About GAO's Role
This section has information about the temporary filling of vacant executive positions that require presidential appointment with Senate confirmation.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (Vacancies Act) was enacted on October 21, 1998. (Pub. L. No. 105 -277, Div. C, tit. 1, § 151, 112 Stat. 2681-611-16, codified at 5 U.S.C. §§ 3345-3349d.) The act replaces the prior vacancies statute and provides rules for the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require presidential appointment with Senate confirmation.
The act requires executive departments and agencies to report to the Congress and to the Comptroller General certain information about a vacancy immediately upon the occurrence of events specified in the act. The act also provides that the Comptroller General is to report to specified congressional committees, the President, and the Office of Personnel Management if the Comptroller General determines that an acting officer is serving longer than permitted by the act.
GAO receives and records the information agencies report to the Comptroller General under the act. GAO’s Office of the General Counsel performs outreach to agencies to promote compliance, notifies Congress of violations of the act’s reporting requirements, issues letters to the President and Congress reporting violations of the act’s time limitations, and issues decisions on agency compliance with the act when requested by Congress.