Huerta Memo to HR – “corrective action from the Barrier Analysis … extended the length of testing.. agency no longer exercises discretion over selection”

A new FOIA response which contained a May 2016 memo from Huerta has contradicted FAAs new claims that the changes to the hiring process were not due to diversity. The CTI schools also keep getting told it is not about diversity, but it clearly is…

On May 5, 2016 FAA Administrator Huerta wrote a memo to Annie Andrews, Director of HR, regarding the Air Traffic Controller Maximum Entry Age (“In-Process” Rule).

Seems simple, right? Well let’s dive in to the language.

The purpose of this memorandum is to authorize the Office of Human Resource Management to revise the maximum entryage for Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS) original appointments and its application with respect to the In-Process Rule. Specifically, the revised application of the In-Process Rule will modify the date of original A TCS appointment of candidates who tum 31 years-of age while waiting for the FAA to process their applications. Pursuant to OPM guidelines, appointments are effective on the “date of approval” by the appointing official.Typically, this is the point in time when the selecting official exercises his/her discretion in choosing the candidate(s) who, subject to any remaining procedural hurdles, will enter on duty.

Seems simple.

They are going to make it so that the age is locked in sooner. Good.

Now here is where it gets interesting, we have added the emphasis by highlighting.

Changes in the ATCS hiring process, adopted as a corrective action to findings from the Barrier Analysis of the Air Traffic Control Specialist Centralized Hiring Process, not only extended the length of the FAA’s pre-employment applicant testing, screening and on-boarding processes; but also, the Agency no longer exercises discretion through a selecting official for ATCS appointments. As a result, the new hiring process creates the risk of “aging outfor otherwise successful candidates who were reaching the age of thirty-one (31) well before they completed each step of the FAA’s pre-employment process and joined the FAA’s payroll.

This one we need to break down even further.

Changes in the ATCS hiring process, adopted as a corrective action to findings from the Barrier Analysis of the Air Traffic Control Specialist Centralized Hiring Process,

So, we assume you are talking about the 2014 changes, since that is when the Barrier Analysis came prior to? But which one? The first one? Or the Extension? Remember the first one was signed AFTER the extension?

We assume you are Not talking about the 2016 changes because of the FAA reauthorization because they weren’t implemented in response to the Barrier Analysis.

The key thing though: Thanks for reasserting that the changes were made “as a corrective action to findings from the Barrier Analysis.” This is DESPITE saying that diversity was not the reason for changing the process in response to the IGs report. Contradictory statements are great. And thanks for the memorializing it in a memo… to avoid, you know, hearsay issues. And remember, the first barrier analysis didn’t say anything about stopping CTI hiring. It said to work with the CTI schools to identify why more minorities weren’t graduating.

What corrective actions? What was corrected? You mean to say that the previous “diversity issues” were resolved? I thought Beth Mathison had said she didn’t want to release data because the agency did not want demographics to impact the hiring processWell, that’s not what the data, gathered thanks to FOIA, shows. Moreover, the stats disclosed showed that CTI had more than twice the diversity than the pool that was hired.

not only extended the length of the FAA’s pre-employment applicant testing, screening and on-boarding processes

Why did the changes cause this? Please, do tell. You eliminated the interview, with opposition from groups such as FAAMA. You lowered the bar. You don’t release scores, you are washing out more people (data pending), you had people who scored 100s on the AT-SAT fail

What screening changes? People getting to the academy without speaking English proficiently to be understood on radios somehow fell through? Things you would catch in an in-person interview, right? Oh, and what happened with all those no-shows/those that didn’t follow through on their offer letter? Remember the DOT IG said that was an issue? Different on-boarding process? What?

And you talk about the extension like if its a good thing…

Testing? Do we need to remind you of the congressional hearing?

And these aren’t just sound bites, watch the whole hearing if you want.

but also, the Agency no longer exercises discretion through a selecting official for ATCS appointments.

Huh? So, how are you picking? More importantly, how were you picking before? Since you don’t have a selecting official, what screening processes have been added? How come Shelton surprisingly became the top recruiter for NBCFAE? How come there was cheating? How come you “investigated” Snow and pulled his emails? But didn’t tell Congress they were “missing”? How come you have various applicant scores for particular groups? Didn’t you say the selection methods would cause confusion?

As a result, the new hiring process creates the risk of “aging outfor otherwise successful candidates who were reaching the age of thirty-one (31) well before they completed each step of the FAA’s pre-employment process and joined the FAA’s payroll.

I think you are forgetting about the many more CTI grads that were wrongfully purged that are close to/have aged out thanks to your games.

Therefore, I authorize the Office of Human Resource Management to revise the In-Process Rule for original A TCS appointment to become effective for all applicants who have passed initial screening as of the date the vacancy announcement for which they applied is closed. This revised application of the In-Process Rule is fair to applicants who “age-out” before the FAA can offer them the opportunity to complete the remaining procedural hurdles in the application process.

This revised application of the In-Process Rule is fair to applicants who “age-out” before the FAA can offer them the opportunity to complete the remaining procedural hurdles in the application process.

and…

The authorization to modify the .In-Process Rule is effective immediately and retroactive to impacted applicants who applied to the 2015 ATCS job announcements.

“Is fair”? Yes, we agree, but woudn’t you think it’s fair to grandfather in the old CTI roster? I mean, CTI was the process back then…

9153 memo