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#1 Posted : Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:41:25 PM(UTC)

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Two years and change ago an effort was made to hire me under the Pathways authority to a Permanent Forest Service position. After several months of trying, the HR folks for FS said that because I was a Pathways NTE Intern, they would not convert me to permanent, despite the fact that my SF50 said I was eligible. They claimed there was no legal authority; when we showed them the CFR they said that there was a policy that they wouldn't authorize the conversion and basically admitted it was unwritten. Since HR is HR, we had no recourse.

I eventually found a term position and was converted into that position August 2016, but with a DOI agency. I've been warned that the budget is dire and not to expect to be converted in place where I am, so I have been applying for jobs again. What I'm trying to figure out now is how to apply properly using my Pathways conversion eligibility. Should I be able to apply to internal-only announcements that I'm eligible for, since I'm eligible for conversion despite not technically having status?

More importantly, I have been unable to determine if FS will recognize my conversion-eligibility at all. Does anyone know if they have a secret unwritten policy against converting Pathways Terms to permanents? Previously they said they would have converted me if I had only been an Intern Indefinite instead of an Intern NTE. But now I'm actually a competitive service Term, but I additionally have an SF50 saying I can be converted without competition at any time.

Would appreciate any thoughts or especially personal experience anyone can share.
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:09:34 PM(UTC)

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I suggest you look at bottom of page 21 under the Conversions section. There is a very specific word there you should take notice of and that word is "discretion." You're trying to backdoor your way into a permanent position and considering the way hiring is done I can't say I fault you but unless there is someone willing to go out on a limb for you it doesn't really matter what your SF-50 says. There is additional information throughout the handbook (intern conversion eligibility is on 30) that might help. Good luck.
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