U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement after the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed to his request to lift a requirement that would have left NDIC employees ineligible for many jobs in the Department of Justice:
"I am gratified that OPM listened to my concerns and has lifted a bureaucratic hurdle to ensure as many NDIC employees as possible are able to obtain employment elsewhere within the Department of Justice. The skilled employees of the NDIC deserve every opportunity to continue to serve the Department of Justice and the Nation."
Senator Casey was joined by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) urging OPM to issue a waiver to rules earlier this month. Their letter to OPM Director John Berry is below:
Mr. John Berry
Office of Personnel Management
Dear Director Berry:
We write on behalf of the employees of the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), an agency within the Department of Justice scheduled to close later this year. NDIC's employees possess many unique and valuable skills, and as a result the Justice Management Division has committed to helping these individuals obtain employment elsewhere within the Department. We respectfully request your assistance in ensuring that as many NDIC employees can obtain these jobs as possible, specifically by working with the Department to provide the appropriate classification.
We have been informed that many positions currently available within the Department of Justice require that employees be classified as competitive service, whereas many NDIC employees possess excepted service classification. Without this designation, NDIC's employees are currently barred from obtaining positions for which they are otherwise qualified for. It is our understanding that other federal agencies possess interchange agreements issued by the Office of Personnel Management, which permit excepted service employees to transfer to competitive service positions.
In order to retain these experienced Department employees and to minimize disruption for the affected employees and their families, we request that you and your staff expedite an interchange agreement for employees of NDIC. Thank you in advance for consideration of this urgent matter.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator
United States Senator
United States Congressman