Personnel Practices:

Career Appointments of Legislative, White House, and Political Appointees

GGD-96-2: Published: Oct 10, 1995. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the number and patterns of career appointments to the civil service made between October 1984 and June 1994.

GAO found that: (1) between October 1984 and June 1994, 1,090 former political and congressional employees received career appointments, including 552 noncompetitive appointments under the Ramspeck Act, 502 competitive appointments, and 36 White House service appointments; (2) 42 of the appointments were to the Senior Executive Service (SES), while the remaining 1,048 appointments were to positions equivalent to GS-15 or below; (3) Ramspeck Act appointments have followed a cyclical trend over the 10-year period, increasing greatly during the years immediately following federal elections; (4) these noncompetitive appointments are generally associated with congressional membership turnover and the consequent involuntary separation of congressional employees; and (5) cabinet-level departments accounted for 81 percent of the Ramspeck Act appointments, 76 percent of former Schedule C and noncareer SES appointments, and 81 percent of White House service appointments.

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