Eligibility Criteria for Individuals to Temporarily Fill Vacant Positions Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998

GAO-01-468R: Feb 23, 2001

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This correspondence describes the criteria that must be met before an individual is appointed to temporarily fill a vacant executive position that requires presidential appointment and Senate confirmation (PAS). GAO found that eligibility can be based on (1) service as a first assistant to the former holder of the position, (2) service in another PAS position, (3) service as a senior agency official, and (4) service in a term limited PAS position for which the president has nominated the individual to another term without a break in service. Documentation ensuring that the eligibility requirements have been met can include (1) copies of the statute, regulation, or other documentation that designates the individual's position as first assistant to the vacant position; (2) copies of documents showing that the official is a PAS official; and (3) a presidential directive that the official whose term was expiring should continue to serve in that position in an acting capacity.