WASHINGTON - The public is invited to comment on proposed rules to speed up the hiring process for some military spouses seeking federal jobs.
The Office of Personnel Management published the rules Dec. 5 in the Federal Register and will accept comments until Jan. 5.
OPM drafted the regulations to implement an executive order signed by President George W. Bush on Sept. 25 allowing agencies to make noncompetitive appointments of military spouses.
"This is a quick-hire authority that will allow the federal government easy access to a talent pool of deserving military spouses," Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Les' Melnyk explained.
The draft regulations "do not provide a hiring preference for military spouses, nor do they establish selection priority for these individuals," according to the proposed rules in the Federal Register.
However, "if a spouse is otherwise qualified for the job, he or she may be hired immediately by any federal agency, thus benefiting the agency while simultaneously eliminating the oftentimes lengthy application process and delays that discourage many spouses from applying for federal jobs in the first place," Melnyk said.
The employment initiative would apply to spouses of active-duty servicemembers who have received permanent-change-of-station orders, spouses of servicemembers who have received 100-percent disability discharges, as well as un-remarried widows or widowers of military members who have been killed while on active duty, according to the proposed rules.
Bush proposed the military-spouse employment initiative during his State of the Union speech to the nation in January.