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Memorandum: Immediate Actions and Initial Guidance for Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze

M-17-17

MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: MARK SANDY, ACTING DIRECTOR

SUBJECT: Immediate Actions and Initial Guidance for Federal Civilian Hiring Freeze

On January 23, 2017, the President issued a Memorandum (PM} entitled "Hiring Freeze" directing agencies to implement an across-the-board hiring freeze, with the exception of military personnel in the armed forces. The purpose of this initial guidance is to clarify immediate actions to be taken by Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies to implement the PM while further guidance is being finalized. As stated in the PM, the freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees is to be applied to all executive branch departments and agencies regardless of the sources of their operational and programmatic funding, excepting military personnel.

Further guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB} and/or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM} (including further details on exemptions, potential reporting requirements, and other instructions) is forthcoming. Until such time:

  • As of noon on January 22, 2017, no existing vacant positions may be filled, and no new positions may be created. Executive departments and agencies should not make any new offers of employment. Department and agency heads may make limited exemptions that they deem necessary to ensure national security or public safety.
  • Departments and agencies are permitted to make reallocations to meet the highest priority needs, ensure that essential services are not interrupted, and ensure that national security is not affected.
  • An individual who has received a job offer/appointment prior to January 22, 2017, and who has received documentation from the agency that specifies a confirmed start date on or before February 22, 2017, should report to work on that start date.
  • If an individual has received a job offer/appointment prior to January 22, 2017, and has received documentation from the agency that specifies a confirmed start date after February 22, 2017, (or does not have a confirmed start date) the Agency head should review the position to determine whether the job offer/appointment should be revoked, or whether the individual should report for duty on an agreed upon start date. Agency heads should consider merit system principles, essential mission priorities, and current agency resources and funding levels when making determinations about whether or not to revoke appointments.

Inquiries from agencies regarding this initial guidance should be directed to your OMB Resource Management Offices.