Senate passes bill to improve transitions

A bill designed to help prepare newly elected Presidents and their appointees for service in the executive branch passed the Senate unanimously last week.

The Presidential Transition Act of 2000 provides briefings and orientation for political appointees, creates a "transitions" directory with important agency and administrative information, and requires the Office of Government Ethics to report on burdensome disclosure requirements for appointees.

The bipartisan legislation (S. 2705), introduced by Sens. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. in June, amends the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. A similar bill, (H.R. 4931), was introduced by Rep. Steve Horn, R-Calif. and passed the House last month.

"The President-elect must have the ability to immediately put a new team in place and that team must have access to the critical information it needs to be ready to hit the ground running on inauguration day," said Thompson.

The bill now goes to President Clinton for his signature.

Several groups have already provided suggestions for improving the presidential transition process after November's election. In August, the Heritage Foundation published The Keys to a Successful Presidency, which offered advice to presidential hopefuls from dozens of presidential experts ranging from former White House chiefs of staff to former White House personnel directors.

The General Accounting Office has compiled a list of questions aimed at uncovering the leadership qualities, or lack thereof, of each political appointee who goes through the Senate confirmation process.

In November, the Brookings Institution's Presidential Appointee Initiative and the Council for Excellence in Government will publish A Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees, providing advice for new appointees on everything from filling out forms to handling the media. An excerpt from the guide will appear in the November issue of Government Executive.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.