PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE STATEMENT ON GSA ASCERTAINMENT AND START OF FORMAL PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION

November 23, 2020

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today released this statement following the decision by the administrator of the General Services Administration to ascertain the results of the 2020 presidential election. 

“Now that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy has fulfilled her duty and ascertained the election results, the formal presidential transition can begin in full force,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed ascertainment was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare to meet our country’s greatest challenges. The good news is that the president-elect and his team are the most prepared and best equipped of any incoming administration in recent memory.”  

Stier continued, “Moving forward, we must pursue statutory remedies to ensure that a transition is never again upheld for arbitrary or political purposes. A clearer standard and a low bar for triggering access to transition resources are crucial to protecting the apolitical nature of presidential transitions.” 

“President-elect Joe Biden and his team have already started their transition work, demonstrating skill, experience and purpose. Now they can continue with the full support of the United States government. Fortunately, federal career civil servants have done an outstanding job preparing for this year’s transition by producing fact-based information on critical agency issues and by designating acting officials who will lead agency operations until new political appointees are confirmed. They now need space to do their jobs,” said David Marchick, director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service. “For the benefit of the American people, the remaining work of the most important presidential transition since 1932 can begin today.” 

The Center for Presidential Transition today released a document detailing the resources available to the Biden transition team now that ascertainment is complete. Those resources include $6.3 million in congressionally appropriated funds, 175,000 square feet of federal office space including Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities and most importantly, access to more than 100 federal agencies and the ability to process and clear presidential appointments.  

The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition,® the premier nonpartisan source of information related to the processes, governing statutes, history and data of presidential transitions, has developed a comprehensive set of resources for the transition period. These resources include a summary of the presidential transition period, a fact sheet on the post-election statutory requirements under the Presidential Transition Act, and analyses of how previous outgoing transitions have facilitated a smooth transfer of power.   

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 ourpublicservice.org to learn more. Follow us on social @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.  

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Publication Type: Commentary