Foreign Service Journal - November 2013 - page 51

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA Retiree VP.
or (703) 437-7881
In August, after years of
anticipation, the Bureau of
Human Resources rolled
out the department’s
“centralized”When Actually
Annuitants Global Registry
program. AFSA sees this as
a positive development by
raising the administrative veil
from the opaque WAE hiring
process. However, the jury is
out on whether the new pro-
gram will adequately meet
the needs of retirees and the
The Global Registry is
not—nor was it ever intended
to be—a job search program.
Job seekers cannot refer to a
centralized department-wide
listing of WAE vacancies, or
see and bid on positions.
Nor does it change current
bureau hiring practices.
Securing a WAE posi-
tion will continue to rely on
personal interaction with a
particular bureau. Finally, the
program does not expand
the universe of such slots.
Bureaus determine these
positions solely on their
requirements and available
The new centralized
registry of retirees interested
in employment is an addi-
tion to the existing bureau-
by-bureau rosters—not
a replacement for them.
Bureaus will continue to
maintain their own WAE
registers. They may utilize
the centralized registry to
identify candidates with
the background and skill
A New Approach to WAE Hiring
set being sought. However,
bureaus are not obliged to
hire people only from the
central registry.
The Human Resources
Service Center, located in
Charleston, S.C., manages
the new centralized Global
Registry program. Informa-
tion about it is found on the
department’s Retirement
Network at
gov. All Foreign Service
annuitants, including eligible
Foreign Service retirees from
other foreign affairs agencies,
interested in being placed
on the centralized registry,
should refer to this website.
The site provides a
regularly updated bureau
WAE coordinator list, and
identifies the skill sets being
sought by some bureaus.
Actual vacancies are not
Registering on the Global
Registry is easy. Candidates
have three options: Foreign
Service members not yet
retired can access it via
GEMS on the department’s
intranet, while retirees may
communicate with bureau
WAE coordinators directly
at (866) 300-7419 or hrsc@
There are obvious holes
in the system. As of this
writing, most bureaus have
yet to provide a descrip-
tion of the skill sets they are
seeking. WAE opportunities
are neither available to the
HR Service Center nor listed
on RNET, which seems to
detract from HR’s concept of
it as a “one-stop-shop.”
Details about how to
obtain and maintain secu-
rity clearances, submit
paperwork and rules about
contracting while a WAE and
WAE eligibility of non-State
Department Foreign Service
retirees are also missing from
the RNET website. Other
deficiencies in the program
will no doubt emerge as it
kicks in. Hopefully, they will
be fixed soon.
In the meantime, the
current bureau-by-bureau
system constitutes a real
disservice to the department
and to retirees. In an era
when so many retired Foreign
Service members serve or
have served multifunction-
ally, the department still
behaves as if Foreign Service
personnel are wedded to
individual geographic or
functional bureaus.
That said, the bureau-
managed WAE registry train
left the station a long time
ago and likely will continue
to dominate the system. For
now, we must acknowledge
the noteworthy incremental
progress this new “central-
ized” program represents.
Re-employed annuitants
seeking a WAE position
should check the RNET
website for monthly updates;
maintain a current resumé
with HRSC; and network with
the bureau WAE coordinators
who do the hiring. Remem-
ber, there are fewer WAE
opportunities than annui-
tants seeking jobs, so have a
Plan B.
In an era when so many retired
Foreign Service members serve or have
served multifunctionally, the department
still behaves as if Foreign Service
personnel are wedded to individual
geographic or functional bureaus.
Apply Now for AFSA Scholarships
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only Merit Awards; and renewable, need-based
Financial Aid Scholarships for undergraduate col-
lege study. For complete program details, please go
. AFSA members’ children
whose parents are active duty, retired or deceased
Foreign Service employees of the foreign affairs
agencies are eligible to apply.
To join AFSA, call
(202) 338-4045, ext. 525. Deadline for merit awards
is Feb. 6, and March 6 for financial aid awards.
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