All new classified and exempt positions must be approved by the General Assembly. The legislative Joint Fiscal Committee approves limited service positions associated with grants, federal funding, or other non-state funding sources. The position pool allows us to use existing vacant positions to establish new positions within a department or agency, by transferring and converting existing vacant positions.
Process for Adding New Positions
General Assembly Authorization
The General Assembly authorizes new positions through session law. Sometimes these positions are added at the recommendation of the Governor based on individual requests by an agency or department through the annual budget development process. Sometimes the General Assembly will include new positions as part of new programs or initiatives. Usually the agency or department will have an opportunity to provide testimony in the appropriate committee regarding the new positions.
Legislative Joint Fiscal Committee Authorization
The Joint Fiscal Committee, through the Joint Fiscal Office, approves grants and grant funded positions, see 32 VSA § 5. Grant funded positions must be requested using the Joint Fiscal Committee Review, Limited Service – Grant Funded – Position Request Form.
Any new position, classified or exempt, funded by a grant that is, or was, approved by the Joint Fiscal Committee must also be approved by JFC. JFC also approves the use of existing positions to be funded by a new grant, if you are asking to fund an existing position through a grant you must include the existing position number, and original JFO# if the position was originally approved by JFC. The Department of Finance and Management, Budget and Management can help you determine if JFC approval is required in specific funding situations.
Limited Service, 100% grant funded positions CANNOT be authorized through the position pool.
Grant funded position requests should be completed, signed by the appointing authority and forwarded to the Department of Human Resources. Requests are reviewed, usually within two days, and then the original is forwarded to the Department of Finance and Management, Budget and Management for their review. The Budget and Management staff will coordinate review and approval with Secretary of Administration, and will forward approved requests to JFC.
JFC has a 30 day review cycle, if a request is not considered at a JFC meeting, only after the 30 day review cycle has elapsed can a position be established. A committee member may ask to have a grant/position considered at a Joint Fiscal Committee meeting. At that point the position will only be established after JFO has notified DHR the position has been approved by the committee.
Position Pool Process
The Secretary of Administration is required by 3 V.S.A. § 327(b) to eliminate any classified position as defined by 3 V.S.A.§311 that has been vacant for a period of 6 months or more. These long term vacant positions are transferred to the position pool in keeping with past practice. The statewide position pool is managed by the Secretary of Administration with the assistance of the Department of Human Resources (DHR).
The purpose of the position pool is to better manage positions within the statewide position cap established by the Legislature and to provide flexibility in maximizing the use of authorized positions. With a robust position pool available to agencies and departments, after formal request and approval, there is no need to hold vacancies for extended periods of time. Transferring, or “sweeping,” positions replenishes the pool to meet ongoing position needs in various departments.
Positions are monitored on a regular basis and transferred as they reach the 6-month vacancy mark. Funding associated with positions transferred to the position pool will be addressed on a case by case basis managed through the Finance and Management Budget Analysts.
A “Position Pool Committee,” made up of the Commissioner of DHR, the Commissioner of Finance and Management, and the Deputy Secretary of Administration, review position requests on a regular basis and meet with representatives of the requesting agencies and departments to review requests. The review is comprehensive and includes a cost analysis, core responsibilities and the strategic priorities of the agency or department.