Personnel Practices:

Selected Characteristics of Recent Ramspeck Act Appointments

T-GGD-95-173: Published: May 24, 1995. Publicly Released: May 24, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the use of the Ramspeck Act to noncompetitively appoint congressional employees to career positions in executive branch departments and agencies, focusing on the: (1) characteristics of Ramspeck Act appointments; (2) long-term trends related to the use of Ramspeck Act hiring authority; and (3) differences among hiring authorities in terms of the skills required for the positions. GAO noted that: (1) there were 124 Ramspeck Act appointments reported for the 16 months ending April 30, 1995; (2) about 75 percent of the appointments were to miscellaneous administration, program management and program analysis, and public affairs occupations; (3) 117 appointments were made to positions at agency headquarters locations, while 7 appointments were made to field or regional locations; (4) an additional 146 former congressional staff members were appointed under other hiring authorities to mainly political and temporary positions; (5) 552 Ramspeck Act appointments were made from October 1984 to June 1994; (6) most of these appointments were made in years immediately following national elections; (7) the hiring authority used should not affect the basic skill levels required for these career positions; (8) appointees must still be qualified for career positions, even if hired noncompetitively; and (9) the use of competitive hiring procedures makes it more likely that the best qualified individuals will be selected for career positions.

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