Q & A Session – SES Position Vacancy Violation


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I applied for an SES position. No hiring decision has been made, but someone has been hired on detail to “act” in the position and the position has been re-advertised to reflect specific credentials of the detailee. I complained to the MSPB but they said they don’t have jurisdiction. Did this violate any rule?


The rule that governs this situation is contained at 5 U.S.C. § 2302 (b)(6). It prohibits granting or denying any preference or advantage not authorized by law, including defining the scope or manner of competition or the requirements of the job, for the purpose of helping or hurting an applicant. You have not provided enough information to tell if (b)(6) has been violated, but you have raised the issue.


Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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