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Conversions of Selected Employees from Political to Career Positions at Departments and Selected Agencies

GAO-10-356R Published: Jan 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 01, 2010.
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Political appointees in the federal government sometimes seek appointments to career competitive and other positions which, unlike political appointments, do not terminate at the end of an administration. Conversions of political appointees to career positions must conform to merit system principles requiring that selection be determined solely on the basis of merit after fair and open competition. Sometimes, however, circumstances surrounding conversions can raise questions as to whether the individuals received political favoritism or an unfair advantage in the merit system selection process, even the appearance of which could adversely compromise the integrity of the system. As requested, we are providing you with information on the number of conversions of political appointees to career positions as reported to us by 42 executive branch departments and agencies from May 1, 2005, through May 30, 2009. The types of positions this letter covers and a definition of each, along with the criteria we used to select the 42 departments and agencies, are listed in the scope and methodology section.

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Career planningEmployeesExecutive agenciesFederal agenciesGovernment employeesGovernment job appointmentsPresidential appointmentsMerit systemsSenior Executive ServiceCareer positions