Department of Defense Political Appointments: Positions and Process

By Cheryl Y. Marcum; Lauren R. Sager Weinstein et al. | Go to book overview

A.
An Overview of the Federal Workforce
System1
The U.S. Civil Service dates back to the Civil Service Act of 1883. This legislation, known as the Pendleton Act, created the civil service to “remove partisan political influences from the selection and retention of civil servants.”Today, more than 80 percent of all federal workers are in the civil service, with more than half of them working in the DoD.2 These civil servants are covered by Title 5 of the United States Code (U.S.C. §2301[b]), which includes the following protections and principles:
Recruitment representative of all society; selection and advancement “determined solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge, and skills, after fair and open competition.”
“Fair and equitable treatment… without regard to politics, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or disability; and also with proper regard for individual privacy and constitutional rights”; and protection against arbitrary action, personal favoritism, or coercion for partisan political purposes.”
“Equal pay for work of equal value,” considering national and local private pay rates, and considering incentives and performance rewards.
“Employees should be retained on the basis of the adequacy of their performance, inadequate performance should be corrected, and employees should be separated who cannot or will not improve their performance to meet required standards.” Employees should also receive education and training when that would “result in better organizational and individual performance.”

New hires enter the civil service on career-conditional employee status. After serving for three continuous years and receiving successful performance appraisals, their status automatically changes to career-appointment employee status. Career-appointment employees have permanent reinstatement eligibility, which means that if they leave federal service they can be considered for reemployment without having to take another civil service examination.

____________________
1
Information in this appendix is summarized from the 1999 Federal Personnel Guide (FPG). Unattributed quotations in this appendix are from the 1999 FPG.
2
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civilian Personnel Policy.

-45-

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Department of Defense Political Appointments: Positions and Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Acronyms xix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Trends in DOD Political Appointees 3
  • 3 - The Appointment Process and Rules Governing Political Appointees 19
  • 4 - Conclusion 41
  • A - An Overview of the Federal Workforce System 45
  • B - DOD Pas Position Data Sources 49
  • C - Pas Position Titles in Osd from 1947 to 1999 by Function 53
  • D - Chronology of Pas Positions Assigned to Osd Functional Areas 69
  • E - Authorized Osd Pas Positions by Function (May 31, 1999) 71
  • References 73
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