The Title 38 Personnel System in the Department of Veterans Affairs: an Alternate Approach,
MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF POLICY AND EVALUATION
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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates a personnel system separate from the regular civil service which covers 75,000 employees in 12 occupations in the Departments medical centers. This system is called title 38 from the title of the U.S. Code where its legal basis is found. The Merit Systems Protection Board MSPB conducted a study based on interviews with VA managers, who work with both the title 38 personnel system and the regular competitive civil service, as well as interviews with VA personnel officials and review of law and regulation. The study found that the title 38 system is dependent upon the use of peer panels to review the qualifications of applicants and current employees for setting grade, pay, and performance awards as well as ensuring that candidates are well qualified. Further, the study determined that managers prefer this system over the traditional civil service system because it offers greater flexibility to the managers and allows actions to be taken more quickly. Congress has authorized the Office of Personnel Management to use title 38 provisions for all health care professionals Government wide. The study provides insights into the practical application of these provisions.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations