42 USC CHAPTER 84, SUBCHAPTER VI, Part B: Personnel Provisions
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42 USC CHAPTER 84, SUBCHAPTER VI, Part B: Personnel Provisions
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 84—DEPARTMENT OF ENERGYSUBCHAPTER VI—ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Part B—Personnel Provisions

§7231. Officers and employees

(a) Authority of Secretary to appoint and fix compensation

In the performance of his functions the Secretary is authorized to appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees, including attorneys, as may be necessary to carry out such functions. Except as otherwise provided in this section, such officers and employees shall be appointed in accordance with the civil service laws and their compensation fixed in accordance with title 5.

(b) Appointment of scientific, engineering, etc., personnel without regard to civil service laws; compensation; termination of authority

(1) Subject to the limitations provided in paragraph (2) and to the extent the Secretary deems such action necessary to the discharge of his functions, he may appoint not more than three hundred eleven of the scientific, engineering, professional, and administrative personnel of the department without regard to the civil service laws, and may fix the compensation of such personnel not in excess of the maximum rate payable for GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.

(2) The Secretary's authority under this subsection to appoint an individual to such a position without regard to the civil service laws shall cease—

(A) when a person appointed, within four years after October 1, 1977, to fill such position under paragraph (1) leaves such position, or

(B) on the day which is four years after such date,


whichever is later.

(c) Placement of GS–16, GS–17, and GS–18 positions without regard to section 3324 of title 5; termination of authority

(1) Subject to the provisions of chapter 51 of title 5 but notwithstanding the last two sentences of section 5108(a) 1 of such title, the Secretary may place at GS–16, GS–17, and GS–18, not to exceed one hundred seventy-eight positions of the positions subject to the limitation of the first sentence of section 5108(a) 1 of such title.

(2) Appointments under this subsection may be made without regard to the provisions of sections 3324 of title 5, relating to the approval by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management of appointments under GS–16, GS–17, and GS–18 if the individual placed in such position is an individual who is transferred in connection with a transfer of functions under this chapter and who, immediately before October 1, 1977, held a position and duties comparable to those of such position.

(3) The Secretary's authority under this subsection with respect to any position shall cease when the person first appointed to fill such position leaves such position.

(d) Appointment of additional scientific, engineering, etc., personnel without regard to civil service laws; compensation

In addition to the number of positions which may be placed at GS–16, GS–17, and GS–18 under section 5108 of title 5, under existing law, or under this chapter, and to the extent the Secretary deems such action necessary to the discharge of his functions, he may appoint not more than two hundred of the scientific, engineering, professional, and administrative personnel without regard to the civil service laws and may fix the compensation of such personnel not in excess of the maximum rate payable for GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5.

(e) Determination of maximum aggregate number of positions

For the purposes of determining the maximum aggregate number of positions which may be placed at GS–16, GS–17, or GS–18 under section 5108(a) of title 5, 63 percent of the positions established under subsections (b) and (c) shall be deemed GS–16 positions, 25 percent of such positions shall be deemed GS–17 positions, and 12 percent of such positions shall be deemed GS–18.

(f) Intelligence and intelligence-related positions exempt from competitive service

All positions in the Department which the Secretary determines are devoted to intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government are excepted from the competitive service, and the individuals who occupy such positions as of August 14, 1991, shall, while employed in such positions, be exempt from the competitive service.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title VI, §621, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 596; 1978 Reorg. Plan No. 2, §102, eff. Jan. 1, 1979, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3784; Pub. L. 102–88, title IV, §403, Aug. 14, 1991, 105 Stat. 434.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Section 5108(a) of title 5, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), was amended generally by Pub. L. 101–509, title V, §529 [title I, §102(b)(2)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1443, and, as so amended, contains only one sentence.

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (c)(2) and (d), was in the original "this Act", meaning Pub. L. 95–91, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 565, known as the Department of Energy Organization Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7101 of this title and Tables.

Codification

August 14, 1991, referred to in subsec. (f), was in the original "the date of enactment of this Act", which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 102–88, which enacted subsec. (f) of this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Amendments

1991—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 102–88 added subsec. (f).


