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Sample Expert/Consultant Certificates

In approving the filling of this Consultant [Expert] position without regard to the rules and regulations governing appointments in the competitive civil service, and in approving the rate of pay set for this position without regard to classification pay laws, I have considered the requirements of law (5 U.S.C. 3109), the Office of Personnel Management regulations in 5 CFR 304.102(c) or (e), and Chapter 1-7 of DOJ Order 1200.1 on the Employment of Experts and Consultants.

I have determined that:

  1. The position is necessary.
  2. The position is a Consultant [Expert] position as defined by the Office of Personnel Management under 5 CFR 304.102(c) or (e).
  3. The work is temporary in nature, that is, will not exceed 1 year [or, as appropriate ". . . requires services only irregularly or occasionally"].
  4. The authority is the most appropriate appointing authority for meeting the needs of U.S. Department of Justice [component].
  5. The proposed appointee meets the Office of Personnel Management's definition of Consultant [Expert], and does, in fact, possess the level of expertise that will permit him/her to render the type of services that the U.S. Department of Justice [component] requires.
  6. The daily or hourly rate to be paid the proposed appointee is commensurate with the level of work to be performed and the individual's qualifications for the work.
  7. This appointment will not bypass or undermine personnel ceilings, General Schedule pay limitations, or competitive employment procedures.
  8. The required documentation is in order.


__________________________________          ________________

Signature of Certifying Official                                 Date



Sample Format for Certificate of Understanding

I understand that under the conditions of my appointment as a consultant [or expert] with the Department of Justice [component]:

  1. I do not acquire competitive status as a career Federal employee.
  2. I will not receive any special consideration for a career position with the Federal Government based on this appointment.
  3. I will be appointed as a consultant [expert] on a full-time basis. The initial appointment will not exceed one year and, if required, may be extended for one additional year provided I am reappointed to perform substantially the same duties. The service year of my appointment commences on _________________[date].


I will be appointed on a part-time or intermittent basis for a period of time determined by the agency. The initial appointment may not exceed one year, and, if required, I may be reappointed to perform substantially the same duties in accordance with one of the following options:

Option 1 - Unlimited reappointments as long as I am not paid for more than 6 months (130 days or 1,040 hours) of work, or work for no more than that amount without compensation, in a service year. If this limit is exceeded in the first service year, I may be reappointed for one additional year. If the limit is exceeded during any subsequent service year, I may not be reappointed thereafter.

Option 2 - Reappointments until my total earnings with the agency as a consultant [expert] reaches the lifetime maximum earnings limit of twice the annual rate of basic pay for GS-15, Step 10.

The service year of my appointment commences on _____________________ [date].


  1. I have received and reviewed the fact sheet titled, "The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and the Department's Standards of Conduct Regulations (28 CFR, Part 45)," and, to the best of my knowledge, I am not in violation of these regulations.
  2. [If appointed without pay, include statement indicating that the appointee agrees to waive any claim for compensation for his or her services.]

    ____________________________     _________________

    Employee Signature                                Date

Updated April 25, 2022