act of 2002 established a program for senior federal IT employees to gain experience in the private sector for up to two years, the Office of Personnel Management yesterday finalized how the program works.

OPM published the final rule in the Federal Register detailing the ins and outs of the IT Exchange Program.

The final rule comes more than 18 months after OPM published a proposed rule. During that time, officials reviewed comments from eight agencies, a professional organization, a labor organization and 22 individuals.

Agencies also may accept employees from the private sector for short-term assignments.

But before agencies can detail employees or accept private-sector workers, they must develop departmentwide plans and written agreements.

OPM's final rule laid out who is eligible and how the program works. Employees must:
  • Be in the field of IT management

  • Be considered an exceptional employee

  • Be expected to assume increased IT management responsibilities in the future

  • Be a member of the Senior Executive Service, or for non-career employees hold a General Schedule Grade of 11 or higher.

The vendor must be registered in the Central Contractor Registration database, and the length of the detail is between three months and one year with a possible extension of up to one more year. The program expires Dec. 17, 2007.

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