Political Appointees:

10 Year Staffing Trends at 30 Federal Agencies

GGD-93-74FS: Published: Apr 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the historical trends in the employment of noncareer Senior Executive Service (SES) and Schedule C appointees and full-time permanent (FTP) employees, focusing on: (1) the federal agencies with the largest number of political appointees in December 1991; (2) staffing patterns of appointees at 30 federal agencies and governmentwide staffing patterns over a 10-year period; and (3) staffing patterns of appointees and FTP employees over the 10-year period.

GAO found that: (1) the 30 agencies that had the most political appointees as of December 1991 accounted for the vast majority of the governmentwide total of such appointees throughout the 10-year period; (2) these agencies accounted for 59 percent of FTP employment in 1991; (3) there were more pronounced changes in the number of Schedule C employees employed than in the number of noncareer SES appointees employed; (4) except for decreases in the number of appointees during the first year of new administrations, there was little change in the total number of appointees at the 30 agencies and governmentwide over the 10-year period; (5) 50 percent of the political appointees employed in December 1991 were at the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education, State, Justice, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; (6) the percentage of noncareer SES appointees exceeded the governmentwide average and ranged from 32 percent to 54 percent at 14 agencies; and (7) comparisons of the number of political appointees and FTP employees in 1991 showed that appointees were more concentrated at several smaller agencies with less than 6,000 FTP employees.

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