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U.S. Department of Justice Career Transition Assistance Plan

U.S. Department of Justice
Career Transition Assistance Plan

Revised 6/2001

Table of Contents
Subject Page
   
Background  
     Purpose and Authority 3
     Effective Date and Duration 3
     Coverage 3
     Definitions 4
   
Part 1 - Career Transition Services  
     Justice Career Transition Services 7
     Transition Services Provided 7
     Use of Excused Absence 7
     Use of Services 8
     Orientation on the Use of Transition Services 8
     Retraining Services 8
     Access by Field Offices and Employees with Disabilities 8
     Role of the DOJ Employee Assistance Program 8
   
Part II - Department of Justice Career Transition Assistance Program  
     Policy 9
     Servicing Personnel Office Responsibilities 9
     Order of Selection 9
     Duration of Eligibility 10
     Permissible Internal Actions 11
     Qualification Review 14
   
Part III - Department of Justice Reemployment Priority List (RPL)  
     Establishment and Maintenance 15
     Servicing Personnel Office Responsibilities 15
     Eligibility 16
     Duration of Eligibility 17
     Removal from RPL 17
     Appeals 17
   
Appendix A - Presidential Memorandum  
Appendix B - Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program Regulations  
Appendix C - RPL Registration Form  


U. S. Department of Justice
Career Transition Assistance Plan

BACKGROUND

Purpose and Authority

This plan is in compliance with, and supplements, 5 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 330, published June 9, 1997, and President Clinton's memorandum to Agency Heads on "Career Transition Assistance for Federal Employees," dated September 12, 1995 (Appendix A). New negotiated agreements and agreements which have expired since February 29, 1996, (the effective date of the interim regulations) are subject to this Plan.

This plan is designed to help Department of Justice (DOJ) employees affected by downsizing to take charge of their own careers by providing them with the support they need to find other job offers, either with government or in the private sector. It is divided into three parts:

I. Career Transition Services
II. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP)
III. Reemployment Priority List (RPL)

Component servicing personnel offices will provide information and briefing on this plan, and the provisions of 5 CFR 330, to managers, union representatives, and employees.

Effective Date and Duration

It is effective on June 30, 1997. The provisions were made permanent June 4, 2001.

Coverage

Part I of this plan (Career Transition Services) applies to all Department of Justice (DOJ) employees. Parts II and III of this plan apply only to those DOJ employees who are surplus or displaced.

Definitions

Displaced employee means: (1) a current DOJ employee serving under an appointment in the competitive service, in tenure group 1 or 2, at GS-15 or equivalent and below, who has received a specific reduction in force (RIF) separation notice or notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function outside of the local commuting area; or (2) a current DOJ employee in the excepted service, serving on an appointment without time limit, at GS-15 or equivalent and below, who has been given noncompetitive appointment eligibility and selection priority by statute for positions in the competitive service, and who is in receipt of a reduction in force separation notice or notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment outside of the local commuting area.

Surplus employee means: (1) a current DOJ employee serving under an appointment in the competitive service, in tenure group 1 or 2, at GS-15 or equivalent and below, who has received a certificate of expected separation or other official certification issued by DOJ indicating that the position is surplus, for example, a notice of position abolishment, or a notice stating that the employee is eligible for discontinued service retirement; or (2) a current DOJ employee serving on an excepted service appointment without time limit, at GS-15 or equivalent and below, who has been issued a certificate of expected separation or other official DOJ certification indicating that his or her position is surplus (e.g., a notice of position abolishment or a notice stating that the employee is eligible for discontinued service retirement), and who has been conferred noncompetitive appointment eligibility and special selection priority by statute for positions in the competitive service.

Eligible employee for selection priority means a DOJ employee who meets all of the following requirements :

  1. Is a surplus or displaced employee (still on the DOJ rolls);
  2. Has a current performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent;
  3. Applies for a vacancy that is at or below the grade level from which the employee may be or is being separated, that does not have a greater promotion potential than the position from which the employee may be or is being separated;
  4. Occupies a position in the same local commuting area of the vacancy;
  5. Files an application for a specific vacancy within the time frame established by the agency, and provides proof of eligibility;
  6. Is determined by DOJ to be well-qualified for the specific vacancy.

