NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Key Federal Posts Left Unfilled

July 29, 2002

Vacancies in top federal posts are endemic, even as a wave of retirements and defections to the private sector sheds expertise from the middle echelons of agencies, experts report.

Congress rushed this week to fill four vacancies on the five-member Securities and Exchange Commission, while approving the creation of a new accounting oversight board.

Although the Bush administration surprised political insiders with a quick spate of nominations upon assuming office, scores of appointees are still stuck awaiting confirmation on Capitol Hill.

  • According to the Brookings Institution, only about 350 of over 500 possible appointments have been confirmed by the Senate.
  • The Commodities Futures Trading Commission has only three of five commissioners' seats filled.
  • At the Consumer Product Safety Commission, three out of five seats are vacant -- and it has not been able to muster a quorum since May 2.
  • At the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, only one seat out of the stipulated three is filled.

Source: Daniel Altman, "So Few Agencies, So Many Official Seats Unfilled," New York Times, July 27, 2002.


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