We the Partnership

The Three Big Mistakes in the 2020 Plum Book

For most people, the only way to find out who is serving in the top decision-making positions in government is to reference the 2020 Plum Book. Unfortunately, this document has significant procedural and factual problems and could be greatly improved.

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Improving the Plum Book: The Need to Modernize Information about Federal Leadership

The Plum Book is the most comprehensive source about officials serving in the federal government. It contains information on more than 4,000 political appointees–1,200 of whom are subject to Senate confirmation–along with thousands of other jobs filled by senior career officials in the federal civil service. Unfortunately, the Plum Book has been produced largely the same way since 1952, and should be modernized to provide greater transparency and accountability.

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