Local commuting area means any population center and the surrounding localities in which people can reasonably be expected to travel back and forth daily.

Special selection priority means that, except for actions not covered, surplus and/or displaced employees eligible under CTAP must be selected over any other candidate for vacancies in the local commuting area for which they apply and are found well-qualified.

Vacancy means a competitive service position filled for a total of 121 days or more, including all extensions, which the DOJ is filling regardless of whether the agency issues a specific vacancy announcement.

Well-qualified employee means an eligible employee who satisfies all medical, physical, education, experience, and selective placement and quality ranking factors for the vacant position. Well-qualified employees are those who met the mid-level of the crediting plan for all factors or established cutoff scores. The well-qualified employee should be able to satisfactorily perform all duties of the position within a reasonable orientation period (e.g. 30 days).

Minimum area of consideration is the minimum area stated in the component's approved merit promotion plan plus eligible component surplus and displaced employees in the local commuting area. If the area of consideration is outside the component then the minimum area of consideration must include surplus and displaced DOJ employees in the commuting area. When the vacancy is proposed to be filled by an action that is an exception from competitive promotion procedures, but not from CTAP coverage (such as a noncompetitive reassignment of an employee between components), then the minimum area of consideration must include surplus and displaced DOJ employees in the local commuting area. All announcements in which the minimum area of consideration includes surplus and displaced DOJ employees in the local commuting area must be advertised through the DOJ Career Opportunities Bulletin or other approved Department wide announcement system. If the announcement is open to candidates outside the Department, it must be advertised on OPM's USAJOBS.

Minimum open announcement period is that stated in the approved merit promotion plan, if the vacancy is required to be advertised under competitive procedures. If the advertisement is open only to surplus and displaced employees, the minimum open period is five working days.

Component means each bureau within the Department of Justice. Collectively the offices, boards, and divisions are considered one bureau.


Part I. Career Transition Services

Transition Services Provided
To the extent possible, the following services will be available to DOJ employees:

Comprehensive Job Vacancy Information: This includes access to government-wide vacancies, as well as private sector employment opportunities. A variety of job search resources will be available, including Internet access.

Career Transition Workshops: Workshops will be provided on topics such as career planning, interviewing, resume preparation, effective job searches, building networks, retirement, and other information.

Career Counseling: Individual career counseling will be available for all surplus and displaced employees. This is in addition to existing Employee Assistance Program counseling available to all DOJ employees.

Career Assessment and Resume Preparation Software: Software for skill and career assessment will help employees to focus on their strengths. Resume preparation software will be available to help the employee market their skills.

Career Transition Library: A variety of books, periodicals, and videos will be made available to transitioning employees. This material will cover a variety of topics, including career planning, interviewing, resume/cover letter preparation, retirement planning, and others.

State Dislocated Worker Unit Services: Surplus and displaced employees will be provided skill and interest assessments, job development, counseling, job search assistance, career exploration, and occupational skills retraining under the Economic Dislocation and Worker Adjustment Assistance Act, provisions of the Job Training Partnership Act.

Use of Excused Absence

Supervisors of surplus and displaced employees are encouraged to support the DOJ Career Transition Assistance Program by allowing their employees a reasonable amount of time (e.g. 4 to 6 hours weekly) to make use of the career transition services. Employees should obtain supervisory approval before making use of transition services.

Use of Transition Services

Career transition services will be made available to surplus and displaced employees until separation, placement in a permanent position, or declination of a reasonable offer.

Orientation on the Use of Transition Services

An orientation will be provided to all surplus and displaced employees on the use of career transition services and the eligibility requirements for selection priority under CTAP and ICTAP. This orientation must include information on how to apply for vacancies under the CTAP and ICTAP (if applicable).

Retraining Services

When feasible, managers should consider providing retraining to surplus or displaced employees to bridge the gap between the employees current skills and skills needed for existing vacancies for which the employee would not otherwise qualify.

Access by Field Offices and Employees with Disabilities

All career transition services will provide accommodation for employees with handicaps, including large screens, wheelchair-accessible furniture, and other equipment based on transitioning employee needs. Field offices and remote sites will be provided career transition services for all surplus and displaced employees.

