Policy Documents

Senators Question OPM Granting HHS Special Hiring Authority to Implement Health Reform Law

U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, Michael Enzi, Charles Grassley, Kelly Ayotte, and John Thune –
September 9, 2013

On September 9, 2013, nine U.S. Senators sent a letter to Acting Office of Personnel Management Director Elaine Kaplan regarding OPM's 2010 decision to grant the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “direct hire authority” after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

In the letter, they outline nine issue areas with specific questions for OPM including why special authority was granted to fill 1,800 “mission critical positions” over 6 months that were “necessary for implementing the health care law," meaning HHS would have had to hire roughly 10 candidates per day in order to fill all positions.