VA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) is currently centralizing the HR processes for Research, with a new system called the Human Resource Management and Consulting Services (HRMACS – “HR MAX”).
As you may already be aware, ORD plans to implement WOC, IPA and Affiliate centralization towards the March/April timeframe. During this transition, many concerns from our members were brought to our attention. NAVREF has taken these considerations and formed a workgroup to actively collaborate with ORD to alleviate these issues.
NAVREF’s workgroup, comprised of Ron Hakes, Cary Zink, and Katrina Washburn, began by meeting with Tony Laracuente, Director of Field Operations in ORD, to discuss policy concerns regarding WOC/IPA/Affiliate HR centralization. Mr. Laracuente, a former NPC Executive Director himself, expressed his understanding of the needs of NPC operations and was open to addressing the issues raised by the NAVREF membership.
While in this meeting, some clarity regarding badging and the new HRMACS came to fruition. HRMACS clearly distinguishes three (3) categories of appointments: affiliate, contractor, and employee. Employee is defined as those who have VA-paid, WOC or an IPA appointment. The intent of HRMACS is to increase the efficiency in obtaining these appointments and to allow for a smoother, less burdensome transition between them. IPA appointments still require that a person work for the non-federal facility for 90 days prior to issuing the agreement - the 90-day rule is still in effect!
NPC’s, ED’s, and their administrative staff - who do not conduct VA work - will be issued Affiliate appointments. These appointments are issued badges that allow them access to the VA facility and computer systems. An OGC opinion on this is available from NAVREF for those needing additional information.
At this time, no changes to your current HR processes are require unless initiated by your site’s HR Service.
Ultimately, NAVREF will actively continue to communicate with ORD as the transition to a Centralized HR continues to unfold.
We encourage members to please contact us with any questions you have regarding the HR webinar and the transition to centralizing HR appointments.