Role of the DOJ Employee Assistance Program

The services of the DOJ Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be made available to all DOJ employees and family members. EAP personnel will be readily available during transition for all surplus and displaced employees.


Part II. Department of Justice Career Transition Assistance Program

Policy

The DOJ Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) implements the requirements of 5 CFR 330, Subpart F. It supplements the Reemployment Priority List (RPL) and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (5 CFR 330, Subpart G - Appendix B). The DOJ CTAP replaces the DOJ Priority Placement and Referral System (PPRS). The goal of the DOJ CTAP is to require the selection of a well-qualified surplus or displaced internal agency employee who applies for a vacant competitive service position in the commuting area, before selecting any other candidate from outside the component or the agency.

Servicing Personnel Office Responsibilities

Servicing personnel offices (SPO's) will determine whether otherwise eligible employees are "well-qualified" for vacant positions. They will provide specific briefing sessions for surplus and displaced employees on the use of career transition services and the eligibility requirements for selection priority under CTAP and the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP). The sessions must include information on how to apply for vacancies under the CTAP and ICTAP. In addition to the briefings, SPO's will at the time it issues a specific RIF separation notice, certificate of expected separation, or other official agency certification that identifies an employee as being likely to be separated by RIF, or by adverse action procedures for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function outside of the local commuting area, provide information in writing about the special selection priority available to them under the DOJ CTAP. They will also provide a copy of the Employee's Guide to Career Transition and the Employee's Guide to Reduction In Force Procedures, which are available for downloading from OPM's homepage . SPO's will upload vacancy announcement to USAJOBS when it is required for CTAP or ICTAP clearance. There is a direct link between the DOJ vacancy listing on DOJ's homepage for both internal and external vacancies.

Order of Selection

The following rules apply to the order of selection for vacancies when CTAP restrictions must be considered:
  1. If the area of consideration is component wide, a well-qualified surplus/displaced employee in the component in the local commuting area must be selected over other eligible DOJ CTAP employees.
  2. If the area of consideration is outside DOJ, candidates from outside DOJ cannot be selected if eligible DOJ employees apply for the vacant position. If there are eligible candidates on the DOJ RPL, they must be selected before ICTAP candidates (see Appendix B for more information on ICTAP).
  3. If two or more eligible employees apply for a vacancy and are determined to be well-qualified, the order of selection priority will be (a) eligible DOJ CTAP employees who are displaced or surplus because they have received a reduction in force notice of separation or notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment outside of the local commuting area, or certificate of expected separation or other official certification issued by the DOJ indicating that the position is surplus, or a notice stating that the employee is eligible for discontinued service retirement, then; (b) eligible DOJ CTAP employees who are surplus or displaced because of a variation granted by OPM.
  4. If no eligible Federal employees apply or none is deemed well-qualified, another candidate may be selected.
Duration of Eligibility

Eligibility for special selection priority expires on the earliest of:

  1. The RIF separation date, the date of the employee's resignation, retirement or separation from the DOJ (including the date of separation under adverse action procedures for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function or similar relocation to another local commuting area; or
  2. Cancellation of the RIF separation notice, certificate of expected separation, notice of proposed removal for declining a directed reassignment or transfer of function outside of the commuting area, or other official DOJ certification identifying the employee as surplus; or
  3. When an eligible employee receives a career, career-conditional, or excepted appointment without time limit in any agency at any grade level; or
  4. When an eligible employee declines a career, career conditional, or excepted appointment (without time limit), for which the employee has applied and been rated well-qualified. Failure to reply in writing to any position offer for which the employee applied, within five calendar days of receipt will be considered a declination.
Permissible Internal Actions

The following actions are permitted without regard to the existence of CTAP or ICTAP candidates:

