Vacancy Act Violation Letter-Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Environmental Protection Agency, September 15, 2000

B-286265: Sep 15, 2000

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This is to report, pursuant to section 3349(b) of title 5 of the United States Code, as added by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Reform Act), that we have found three instances in which acting executive branch officers have served longer than the 210-day period allowed under the Act. The Vacancies Reform Act established new requirements for the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation (PAS positions). The Act limits the period of time such a position may be temporarily filled to 210 days with adjustments extending that time period in certain circumstances, such as when the President submits a nomination for the position to the Senate. The Vacancies Reform Act requires executive agencies to report to the Congress and the Comptroller General specific information relating to covered vacancies. The Act also provides that the Comptroller General is to report to specified congressional committees, the President, and the Office of Personnel Management if the Comptroller General determines that an acting officer in a covered position is serving longer than the 210 days permitted by the Act. Based on information we have received, there have been three instances-two Acting Inspectors General, one at DOD and one at the Department of Justice, and one Acting Chief Financial Officer at EPA-in which the 210-day limit has been exceeded.