Extended Temporary Appointments to Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation

GGD-86-84FS: Published: Jun 4, 1986. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed all cabinet agency positions requiring Senate confirmation to determine: (1) how many of those positions are officially vacant; (2) whether individuals filling the positions were doing so on an acting basis and how long they served in that capacity; (3) whether agencies had submitted nominations to the Senate for the vacant positions; and (4) the applicability of legislation limiting temporary appointment to the positions.

GAO found that, for the 13 departments it reviewed, 276 positions required Senate confirmation. As of January 1, 1986: (1) the Senate had confirmed 229 appointees; (2) 24 appointments were on an acting basis and 19 appointees had been in an acting capacity for more than 30 days; (3) 22 positions were vacant, of which 18 had been vacant more than 30 days; and (4) the President made one appointment while the Senate was in recess. GAO also found that, as of April 15, 1986, the Senate had received nominations for 25 of the 47 positions still needing confirmation.

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