Vacancy Act Violation Letter-Food and Drug Administration, March 17, 2006

B-305939: Mar 17, 2006

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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 at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As Congress may know, the Vacancies Reform Act established new requirements for the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. The Act generally limits the period of time that such a position may be filled with an acting official to 210 days, U.S.C. 3346, Section 3349(b) ofthe Act requires the Comptroller General, upon a determination that an acting official is serving longer than the 210-day period and any appllcable extensions, to report such finding to Congress, the President, and the Office of Personnel Management.

As required by the Vacancies Reform Act, the Department of Health and Human Services reported to us that a vacancy in the position of FDA Commissioner began on March 25,2004, when Commissioner Mark McClellan resigned. This position requires Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation under the provisions of 21 U.S.C. 393(d)(1), and thus is subject to the Vacancies Reform Act 5 U.S.C. 3345(a), The Department also reported to us that on March 26, 2004, Lester Crawford, Deputy FDA Commissioner, began serving as Acting Commissioner.