A bill introduced in the House would improve efficiency in the hiring process at military bases, according to its sponsors Rep, Steve Russell (R-OK) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).

The Department of Defense Workforce Flexibility Act of 2016 (H.R. 4687) would allow “temporary employees within the U.S. Department of Defense to more easily apply for vacant, permanent positions within the department,” Russell said in a press release. This competition would occur under internal merit promotion procedures.

The bill would amend Title 5 of the United States Code and apply hiring provisions that currently apply to land management agencies.

Russell (a retired Army officer) and Mullin directed their attention to military installations in Oklahoma, e.g., McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and Tinker Air Force Base, which have a large number of temporary workers.  But, their legislation would also apply to DoD installations nationwide.

Russell said that hiring externally can involve a lengthy process, but “giving temporary workers the opportunity to apply for merit-based promotions would expedite hiring and cut down on the time needed for training a new hire.” Under the bill, temporary workers would apply for vacant permanent positions under the same procedures used by permanent workers for merit-based promotions.

This legislation would give installations the needed flexibility to hire temporary workers to fill permanent positions quickly to adapt to changing demands, Russell said.

The bill is supported by the McAlester Defense Support Association (MDSA) and the Federal Managers Association.

The proposed legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.