Personnel Practices:

An Overview of Ramspeck Act Appointments

T-GGD-95-155: Published: May 8, 1995. Publicly Released: May 8, 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: (1) its use during the presidential transition period; and (2) current efforts to track appointments before and after congressional elections. GAO noted that: (1) some Ramspeck Act appointments made during the presidential transition period raised concern because of possible misapplication of the act or advantages given to selected candidates, although all the appointments reviewed adhered to procedural requirements; (2) during the presidential transition, some individuals took short-term congressional assignments to reestablish their eligibility and immediately sought career appointments through the Ramspeck Act; (3) Congress should amend the Ramspeck Act to more clearly specify the circumstances under which appointment authority may not be appropriate and direct the Office of Personnel Management to review certain noncompetitive appointments; and (4) for the 15 months ending March 31, 1995, 107 Ramspeck Act appointments were made by 21 agencies, and the appropriateness of these appointments will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

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