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Human Capital Legislation

(§ 9806 of S.610)

PURPOSE: This provision enhances the effectiveness of the current term appointment authority by permitting term appointments of longer duration and authorizing two new streamlined ways to convert term employees to permanent status. These features provide more flexibility to NASA in tailoring the workforce for program and project changes and provide greater opportunities for term employees in pursuing their career objectives.


• Term appointments may be initiated or extended for up to six years, rather than four years.

• A NASA term employee may be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment without going through the competitive examination process normally used to make such appointments. This can occur through a non-competitive conversion action or through selection under internal competitive procedures. However, in either circumstance, all of the following three basic requirements must be met in order for a term employee to be converted to permanent status:

Basic Eligibility Requirements for Conversion to Permanent Status
1. The term appointment under which the NASA employee is serving was made under Title 5 competitive procedures and the announcement stated that the individual(s) selected could be converted to a permanent appointment.
2. The term employee has completed at least two years of continuous service under a term appointment in the competitive service.
3. The employee’s performance is at least fully successful.

• A term employee who meets the basic eligibility requirements may be non-competitively converted to a permanent position within NASA if that position is in the same geographic location, the same occupational series, and has no greater promotion potential than the employee’s term position.

• A term employee may be competitively converted to any permanent position for which qualified at any Center within NASA provided he or she meets the basic requirements and competes successfully for the permanent position under internal competitive procedures.