A Plum Book of Political Positions

December 5, 2016

21-660_SEN-GOVTAFF_cover.inddWith the change of a new administration, learn about Presidential appointed and other positions within the Federal Government in the new 2016 United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, or the “Plum Book” now available from the U.S. Government Bookstore.

What is the Plum Book? Known officially as the “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” the Plum Book is published alternately by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs or by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who handled this year’s version. The 2016 edition lists over 9,000 civil service leadership and support positions (filled and vacant) in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointments.

History of the “Plum Book”

The Plum Book was first published in 1952, when the Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration was voted into office after 20 years of Democratic administrations– first under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and then under President Harry S. Truman. Truman-Eisenhower-Transition

Image: Out-going President Truman meets with incoming President Eisenhower to discuss the transition. (Is that a draft copy of the first Plum Book that Truman is handing to Eisenhower?😉

With a touch of humor, someone at the original publishers decided the book should have a purple or plum-colored cover to reflect that it contained the “plum” political appointee jobs, and the tradition has stuck ever since for the printed version.

What Type of Positions are Listed in the Plum Book?

The United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions 2016 (Plum Book) includes both politically appointed and Career Civil Service positions, agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisers, and the aides who report to these political appointee officials.  These encompass:

  • Executive Schedule and salary-equivalent positions paid at the rates established for Levels I through V of the Executive Schedule.
  • Senior Executive Service “General” positions (i.e., those positions which may be filled by a career, non-career, or limited appointment)
  • Senior Foreign Service positions
  • Schedule C positions excepted from the competitive service by the President, or by the Director, Office of Personnel Management, because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties
  • Other confidential or policy-determining positions at the GS-14 and above level excepted from the competitive civil service by law because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties

The duties of such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs, and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency head or other key officials.

To Fill or Not to Fill , that is the Question

Interestingly, the book lists ALL such political appointment positions, whether there is someone currently in the job or it was vacant as of June 30, 2016.  If the job was occupied by a career Federal employee appointee, the phrase “Career Incumbent” is shown without a name; otherwise, the name of the political appointee is listed.

And positions such as boards, committees or commissions that require “member” positions by political party affiliation are listed with the name of the incumbent along with a (D) for Democrat, (R) for Republican or (I) for Independent.

Type of Appointment and Salaries

Listings are labeled with letter codes that denote the type of appointment under which the position is categorized:

Appointment Code What It Stands For
CA Career Appointment
EA Limited Emergency Appointment
NA Non-career Appointment
PA Presidential Appointment without Senate Confirmation
PAS Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation
SC Schedule C Excepted Appointment
TA Limited Term Appointment
XS Appointment Excepted by Statute

However, several categories of jobs can be filled by more than one type of appointment, e.g., SES positions listed in this publication may be filled by using career Federal employees or various outside appointments. On these, no ‘‘Type of Appointment’’ is shown for such positions when they are vacant.

Plum-Book-Political-Appointments-GSAImage: List of “noncompetitive” political appointment positions at GSA. Source: 2012 Plum Book. (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Finally, information is included on the various base salary scales for each pay plan and level or grade, along with the percent above that base for different locality pay areas.

CONCLUSION

So if you are still hunting for that perfect holiday gift, it might be time to “pick a plum” or two—a 2016 Plum Book, that is—one to give, and one to keep for yourself!

How can I obtain a copy of United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions 2016 (Plum Book)?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Adapted by Trudy Hawkins, Senior Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, from an original post by Michele Bartram, former Government Book Talk Editor in support of the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).

 


Keeping America Informed – The U.S. Government Publishing Office – A Legacy of Service – 1861-2016

August 25, 2016

GPO_history_book_cover_4cThe new edition of the Government Publishing’s Office’s official history, Keeping America Informed, tells the story of GPO by casting a fresh, up-to-date light on the continual transformative history of the Federal Government’s publisher.

A rich pictorial record and well documented narrative of times gone by offers a compelling story about one of the Federal Government’s essential organizations.

Known as the Government Printing Office until 2014 and based in the heart of the Nation’s capital, GPO has carried out its constitutional informing function by producing a staggering number of official Government documents in printed – and, in more recent years, digital – formats for the use of Congress, Federal agencies and the courts, and the American people.