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

Recruitment and Direct Appointments of Highly Qualified Individuals To Meet Severe Candidate Shortages and Critical Hiring Needs

Pub. L. 117–58, div. J, title III, §301, Nov. 15, 2021, 135 Stat. 1379, provided that: "Notwithstanding section 3304 of title 5, United States Code, and without regard to the provisions of sections 3309 through 3318 of such title 5, the Secretary of Energy, upon a determination that there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for particular positions to carry out the Department of Energy activities funded under this title, may, from within the funds provided to the Department of Energy under this title, recruit and directly appoint highly qualified individuals into the competitive service: Provided, That such authority shall not apply to positions in the Excepted Service or the Senior Executive Service: Provided further, That any action authorized herein shall be consistent with the merit principles of section 2301 of such title 5, and the Department shall comply with the public notice requirements of section 3327 of such title 5: Provided further, That the authority under this section shall terminate on September 30, 2027: Provided further, That 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 2021], the Secretary of Energy shall submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations an estimate of the number of highly qualified individuals it expects to hire under the authority provided in this section."

Appointments of Exceptionally Well Qualified Individuals to Scientific, Engineering, or Other Critical Technical Positions

Pub. L. 113–76, div. D, title III, §313, Jan. 17, 2014, 128 Stat. 176, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Subject to subsections (b) through (d), the Secretary may appoint, without regard to the provisions of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, exceptionally well qualified individuals to scientific, engineering, or other critical technical positions.

"(b) Limitations.—

"(1) Number of positions.—The number of critical positions authorized by subsection (a) may not exceed 120 at any one time in the Department.

"(2) Term.—The term of an appointment under subsection (a) may not exceed 4 years.

"(3) Prior employment.—An individual appointed under subsection (a) shall not have been a Department employee during the 2-year period ending on the date of appointment.

"(4) Pay.—

"(A) In general.—The Secretary shall have the authority to fix the basic pay of an individual appointed under subsection (a) at a rate to be determined by the Secretary up to level I of the Executive Schedule [5 U.S.C. 5312] without regard to the civil service laws.

"(B) Total annual compensation.—The total annual compensation for any individual appointed under subsection (a) may not exceed the highest total annual compensation payable at the rate determined under section 104 of title 3, United States Code.

"(5) Adverse actions.—An individual appointed under subsection (a) may not be considered to be an employee for purposes of subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code.

"(c) Requirements.—

"(1) In general.—The Secretary shall ensure that—

"(A) the exercise of the authority granted under subsection (a) is consistent with the merit principles of section 2301 of title 5, United States Code; and

"(B) the Department notifies diverse professional associations and institutions of higher education, including those serving the interests of women and racial or ethnic minorities that are underrepresented in scientific, engineering, and mathematical fields, of position openings as appropriate.

"(2) Report.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 17, 2014], the Secretary and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall submit to Congress a report on the use of the authority provided under this section that includes, at a minimum, a description or analysis of—

"(A) the ability to attract exceptionally well qualified scientists, engineers, and technical personnel;

"(B) the amount of total compensation paid each employee hired under the authority each calendar year; and

"(C) whether additional safeguards or measures are necessary to carry out the authority and, if so, what action, if any, has been taken to implement the safeguards or measures.

"(d) Termination of Effectiveness.—The authority provided by this section terminates effective on the date that is 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act."

Authority for Appointment of Certain Scientific, Engineering, and Technical Personnel

Pub. L. 103–337, div. C, title XXXI, §3161, Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 3095, as amended by Pub. L. 105–85, div. C, title XXXI, §3139, Nov. 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 2040; Pub. L. 105–261, div. C, title XXXI, §§3152, 3155, Oct. 17, 1998, 112 Stat. 2253, 2257; Pub. L. 106–398, §1 [div. C, title XXXI, §3191], Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1654, 1654A-480; Pub. L. 107–314, div. C, title XXXI, §3174, Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2745, which was formerly set out as a note under this section, was renumbered section 4601 of Pub. L. 107–314, the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, by Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, §3141(i)(2), Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1776, and is classified to section 2701 of Title 50, War and National Defense.


