Directory of ‘plum’ federal jobs debuts

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The presidential campaign might be over, but the competition for jobs in the new Obama administration has only just begun.

The 2008 Plum Book, the eagerly anticipated guide to more than 8,000 leadership positions in the executive and legislative branches, will be ready Nov. 12. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is publishing this year's tome officially titled "United States Policy and Supporting Positions." Aspiring political appointees and ambitious career executives can purchase the guide for $38 at the Government Printing Office's bookstore. For the more frugal and environmentally conscious, the book also is available for free at GPO's Web site.

The House and Senate alternate publishing the book every four years. While many positions are listed as vacant, the majority contain the name of the current office holder.

The Plum Book includes a range of federal jobs that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, from assistant secretaries to confidential assistants. The types of positions included are:

  • Executive Schedule and salary-equivalent jobs at Level I-V pay rates
  • Senior Executive Service general positions that can be filled by a career, noncareer or limited appointment. Career employees hold most of these jobs.
  • Senior Foreign Service vacancies. Career appointments account for most of these jobs.
  • Schedule C positions excepted from the competitive service by the president or Office of Personnel Management director because of the job's confidential or policy-determining duties.
  • Other confidential or policy-determining positions at the GS-14 and above level that are excepted from the competitive civil service.
The job categories excluded from the Plum Book are:
  • SES Career Reserved
  • Schedules A and B
  • Competitive Service
  • Positions filled competitively under agency merit systems established by law
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