Political Appointees

Number of Noncareer SES and Schedule C Employees in Federal Agencies Gao ID: GGD-92-101FS June 8, 1992

This fact sheet provides information on the number and placement of political appointees in the federal government. GAO discusses (1) the number of noncareer Senior Executive Service (SES) and Schedule C appointees at each agency and department and governmentwide; (2) the number of career SES members governmentwide; and (3) the number, placement, and employment trends of noncareer SES and Schedule C appointees at five agencies--the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Information Agency.

GAO found that: (1) the number of noncareer SES and Schedule C appointees has continued to follow a cyclical trend, with a low point in the number of appointees during the first year of a presidential term, and sharp increases in appointees in the first two years of a presidential term; (2) there were 2,435 political appointees as of September 1991, the highest number ever; (3) there were steady increases in career SES appointees, to 7,219 in September 1991; (4) trends at the five agencies followed the cyclical trend; (5) 13 agencies accounted for 72 percent of all noncareer SES or Schedule C appointees as of December 1991; and (6) the largest concentrations of noncareer SES appointees were in offices of department and agency heads.

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