Executive Documents

Transfer of Functions

"Director of the Office of Personnel Management" substituted for "Civil Service Commission" in subsec. (c)(2), pursuant to Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1978, §102, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783, set out under section 1101 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, which transferred all functions vested by statute in United States Civil Service Commission to Director of Office of Personnel Management (except as otherwise specified), effective Jan. 1, 1979, as provided by section 1–102 of Ex. Ord. No. 12107, Dec. 28, 1978, 44 F.R. 1055, set out under section 1101 of Title 5.

1 See References in Text note below.

§7232. Senior positions

In addition to those positions created by subchapter II of this chapter, there shall be within the Department fourteen additional officers in positions authorized by section 5316 of title 5 who shall be appointed by the Secretary and who shall perform such functions as the Secretary shall prescribe from time to time.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title VI, §622, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 597.)

§7233. Experts and consultants

The Secretary may obtain services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, at rates not to exceed the daily rate prescribed for grade GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5 for persons in Government service employed intermittently.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title VI, §623, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 598.)


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

§7234. Advisory committees

The Secretary is authorized to establish in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act such advisory committees as he may deem appropriate to assist in the performance of his functions. Members of such advisory committees, other than full-time employees of the Federal Government, while attending meetings of such committees or while otherwise serving at the request of the Secretary while serving away from their homes or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5 for individuals in the Government serving without pay.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title VI, §624, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 598; Pub. L. 105–28, §2(b)(1), July 18, 1997, 111 Stat. 245.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, as amended, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1997Pub. L. 105–28 struck out subsec. (a) designation and struck out subsec. (b) which read as follows: "Section 776 of title 15 shall be applicable to advisory committees chartered by the Secretary, or transferred to the Secretary or the Department under this chapter, except that where an advisory committee advises the Secretary on matters pertaining to research and development, the Secretary may determine that such meeting shall be closed because it involves research and development matters and comes within the exemption of section 552b(c)(4) of title 5."


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Termination of Advisory Committees

Advisory committees established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a committee established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such committee is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a committee established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided for by law. See section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Department of Energy Project Review Groups not Subject to Federal Advisory Committee Act by Reason of Inclusion of Employees of Department of Energy Management and Operating Contractors

Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, §3112, Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1743, provided that: "An officer or employee of a management and operating contractor of the Department of Energy, when serving as a member of a group reviewing or advising on matters related to any one or more management and operating contracts of the Department, shall be treated as an officer or employee of the Department for purposes of determining whether the group is an advisory committee within the meaning of section 3 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.)."

§7235. Armed services personnel

(a) The Secretary is authorized to provide for participation of Armed Forces personnel in carrying out functions authorized to be performed, on August 4, 1977, in the Energy Research and Development Administration and under chapter 869 of title 10. Members of the Armed Forces may be detailed for service in the Department by the Secretary concerned (as such term is defined in section 101 of such title) pursuant to cooperative agreements with the Secretary.

(b) The detail of any personnel to the Department under this section shall in no way affect status, office, rank, or grade which officers or enlisted men may occupy or hold or any emolument, perquisite, right, privilege, or benefit incident to, or arising out of, such status, office, rank, or grade. A member so detailed shall not be subject to direction or control by his armed force, or any officer thereof, directly or indirectly, with respect to the responsibilities exercised in the position to which detailed.

(Pub. L. 95–91, title VI, §625, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 598; Pub. L. 95–509, title II, §210, Oct. 24, 1978, 92 Stat. 1779; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title VIII, §809(n)(3)(B), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1844.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–232 substituted "chapter 869 of title 10" for "chapter 641 of title 10".

1978—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–509 struck out requirement that a detailed member be charged to the limitations applicable to the Department and prohibition of such member from being charged to any statutory or other limitation or strengths applicable to the Armed Forces.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–232 effective Feb. 1, 2019, with provision for the coordination of amendments and special rule for certain redesignations, see section 800 of Pub. L. 115–232, set out as a note preceding section 3001 of Title 10, Armed Forces.

