GAO-01-1083R 1 (2001-09-06)

handle is hein.gao/gaocrptamux0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 


       Accountability * Integrity * Reliability
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548

         September 6, 2001

         The Honorable Patrick Leahy
         Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
         United States Senate

         The Honorable Fred Thompson
         Ranking Minority Member
         Committee on Governmental Affairs
         United States Senate

         Subject: Presidential Appointments: Qualifications of Acting Officials at the
                 Department of Justice Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998

         Because of your interest in how the management transition at the Department of
         Justice was progressing under the provisions of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of
         1998 (Vacancies Reform Act), you asked us on March 7, 2001, for an accounting of the
         vacancies for positions which require Presidential appointment and Senate
         confirmation (PAS positions). This request follows the first presidential transition
         subject to the Vacancies Reform Act. This act, which took effect on November 21,
         1998, established new requirements for the temporary filling of vacant executive
         agency PAS positions and is intended to create a clear process and a time limit for the
         temporary filling of PAS positions. The act provides specific criteria that must be met
         by individuals who temporarily fill vacant positions.

         For the PAS positions as of March 7, 2001, at the Department of Justice, we agreed to
         provide you: (1) the date each position became vacant, (2) the date each acting
         official was appointed, (3) the names of the individuals serving in these positions, and
         (4) an assessment of whether the acting officials were eligible to serve in that role
         under the Vacancies Reform Act.'

         In summary, as of March 7, 2001, of the 35 PAS positions at the headquarters of the
         Department of Justice, 19 positions were filled with acting officials, 13 were filled
         with individuals confirmed before the start of the Bush administration, and one - the
         Attorney General - was confirmed in the new administration. The remaining two
         positions, the Associate Attorney General of the Department of Justice and a
         Regional Commissioner of the United States Parole Commission were vacant and not
         filled with anyone serving in an acting capacity. Of the 19 acting officials, 3 were
         acting officials because they were first assistants as defined under the Vacancies

         'As agreed with your offices, we did not review the status of the U.S. Attorneys or the U.S. Marshals,
         which are PAS positions excepted by the Vacancies Reform Act, 5 U.S.C.  3347(a)(1).

GAO-01-1083R Federal Vacancies Reform Act

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