Tester’s Competitive Service Act heads to the President’s desk

Senator’s bill to save money, make government more efficient passes Congress

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after his Competitive Service Act passed Congress and headed to the President’s desk for signature:

“My Competitive Service Act saves taxpayers money, makes government more efficient, and strengthens our federal workforce. Eliminating hurdles so qualified workers can get jobs in public service is the kind of common sense legislation that we need more of back in Washington.”

Tester’s Competitive Service Act would allow federal agencies to review and select job candidates from other federal agencies’ “best qualified list” of applicants. The bill will allow applicants who have already undergone a competitive assessment process to be eligible for hiring across multiple federal agencies. Currently, agencies that have similar hiring needs cannot share applicant information with one another.

Tester’s Competitive Service Act is supported by Partnership for Public Service and the Federal Managers Association, as well as the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

“Congress has taken an important first step today towards modernizing our outdated civil service system. The Competitive Service Act of 2015 will allow new talent to overcome barriers to entering public service and better enable our government to recruit top talent and quickly fill mission-critical positions in fields ranging from cybersecurity to veterans healthcare. This bipartisan legislation is a common-sense way of treating our government as a single enterprise trying to achieve shared goals, rather than a disconnected collection of many agencies competing for the same talent,” said Max Stier, CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.

“This legislation would provide agencies with access to highly qualified candidates who went through a rigorous competitive assessment, and would allow for much greater efficiency in the hiring process. As I have said before, at a time when the federal government is struggling to improve recruitment and retention, this tool would streamline the hiring process and remove a barrier for talented men and women,” said Patricia Niehaus, President of the Federal Managers Association.