  1. Merit promotion actions when no eligible CTAP ( or ICTAP depending on the area of consideration ) apply;
  2. Reemployment of a former DOJ employee who is exercising regulatory or statutory reemployment rights, including the reemployment of injured workers who have either been restored to earning capacity by the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), or who have received a notice that their compensation benefits will cease because of recovery from the disabling injury or illness (This does not include reinstatement eligibles);
  3. Position changes resulting from disciplinary actions;
  4. Temporary appointments of under 121 days (including all extensions);
  5. Exchange of positions between or among DOJ employees, when the actions involve no increase in grade or promotion potential, i.e., job swaps, etc.;
  6. Conversion of a DOJ employee who is serving on an excepted appointment which confers eligibility for noncompetitive conversion into the competitive service, (e.g., DEA agents, FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division employees, Student Career Experience Program employees, Presidential Management Interns, and Veteran's Readjustment Appointment employees);
  7. A placement action permitted by RIF regulations (5 CFR Part 351);
  8. Non-competitive placement of an employee into a different position as a result of a formal reorganization, when the former position ceases to exist, and no actual vacancy results;
  9. Assignments made under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act ;
  10. The filling of a position through an excepted appointment;
  11. Details;
  12. Time-limited promotions of under 121 days (including all extensions);
  13. Noncompetitive movement of surplus or displaced employees within the DOJ, and within the same local commuting area;
  14. Movement of excepted service employees within DOJ;
  15. A placement under 5 U.S.C. 8337 or 8451 to allow continued employment of an employee who has become unable to provide useful and efficient service in his or her current position because of a medical condition;
  16. A placement that is a "reasonable offer" as defined in 5 U.S.C. 8336 (d) and 8414 (b);
  17. Career ladder promotions or position changes resulting from reclassification actions (e.g., accretion of duties, or application of new classification standards;
  18. Recall of seasonal or intermittent employees from nonpay status;
  19. The internal placement of an injured or disabled worker to reasonably accommodate that worker;
  20. An action taken pursuant to the settlement of a formal complaint, grievance, appeal, or other litigation;
  21. An action taken to return an employee to his or her original or similar position during a supervisory probationary period;
  22. The retention of individuals whose positions are brought into the competitive service under 316.701 or 316.702 and subsequent conversion under 315.701;
  23. The retention of an employee for whom OPM has approved a rule 5.1 variation;
  24. The selection of an employee from within a DOJ component within the local commuting area, after all eligible surplus and displaced applicants of that component who are eligible under CTAP within the local commuting area have been accorded selection priority;
  25. The reemployment of a former DOJ employee who retired under a formal trial retirement and reemployment program, and who seeks reemployment with DOJ under the provisions, and within the program's applicable time limits;
  26. Extensions of temporary or term actions, up to the full period allowed, provided that the original action, upon which the extension is based, was made on or before February 29, 1996; or for actions initially made after February 29, 1996, and the original vacancy announcement specified that the position was open to CTAP candidates and that if they were found well-qualified, would be afforded selection priority. The original announcement must have stated that an extension was possible without further announcement;
  27. Noncompetitive movement of employees between agencies as a result of an interagency reorganization, interagency transfer of function, or interagency mass transfer;
  28. The placement of a member of the Senior Executive Service under 5 U.S.C. 3594;
  29. The voluntary transfer of employees from DOJ to another agency under a Memorandum of Understanding or similar type of agreement when both agencies and the affected employees agree to the transfer; and
  30. The reassignment of an employee whose position description or other written mobility agreement provides for reassignment outside the commuting area as part of a planned rotational program within the agency ( e.g., DEA Overseas Rotational Assignments).
Qualification Review

Servicing personnel offices will make initial qualification determinations of eligible employees. When an otherwise eligible employee is determined to be not well-qualified, a review of this determination will be made by a subject-matter expert at or above the grade level of the vacancy or a qualified personnel specialist who did not serve as a member of the rating panel. This review will be documented. The servicing personnel office is required to advise, in writing surplus and displaced CTAP or ICTAP employees who apply for specific vacancies within its local commuting area of the results of their application and whether or not they were found well-qualified. If they are not found well-qualified, such notice must include information on the results of the second review. If an applicant is found well-qualified, and another well-qualified surplus or displaced candidate is selected, the applicant must be so advised.

