PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE APPLAUDS APPROVAL OF PLUM ACT BY SENATE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE
July 22, 2020
WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service welcomes the approval today of S. 3896, the Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act of 2020 (PLUM Act), by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
“The PLUM Act will bring increased transparency and accountability to the federal government by letting the American people know who is serving in policy and management roles as political appointees or senior career officials,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “This bill will help modernize a tool for tracking federal appointees that largely has been produced the same way since 1960.”
The PLUM Act responds to a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office for more comprehensive and timely information on political appointees. The bill would create an online directory of the individuals occupying presidentially appointed positions and other high-level federal appointments, replacing the current practice of listing of those jobs in the Plum Book that is printed every four years.
As the bill moves forward, the Partnership recommends the Senate make additional changes to move the bill closer to a substitute amendment offered by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del). Specifically, the Partnership recommends that the legislation put the government on a path toward real-time, accurate reporting on politically appointed and other high-level positions. The legislation should also establish a clear requirement for the Office of Personnel Management to capture the range of positions listed in the traditional Plum Book while also placing reporting requirements on agencies that will minimize reporting errors that are common in the current Plum Book. The legislation should also clarify reporting requirements for vacant positions subject to Senate confirmation.
The Partnership for Public Service, through its Political Appointee Tracker, has worked to provide information on the status of over 700 key political positions requiring Senate confirmation. The tracker has made clear the need for more complete and accurate real-time data about political appointments, which currently consist of more than 4,000 presidential political appointees, including more than 1,200 requiring Senate confirmation.
During the past 19 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective for the American people. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit opswebdev.wpengine.com to learn more.