§7236. Transferred


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section, Pub. L. 101–189, div. C, title XXXI, §3142, Nov. 29, 1989, 103 Stat. 1680, which related to executive management training in the Department of Energy, was renumbered section 4621 of Pub. L. 107–314, the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, by Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, §3141(i)(8)(A)–(C), Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1778, and is classified to section 2721 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

§7237. Priority placement, job placement, retraining, and counseling programs for United States Department of Energy employees affected by reduction in force

(a) Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this section, the term "agency" means the United States Department of Energy.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "eligible employee" means any employee of the agency who—

(A) is scheduled to be separated from service due to a reduction in force under—

(i) regulations prescribed under section 3502 of title 5; or

(ii) procedures established under section 3595 of title 5; or


(B) is separated from service due to such a reduction in force, but does not include—

(i) an employee separated from service for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency; or

(ii) an employee who, at the time of separation, meets the age and service requirements for an immediate annuity under subchapter III of chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5.

(b) Priority placement and retraining program

Not later than 30 days after September 30, 1996, the United States Department of Energy shall establish an agency-wide priority placement and retraining program for eligible employees.

(c) Filling vacancy from outside agency

The priority placement program established under subsection (b) shall include provisions under which a vacant position shall not be filled by the appointment or transfer of any individual from outside of the agency if—

(1) there is then available any eligible employee who applies for the position within 30 days of the agency issuing a job announcement and is qualified (or can be trained or retrained to become qualified within 90 days of assuming the position) for the position; and

(2) the position is within the same commuting area as the eligible employee's last-held position or residence.

(d) Job placement and counseling services

The head of the agency may establish a program to provide job placement and counseling services to eligible employees. A program established under subsection (d) may include, but is not limited to, such services as—

(1) career and personal counseling;

(2) training and job search skills; and

(3) job placement assistance, including assistance provided through cooperative arrangements with State and local employment services offices.

(Pub. L. 104–206, title III, §301, Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 2999.)


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 1997, and not as part of the Department of Energy Organization Act which comprises this chapter.

§7238. Temporary appointments for scientific and technical experts in Department of Energy research and development programs

(a) The Secretary, utilizing authority under other applicable law and the authority of this section, may appoint for a limited term, or on a temporary basis, scientists, engineers, and other technical and professional personnel on leave of absence from academic, industrial, or research institutions to work for the Department.

(b) The Department may pay, to the extent authorized for certain other Federal employees by section 5723 of title 5, travel expenses for any individual appointed for a limited term or on a temporary basis and transportation expenses of his or her immediate family and his or her household goods and personal effects from that individual's residence at the time of selection or assignment to his or her duty station. The Department may pay such travel expenses to the same extent for such an individual's return to the former place of residence from his or her duty station, upon separation from the Federal service following an agreed period of service. The Department may also pay a per diem allowance at a rate not to exceed the daily amounts prescribed under section 5702 of title 5 to such an individual, in lieu of transportation expenses of the immediate family and household goods and personal effects, for the period of his or her employment with the Department. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the employer's contribution to any retirement, life insurance, or health benefit plan for an individual appointed for a term of one year or less, which could be extended for no more than one additional year, may be made or reimbursed from appropriations available to the Department.

(Pub. L. 104–271, title III, §301, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3307.)


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Hydrogen Future Act of 1996, and not as part of the Department of Energy Organization Act which comprises this chapter.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Definitions

Pub. L. 104–271, §2, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3304, provided that: "For purposes of titles II and III [enacting this section and provisions set out as a note under section 12403 of this title]—

"(1) the term 'Department' means the Department of Energy; and

"(2) the term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of Energy."

§7239. Transferred


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section, Pub. L. 106–65, div. C, title XXXI, §3164, Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 946, which related to the whistleblower protection program, was renumbered section 4602 of Pub. L. 107–314, the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, by Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, §3141(i)(3)(A)–(C), Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1776, and is classified to section 2702 of Title 50, War and National Defense.