Personnel Practices:

Use of Consultants and Experts in the Immediate Office of the Secretary, HHS

GGD-87-49BR: Published: Mar 18, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1987.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the use of consultants and experts in the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Secretary during a former Secretary's tenure.

GAO found that of the 32 consultants and experts HHS employed during the former Secretary's tenure, 16 had not held previous positions in the Office of the Secretary; however, the others either: (1) held noncareer positions during the previous Secretary's tenure and were converted to consultants; (2) held temporary appointments immediately prior to serving as consultants; or (3) served as consultants prior to their appointment to noncareer positions. GAO also found that: (1) consultants' statements of duties were very general and did not show that their services were needed; (2) HHS spent $5 million during calendar years 1983, 1984, and 1985 to hire consultants under a governmentwide authority which limited temporary appointments to 1 year and intermittent appointments to 130 days; and (3) the authority did not include consultant services obtained through contractual arrangements.

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