Office of Personnel Management, Wash. DC Letterhead
January 13, 2006

MEMORANDUM FOR MARTA BRITO PEREZ,
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
HUMAN CAPITAL LEADERSHIP & MERIT SYSTEM
ACCOUNTABILITY

ROBERT F. DANBECK
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AND
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICER
HUMAN RESOURCES PRODUCTS & SERVICES

//signed//
FROM: NANCY H. KICHAK
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY

Subject: Clarification of the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act
of 1998 in Federal Service

Strategic Human Resources Policy (SHRP) continues to receive numerous questions from your staff as well as agency personnel regarding the appropriate way to process applications from individuals eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) of 1998. The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify guidance fro processing and referring VEOA applications for Federal employment.

Congress intended for VEOA eligibles to have access to certain positions advertised under merit promotion procedures (i.e, for "status" candidates). The problem or confusion arises when a VEOA eligible applies under an " all sources" announcement or a job advertised under Delegated Examining Units (DEU) procedures (neither or which limits consideration to "status" candidates). The problem is further compounded when an agency posts two separate vacancy announcements for the same job (i.e., under DEU and merit promotion). In these cases, some agencies are unsure whether to consider the VEOA eligibles under DEU procedures, merit promotion procedures, or both.

Agencies announcing a position outside their workforces have three options for posting their vacancy announcements and considering VEOA eligibles. Agencies can:

  1. Post a merit promotion "internal" vacancy announcement. When posting a promotion announcement, and agency must include information concerning consideration under the VEOA. This option meets the intent of the law which allows the VEOA eligible the access and opportunity to compete with current and former, if applicable, Federal employees.

  2. Post a Delegated Examining Unit (DEU) "external" vacancy announcement for "all sources". Posting an announcement as "all sources," gives the VEOA eligible the same access and opportunity to compete for the position as everyone else. If the VEOA eligible is qualified and within reach for referral, the veteran is referred on the DEU list of eligibles.

    With an "all sources," announcement, most agencies consider applicants under a variety of other appointing authorities, such as, merit promotion, Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) or schedule A of the excepted service. If the agency chooses to consider VEOA eligibles with the merit promotion candidates, the agency must include specific application instructions for the VEOA eligible in the vacancy announcement that are consistant with the agency's policies and procedures for accepting and processing applications.

  3. Post two separate vacancy announcements - DEU and merit promotion. The VEOA eligible may apply for both announcements since the agency posted the vacancy announcements separately. The VEOA eligible is given two opportunities to be considered for one position and must be referred and considered on both lists, if eligible under the application procedures. The agency cannot remove the VEOA eligible from either list to make a selection. This means the agency may not deny consideration under one referral, e.g., DEU, because the VEOA eligible is being considered under a different referral, e.g., merit promotion.
Special note: For positions covered under the Luevano Consent Decree, the VEOA eligible must meet the qualification requirements for the position and obtain a passing score on the appropriate Administrative Career With America (ACWA) assessment. When applying under merit promotion procedures, the VEOA eligible must pass the appropriate ACWA assessment before the agency evaluates the VEOA eligible on the same assessment criteria used to evaluate merit promotion candidates.

SHRP plans to incorporate these options into the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, the delegated examining training material and the VetGuide. Any questions regarding the DEU process and the VEOA may be directed to Daniel Fusco, Manager for Recruiting, Examining and Assessment Group, at daniel.fusco@opm.gov or (202) 606-2226.