More 'plum' jobs available in second Bush administration
The 2004 edition of "United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions," a report published by the House Government Reform Committee, shows a 35 percent boost in the number of noncompetitive positions. Whether the increase is truly that substantial, however, is unclear because of changes in the way some Senior Executive Service positions are defined by the Office of Personnel Management.
The report, also known as the Plum Book, comes out every four years and lists government jobs by agency that are reserved for political appointees and other noncompetitive hires.
Among the positions tallied in the report are Senior Executive Service "general" positions, Senior Foreign Service posts and Schedule C positions allotted for political appointees. The report does not list employees hired under Outstanding Scholar or Direct Hire authorities, where normal competitive procedures are waived.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, not all of the SES general positions were included in the 2000 report, and a new definition of such positions--which can be held by career employees--was adopted for the 2004 edition.
The report details an increase in Schedule C appointees from 1,287 in 2000 to 1,596 this year. The number of noncareer Senior Executive Service slots, often reserved for presidential appointees, also rose from 648 to 701. The total number of noncompetitive slots rose to 9,051 from 6,722 in 2000.
Of presidential appointment slots, 320 do not require Senate confirmation, up from 223 in 2000, while 1,137 jobs do, 66 less than in 2000.