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The Vacancies Act: Frequently Asked Questions
Research and Publications

November 01, 2017

This resource provides answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998. 

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Tag(s): laws and regulations, White House


Another threat to Trump’s presidency: empty seats throughout his administration
In the News

May 21, 2017
"Getting the 2020 count right on a lower budget would be a huge headache for the top leadership of the Census Bureau. If, that is, the bureau had top leadership. The director of the Census Bureau, John Thompson, abruptly announced his resignation earlier this month, and the position of deputy secretary and chief operating officer has been left empty by the Trump administration. So, for that matter, has the position of under secretary for economic affairs at the Commerce Department, the appointee who oversees the Census Bureau. As of Friday, in fact, Secretary Wilbur Ross was the sole senior appointee in the entire department to have been confirmed."

The Fiscal Times

Tag(s): agencies, appointees, White House


At a White House in crisis, Trump look increasingly isolated
In the News

May 20, 2017
"At the same time, Trump's failure to fill senior roles at federal agencies means he does not have a cadre of loyalists who can help rein in a bureaucracy that many in Trump’s orbit believe are out to leak information intended to damage the president. That has worsened the isolation of the White House in a city that relies on friends and allies to shake off a crisis."

Reuters

Tag(s): agencies, appointees, White House


Trump confronts global cyber crisis with a staff marked by vacancies
In the News

May 15, 2017
"So far the malware hasn't hit U.S. shores in a big way, but a cybersecurity leadership gap in federal agencies worries experts."

Politico

Tag(s): agencies, appointments, White House


Here’s how far behind Trump is on political appointments compared to Obama, Bush
In the News

May 12, 2017
"President Donald Trump has begun to move on naming federal judges and will eventually be naming a new FBI director, but more broadly, he remains slow in filling political appointments compared to his predecessors."

The Daily Signal

Tag(s): agencies, appointments, White House


Bill would make it easier for citizens to give agencies a piece of their mind
In the News

May 12, 2017
"Federal employees lamenting the restrictive approval process that prevents them from seeking voluntary public assessments of agencies’ customer services may some have positive feedback to give following a new bipartisan bill."

Federal Times

Tag(s): Congress, White House


FBI rank and file had confidence in Comey, acting director says
In the News

May 11, 2017
"Frontline FBI agents and analysts had not lost faith in fired FBI Director James Comey’s ability to lead the agency, contrary to the assertion of White House officials, the bureau’s acting director told lawmakers Thursday."

NextGov

Tag(s): FBI, White House


Trump’s ‘you’re fired’ message to Comey broke this basic rule of management
In the News

May 11, 2017
"There are plenty of big questions about President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey: What does this mean for the investigation into the ties of Trump associates to Russia? How will this affect the likelihood of a special prosecutor being called in? But there's another question — less weighty but still important — that many people have asked since Comey's startling dismissal: Why did it happen this way?"

The Washington Post

Tag(s): agencies, FBI, White House


Trump is losing his Census director, which could matter more than James Comey’s firing
In the News

May 09, 2017
"Donald Trump's administration's bad week is getting a lot worse, even after his surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday. The director of the U.S. Census Bureau, John H. Thompson, announced his resignation this week as the agency faces a funding crisis leading up to the 2020 decennial count, the Washington Post reported. His resignation will be effective June 30, the Commerce Department announced on Tuesday."

Mic

Tag(s): agencies, transition management, White House


Trump’s ‘help wanted’ sign
In the News

May 09, 2017
"Beyond the marquee difficulties of President Trump's early months in office — the bollixed-up travel ban, the Michael Flynn debacle and so on — is an unsexy but important example in the fundamental realm of governance. By that we mean staffing the administration. Trump has filled fewer than 5% of 556 key executive branch positions in the federal government, well below other incoming presidents and an underperformance that goes to the core of competence."

USA Today

Tag(s): agencies, appointments, White House


Trump finally moves to fill empty seats on federal courts
In the News

May 09, 2017
"White House pledges to ramp up political, judicial appointments as conservatives fret pace"

Polizette

Tag(s): appointments, White House


Federal employees honored for helping vets, others with innovations
In the News

May 09, 2017
"The finalists annoucement coincided with President Trump recently proclaiming May 7-13 Public Service Recognition Week. “Throughout the first 100 days, I have seen the tremendous work civil servants do to fulfill our duty to the American people,” Trump said in the proclamation."

Fox News

Tag(s): agencies, appointees, White House


Trump expected announce judicial nominees today
In the News

May 08, 2017
"After the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, President Trump is expected to announce nominees to the federal bench on Monday, a White House official confirmed, in a move to fill nearly 130 federal court vacancies."

ABC News

Tag(s): appointments, Congress, White House


Honoring public servants in uncertain times
In the News

May 08, 2017
"Following the arrival of a new administration, a federal hiring freeze that lasted three months and now the initial designs of a massive reorganization of the civilian workforce, the week-long celebration acknowledging the service provided by public sector workers comes at a time of much uncertainty. While the contribution of federal employees remains pivotal, the face and function of that workforce is undergoing a rapid transformation that has only accelerated under the Trump administration."

Federal Times

Tag(s): agencies, White House


Tillerson tells State Dept. workers to embrace agency reorg
In the News

May 04, 2017

"Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walked department employees through his plans to reorganize the agency on Wednesday, echoing many of the Trump administration’s talking points about its larger goal of reducing the federal workforce."

Federal News Radio

Tag(s): agencies, appointees, White House


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