competitive.  When consideration is given,  noncompetitive referral will initially be made for the last grade, as well  as any higher grade(s) the employee held permanently if the employee was not demoted or separated for personal cause from the higher grade. However, if vacancies do not exist at these grades and if requested by the employee, referral may be made to a lower grade position.  Last grade is defined as the grade of the last position held under a non-temporary appointment for reinstatement candidates.  If applicants accept referral to the lower level position, they must sign a statement that they fully  understand and accept the referral.  However, the employee will also be  informed that they do not have to accept a lower position in order to be reinstated.  Consideration for bargaining unit positions above the last    grade permanently held must be competitive.

9.  Automatic Areas of Consideration.

a.  An area of automatic consideration consists of employees  who are identified as candidates for a vacancy without being required to apply.  An area of automatic consideration will be used together  with a vacancy posting procedure and applicants will be evaluated and ranked with those in the automatic area of consideration.  If the area  of automatic consideration and the normal area of consideration are  the same, and the employees are not required to apply, a vacancy  announcement will still be posted for informational purposes.

b. When the Administration determines that certain employees can be expected to be interested in and qualified for a vacancy, these employees may be identified as  being in an area of automatic consideration.

(1) Applicants in the area of automatic consideration need not              file in order to be considered for such a vacancy unless the              announcement specifies that they must file in order to ensure              receiving credit for certain factors such as incentive awards or training programs completed.

(2) An area of automatic consideration will consist of all              qualified and eligible employees in the area of consideration at              the next grade level below that of the vacancy, except that for              positions in a line of work  classified at two-grade intervals or              for which there are no other positions within the organizational              entity at the next lower grade, the area of automatic consideration will consist of employees two grades lower.

D.  Information on Vacancy Announcements.

Vacancy announcements will include, as a minimum:

l.  Statement of non-discrimination;
2.  Announcement number and opening and closing dates;