The Schedule A authority was approved by the then U.S. Civil Service Commission on January 23, 1975, to permit DEA to fill Intelligence Research Specialist (IRS) positions due to specific, unique requirements of the IRS position that made it impractical for competitive examination. Approval was granted on August 7, 1997 by the Office of Personnel Management to increase the number of positions from 150 to 400.
The special qualifications required in order to appoint someone under this authority include:
- Expert knowledge and specialized experience with national and international law enforcement and/or intelligence community agencies;
- Regular and recurring contact with intelligence organizations;
- Experience obtaining intelligence data and evaluating it; and specialized knowledge of drug intelligence.
In addition to meeting the specialized experience listed above, applicant must also meet one of the following requirements:
- Highly technical state-of-the-art skills associated with computer engineering, systems engineering, and computer science in order to perform and manage highly sensitive and technical special projects. These technical skills can include experience in Geospatial Visualization and Geographic Information Systems; Data Aggregation and Analysis; and Digital and Social Media Exploitation);
- A Foreign language aptitude with proof of certification from an independent outside source with at least a satisfactory professional proficiency level or higher in the areas of reading, writing and comprehension.
Individuals appointed under this Schedule A authority may not be converted to competitive service.