Career Appointments of Political Appointees

GGD-99-182R: Published: Sep 29, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO clarified when it is appropriate for a political appointee to receive a career position in the federal government.

GAO noted that: (1) according to the applicable law and regulations, provided that proper merit system procedures are followed, it is permissible for a political appointee to receive a career appointment; (2) in fact, regardless of whether or not a person is a current political appointee, political affiliations cannot be taken into account--either favorably or unfavorably--when a career appointment is made; (3) in cases GAO has reviewed over several years, it has found relatively few problems with the selection of political appointees to career positions; and (4) however, diligent adherence to merit selection procedures remains vital to ensuring the integrity of any competitive selection process.

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