Section 12. An appointing authority may make a provisional appointment to a position in the official service with the authorization of the administrator or, if the appointing authority is a department, board, commission, institution or other agency within an executive office, with the authorization of the secretary of such office. Such authorization may be given only if no suitable eligible list exists from which certification of names may be made for such appointment or if the list contains the names of less than three persons who are eligible for and willing to accept employment and the appointing authority submits a written statement to the administrator that each person whose name was certified and who reported for an interview was interviewed and considered for appointment and states sound and sufficient reasons, satisfactory to the administrator, for not making an appointment from among such persons. A provisional appointment may be authorized pending the establishment of an eligible list. Such authorization shall be void unless exercised within two weeks after it is granted.
After authorization of a provisional appointment pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the administrator shall proceed to conduct an examination as he determines necessary and to establish an eligible list. Such examination shall be held and such eligible list shall be established within one year from the date of such authorization if the appointment must comply with federal standards for a merit system of personnel administration as a condition for receipt of federal funds by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions. If, as the result of such examination, no suitable eligible list is established, the administrator, upon the request of the appointing authority, may authorize an extension of the provisional appointment pending the results of another examination. Upon authorization of such an extension, the administrator shall arrange to hold a new examination forthwith and to determine the results of such examination. The eligible list resulting from such new examination shall be established within eighteen months of the determination of the results of the last previous examination, provided, however, that such new examination shall be held no later than one year from the date the last examination was held if the appointment must comply with federal standards for a merit system of personnel administration as a condition for receipt of federal funds by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions.
If no eligible list is established after a second examination for the same position, the administrator and the appointing authority shall confer and decide what action should be taken, such as the holding of another examination on a different basis.