If the employee contests this qualification determination, the announcement, job description, and application submitted by the applicant will be sent to the CTAP Program Manager, who will convene an ad hoc panel to determine whether the employee is qualified. This decision will be the final agency decision. The CTAP Program Manager will inform the employee in writing of the final decision.


Part III. Reemployment Priority List (RPL)

Establishment and Maintenance

This part supplements regulations contained in 5 CFR Part 330, Subpart B. The Department of Justice RPL is centrally established and maintained by the Justice Management Division, Personnel Staff, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530. A separate list will be maintained for each commuting area in which eligible employees are separated due to reduction in force or compensable injury (when recovery takes more than one year). Effective April 12, 1996, the operation of the Department of Justice Priority Placement Referral System (PPRS) is suspended. Any PPRS registrants still eligible for consideration under that program, will be placed on the DOJ RPL.

Servicing Personnel Office Responsibilities

The servicing personnel office (SPO), at the time it gives a specific RIF notice of separation or a certificate of expected separation, must give each eligible employee information about the DOJ RPL, including the registration form and information on appeal rights.

A component SPO must register its employees who are eligible due to compensable injury no later than 10 calendar days after receipt of a timely application or request for reemployment.

The SPO will assist its employees, when requested, in identifying and listing on the RPL application those positions within the agency for which the employee qualifies and is interested. The SPO will forward the RPL registration form (copy attached), a copy of the employee's updated resume, SF-171, or OF-612 to JMD Personnel Staff along with the following information:
  1. Commuting area in which the position is located;
  2. The employee's name SSN, tenure group, title, series, grade and full performance level;
  3. The employee's separation date or date of request for reemployment of a compensable injured employee;
  4. Eligibility expiration date; and
  5. List of titles, series, and grade levels for which the employee is qualified.
When recruiting outside the agency, SPO's must clear the DOJ RPL before referring eligible ICTAP or candidates outside of the DOJ.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the RPL, an employee must be:

  1. Serving under an appointment in the competitive service in tenure group 1 or 2; have received a rating above unacceptable as the last annual performance rating of record; have received a specific RIF separation notice or certification of expected separation; and have not declined a RIF assignment offer of a position with the same type of work schedule and a representative rate at least as high as that of the position from which the employee was or will be separated; or
  2. A competitive service employee in tenure group 1 or 2 who is separated (or who accepts a lower graded position in lieu of separation) because of compensable injury or disability (as defined in 5 CFR Part 353) who has fully recovered more than 1 year after compensation began.
An employee who applies because of RIF separation must apply within 30 calendar after the RIF separation date. Employees who separate for some other reason (such as retirement, resignation, etc.) Before the date the RIF separation would take effect are not eligible for registration. Individuals who retire on or after the date of separation by RIF do not lose RPL eligibility.

Employees who apply because of compensable injury must request reemployment within 30 calendar days after the date compensation ceases, except that when an appeal for continuation of compensation has been filed, the 30 day period begins the day after resolution has been reached.

Employees may only be registered for positions for which they are qualified in the local commuting area of the position from which separated. Employees who apply due to compensable injury who can not be placed in their former position or an equivalent one in their former local commuting area are entitled to priority consideration for an equivalent position elsewhere in the agency. The Director of Personnel will determine the time and manner in which this expanded consideration will be given.

Duration of Eligibility

Tenure group 1 employees (career) are eligible for the RPL for 2 years from date of separation. Tenure group 2 employees (career-conditional) are eligible for the RPL for 1 year from separation.

Removal From RPL

When an eligible individual declines an offer of career, career-conditional, or excepted appointment without time limit, or fails to reply to an inquiry, they will lose RPL consideration for all positions at or below that grade. If the employee who declines is eligible due to compensable injury and the position is equivalent to the one from which separated, they will be removed from the RPL. Also, an individual will be removed from the RPL when the individual:

  1. Requests removal;
  2. Receives a career-conditional, or excepted appointment without time limit in any agency;
  3. Declines an interview or fails to appear for a scheduled interview only if notified in advance of this requirement and the subsequent consequences.
Appeals

An eligible individual who believes that his or her reemployment priority rights under this subpart have been violated because of the employment of another person may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board under the provisions of the Board's regulations.

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Updated: May 2012