Bill seeks to expedite hiring of public safety officers

Senator James Moylan (file photo)

Senator James C. Moylan has introduced Bill 245-35 or “The Swift Appointment Modernization Act of 2019.”

The bill seeks to authorize the director of the Department of Administration (DOA) to implement changes in policy, and possibly their adjoining Personnel Rules, in order to expedite the process of hiring qualified candidates for public safety positions in the Department of Corrections (DOC), Guam Police Department (GPD), Customs and Quarantine Agency (CQA), and certain agencies who employ Category 1 Peace Officers.

According to Moylan, Bill 245-35 is aimed at modernizing the way DOA administers some of its processes in public safety recruitment.

“Director Birn’s staff puts in a great deal of work and attention to detail throughout the rating and recruitment process for public safety personnel, and I want to empower DOA by giving the director the authority to allow certain accommodations to be made in this process so that we can address the community’s concerns with personnel shortages in public safety,” said Sen. Moylan in a news release.

He added, “I thank DOA for its continued commitment towards upholding the integrity of the Merit System and for its dedication to providing quality human resources services to the government despite its own personnel shortages.”

Under the bill, applicants will still be subject to the government of Guam’s Merit System – meaning the successful recruitment of every applicant seeking employment in the service of the government of Guam will still be based on merit and free from political or personal consideration.

In addition to evaluation under the Merit System, DOA still maintains the responsibility to administer written and physical tests to all potential public safety recruits.

If passed into law, Bill 245-35 will authorize the DOA director to implement policy and/or amend Personnel Rules to:

● Allow public safety agencies to request for Certification Lists with up to at least 15 eligible applicants, instead of five.
● Shorten the time allowed for public safety applicants to appeal evaluation ratings from ten business days to five business days.
● Allow recruiting public safety agencies to continue conducting interviews from the last interviewed eligible applicants in rank without requesting for a new Certification List.
The legislation also mandates the DOA director to implement these policies and make applicable amendments to Personnel Rules within 60 days of enactment. Additionally, Bill 245-35 stipulates that recruiting public safety agencies must make written requests to the DOA director for consideration of these authorizations.

The legislation intends to be effective upon enactment through the end of fiscal year 2022.