Appointment of Consultants to FACA


Expert is defined as a person who is specially qualified by education and experience to perform difficult and challenging tasks in a particular field beyond the usual range of achievement of competent persons in that field, and is regarded by others in the field as an authority or practitioner of unusual competence and skill in a professional, scientific, technical or other activity. An expert position is one that requires the services of a specialist with skills superior to others in the same profession, occupation or activity to perform work on a temporary and/or intermittent basis. Consultant is defined as a person who can provide valuable and pertinent advice generally drawn from a high degree of broad administrative, professional, or technical knowledge or experience. A consultant position is one which primarily requires providing advice, views, opinions, alternatives, or recommendations on a temporary and/or intermittent basis.


The agency determines the rate of pay commensurate with the level and difficulty of the work to be performed, individual qualifications, internal and external alignment, and availability of qualified candidates. Experts are paid on a daily or hourly basis up to $45.18/hr or $361/day - the equivalent of GS-15, step 10 (salary does not include locality pay). Individuals may also serve without compensation. Type of appointment: Excepted appointment that requires only intermittent employment (occasional or irregular service; without a regularly scheduled tour of duty) or temporary employment (not to exceed 1 year; may include a full-time, part-time, seasonal or intermittent work schedule).

Intermittent Employment:

An expert or consultant who works on a strictly intermittent basis may be appointed under this authority without time limit or for any period determined by the agency. Temporary Employment: The appointment must be made for one year or less. Reappointment with same duties: If the individual will continue to perform the same duties and works full-time, an agency may employ them for a maximum of two years (initial appointment NTE 1 year and reappointment NTE one year).

However, if the individual works on a part-time or intermittent schedule, there are two options for reappointment. This must be decided in advance of the reappointment:

  • Option One - Annual Service: The individual can be re appointed, with no limit on the number of re appointments, as long as the individual is paid for no more than 6 months (130 days or 1,040 hours) in a service year or works for no more than that amount of time without compensation. If the individual exceeds this limit during the initial appointment, the reappointment may only be made for one additional year. Exceeding the limit during any subsequent service year results in no further reappointment opportunities.
  • Option Two - Cumulative Earnings: Each appointee will have a lifetime limit of twice the GS-15, step 10 salary, currently $94,287 x 2 or $188,574. Reappointment may be made until the individual reaches the lifetime maximum on total earnings. At that point, employment must be terminated.

Reappointment with different duties:

An expert or consultant may be reemployed to perform demonstrably different duties without regard to the length of that individual's previous expert or consultant service with the agency.

Employment Benefits:

If the expert or consultant works a regularly prescribed tour of duty, full time or part-time, they earn leave. Intermittent appointments do not earn leave. Experts or consultants are not covered under retirement, life insurance or health benefits programs, unless the employee is covered immediately prior to appointment as an expert or consultant.

Improper Use/Restrictions:

Expert or consultant appointments may not be made to SES positions, to positions requiring Presidential appointment (can appoint an individual who is awaiting final action on a Presidential appointment, non career SES or Schedule C appointment to an expert/consultant position), to perform managerial or supervisory work (can act as team leader or director of a specific project for which they were hired), to make final decisions on substantive policies, or otherwise function in the agency chain of command, to do work performed by regular agency employees, to fill in during staff shortages, or solely in anticipation of giving the individual a career appointment.

Signatory Approval: Deputy Administrator
Authority: 5 CFR Part 304 - Expert and Consultant Appointments
Prepared by: Office of Human Resources, Executive Resources Staff (CP) 2/98

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26