November 2, 2000Federal agencies are not fully complying with a law requiring them to report vacancies in appointed executive agency positions, according to a new General Accounting Office report.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 requires agencies to inform Congress and GAO whenever positions that require presidential appointment and Senate confirmation become vacant or are filled on a temporary basis. The legislation also mandates notification if a nomination to fill one of the vacancies is sent to the Senate, and if the nomination is rejected, withdrawn or returned, according to the report, "Implementation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998" (GGD-00-210R).
From November 1998 to June 2000, federal agencies had 60 such vacancies, with 58 of them filled by acting officials. However, the report found that eight vacancies and 12 acting officials had not been reported to GAO.
"Together these 20 instances of nonreporting represented about 17 percent of the 118 reportable vacancies and acting officials," the report said.
The report also found that about half of the vacancies and acting officials that were reported took four or more weeks to arrive at GAO. Most of the notifications to the Senate are being held in the House Parlimentarian's Office because they don't have original signatures and, as a result, cannot be referred to the appropriate committee.
November 2, 2000