Vacancy Act Violation Letter-Department of Agriculture, March 18, 2002

B-289367: Mar 18, 2002

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Pursuant to section 3349(b) of title 5 of the United States Code, we are reporting a violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Reform Act). We have found that the senior associate General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture has been serving and continues to serve as acting General Counsel for a period longer than allowed for such acting service under the Act. In addition, information we have received from the senior Associate General Counsel indicates that he was not entitled to serve as acting General Counsel under the provisions of the Vacancies Reform Act.

As required by the Vacancies Reform Act, the Department of Agriculture reported to us that James Michael Kelly has been serving as acting General Counsel since January 22, 2001. The position of General Counsel is a PAS position subject to the Act. In response to our inquiry concerning the status of Mr. Kelly's acting service, Mr. Kelly informed us that he was still serving as acting General Counsel up to the present time.