. * Dear Senator Tunney: Pursuant to your request of March 10, 1971, we have re- viewed the Civil Service Commission's reply of January 20, 1971, to your inquiry on behalf of your constituent, Mr. Philip D. Strong, 10 Holiday Court, Pacifica, California, -who is interested in obtaining Federal employment in a senior level position. We have reviewed also the Commission's gen- eral procedures for handling applications for senior level positions and its records relating to certain actions that have been taken with respect to Mr. Strong's application for employment. In addition, we have inquired into the status of certain positions for which Mr. Strong has been considered. We believe that the Civil Service Commission's reply to your inquiry represents a reasonably complete summary of the procedures and practices of the Commission regarding applica- tions for senior level positions. We believe also that Mr. Strong's application for employment has been handled by the Commission in a manner consistent with its established procedures for handling applications for employment in senior level positions. PROCEDURESFOLLOWED IN HANDLING APPLICATIONS FOR SENIOR LEVEL POSITIONS Applicants for senior level positions in the Federal ser- vice, in lieu of taking written examinations, are required to submit to the Civil Service Commission resumes of their educa- tion and experience and, If applicable, documentary proof of the lo-point veterans preference. The resumes (applications) are screened initially by the Commission's Bureau of Recruiting and Examining for basic ac- ceptance. Upon acceptance of the applications, the names of the applicants are included on the Commissionls senior level register. The applications are retained by the Commission in a central resource file which is used when responding to requests from agency appointing officers for names of qualified appli- cants who may-be considered in filling Job vacancies. An 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1921 B-172846 accepted application is usually retained for consideration for a period of 12 months from the date of the CommissionPs notice to the applicant that his applicataon has been accepted. Upon receipt of a request from a Federal agency for names of applicants eliglrble for consideration In filling a position, the Civil Service Commission screens its files to identify all applications which indicate backgrounds and skills commen- surate with the requirements of the position. A panel of exam- iners from the agency and the Commission reviews and rates these applications. The panel contacts former employers and references, if necessary, to identify the best qualified appli- cants. The Commission then sends the names of the top-ranking applicants to the agency which made the request. A Federal agency is not required to fill a senior level position with one of the top-ranking applicants listed by the Civil Service Commrssion. On the contrary, Federal agencies fill most such positions by reassignment, transfer, or promo- tion of persons already in the career service. In recent years, both the legislative and executive branches of the Government have imposed restrictions on hirzng by Federal agencies. Civil Service Commission officials esti- mated that the Commission's senior level register generally listed between 16,000 and 17,000 elrgible applicants, and they said that only 820 and 885 appointments had been made from the register during fiscal years 1969 and 1970, respectively. CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO CONSTITUENT'S APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT Mr. Strong submitted an application for employment (Stan- dard Form 171--Personal Qualification Statement) to the Com- mission on November 4, 1969, pursuant to the Commisslonls Announcement No. 408 announcing an examination for senior level positions, grades GS-13 through GS-15, in administration, tech- nical services, staff services, management, and professional services. A copy of this announcement is enclosed for your in- formation. 2 B-172846 The Commission notified Mr. Strong on November 17, 1969, that his application for employment had been accepted and that he was eligible for the senior level register. On Au- gust 17, 1970, Mr. Strong requested an extension of his eli- glbllity. The Commission granted this request and made a notation on Mr. Strong's application which lndlcated that he was eligible for an addltional year. Commlsslon records showed that Mr. Strong's application for employment had been considered In Federal agency requests relating to four positions. The positions Involved, the ex- tent of consideration given to Mr. Strong's application, and the current status of the four positions are described as fol- lows. 1. On September 9, 1970, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requested the Commissron to furnish the names of applicants eligible for a GS-15 insuring director po- sition in Albany, New York. Mr. Strong's was one of 46 ap- plications to be considered by the panel of examiners, but HUD canceled Its request before the panel had rated the appli- cants. A HUD personnel official informed us in April 1971 that this position had not been filled. 2. On October 8, 1970, the General Services Adminlstra- tlon requested the Commission to furnish the names of appli- cants eligible for a GS-13 appraiser position In Kansas City, Mlssourl. Mr, Strong's was one of 26 appllcatlons reviewed by the panel of examiners, but it was not ranked as one of the five top-rated appllcatlons. The Administration subsequently filled the posltlon from within by promoting one of its em- ployees. 3. On December 1, 1970, the Commission received a request from HUD with respect to a GS-13 appraiser position in Wash- ington, D.C. Mr. Strong's was one of 50 appllcatlons selected for consideration. HUD canceled Its request, however, and the panel of examiners did not rank the applicants. A HUD person- nel official advised us In April 1971 that this position had not been fllled. 3 *vi ;B-172846 4. On January 12, 1971, the Navy Department requested the Commlsslon to furnish the names of applicants ellglble for a GS-13 realty officer posltlon In Pearl Harbor, Hawall. Mr. Strong's was among the 49 applications revlewed by the panel of examiners, but Mr. Strong was not selected as one of the top qualified candidates. The Navy subsequently fllled the posltlon from withln by promoting one of Its employees. We trust that the above informatlon will meet the obyec- tives of your request. Sincerely yours, Aersiartarnt Comptroller' General of the United States Enclosure The Honorable John V. Tunney United States Senate
Complaint Concerning Action on Application for Federal Employment
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-05-24.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)