Over the past fifty years the dominant trend at GPO has been to incorporate and expand electronic information technologies to improve production efficiencies and make Government information more widely available than ever before.

Today, GPO has become a multi-faceted hub of digital publishing activity: smaller, leaner, and equipped with digital production capabilities functioning alongside still productive traditional printing equipment.

Keeping America Informed portrays a history of dedication by generations of men and women who made up its workforce. Not many Federal agencies can boast employees who make products every day for both official and public use as GPO can.

GPO’s story is of a Government agency working quietly in venerable, historic red brick buildings in the shadow of Union Station and the Capitol, through every historic event and period since the Civil War; thousands of dedicated men and women in highly skilled jobs; and a mission to assure that the work of the Government is broadly open to the widest possible audience.

It’s a story that is at the heart of how our Government works.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence

August 2, 2016

9780160514234295It’s an election year, there’s no better time for your family to read and discuss the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence.

These two documents represent the core principles of American democracy.

The U.S. Government Bookstore offers the pocket version of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence for your convenience to carry wherever you go.

Pick-up your copy of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence (Pocket Edition) now!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Trudy Hawkins is a Marketing and Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.

 

 


A Strategy to Protect Our Children

April 7, 2016

“Every day, four to eight children in the United States die from abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents or caretakers. No one knows the exact number, and there has been little progress in preventing these tragic deaths. Most of the children who die are infants or toddlers.”

—from “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities”

In 2013, Congress took notice of those concerning stats like ones above. It passed the Protect Our Kids Act and assembled the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF). Over a two-year period, a team of a dozen commissioners put their public and private sector expertise to task. Their nationwide review of practices and programs revealed that no state has a “sufficiently comprehensive plan to eliminate” child abuse and maltreatment fatalities. So, the commission used what it learned to judiciously recommend a foresighted national strategy.

In time for National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, GPO makes available the commission’s final report in both digital and print formats.

In “Within Our Reach A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities,” Chairman David Sanders writes, “If we as a nation do nothing different to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities, somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 U.S. children will die from maltreatment.” He calls for a proactive, not reactive, approach to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. That’s exactly what this policy guidance document aims to do—fundamentally reform old practices and make prevention standard practice.

Several of the chapters dig into the complex conditions that make children vulnerable, especially in disproportionately affected minority communities. Until quality services are made equitably available, opportunities to decrease child fatalities will be missed. Another focus is the “disparity between federal legislation on child safety and the impact at the local level.” Proposed solutions include more multi-disciplinary, real-time data sharing and accountable leadership. Notably, the commission recommends the Children’s Bureau be elevated as a direct report to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

9780160932243a

Image excerpt from CECANF Report.

The commission acknowledges that without a way forward, its final report is dead on arrival. So, it recommends that the U.S. government critically review child maltreatment deaths going back five years. The report concludes that “an immediate safety analysis of children who died in the past…will create a national learning community to better protect children and prevent fatalities” in the future.

The commission’s strategy lays out a lot of reasonable action steps. Grounded in practicable research, it’s an earnest effort to produce evidence-based results. Results “within our reach” that will manifestly save children’s lives.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS REPORT?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Women = Economic Power

March 18, 2016

we can do itDuring Women’s History Month this and every March, America recognizes the myriad contributions of women. Women control household purchasing power AND board rooms. They receive the majority of bachelor’s degrees. They comprise half the workforce. When sole breadwinners of a family, they are the workforce. The economic ascension of women is a great American success story; they are well-positioned in the economy today. Yet, women are far from fully enabled and recognized in the workplace.

In 2010, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of the U.S. Congress went to task on appraising women’s role in the economy. In 2016, its conclusions about women as a force in economic revitalization are just as practicable and relevant. GPO makes this far-sighted publication available through its online bookstore.

Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy

“One of our greatest assets in our effort to reinvigorate the country’s economy is the know-how and talent of American women…When we invest in women, we invest in the future of our economy.” —Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), then Chair of the JEC

052-070-07626-7This JEC-compiled compendium consists of 111th Congress reports and hearings on topics such as equal pay, access to benefits, and retirement security. Produced in the aftermath of the Great Recession, its intended to brief policymakers on the essential contributions of women to our economy and give credence to their broader role in economic recovery.

Of all the facts and forecasts in this comprehensive round-up, “one important issue confronting women is gender discrimination.” Congress took legislative action on gender pay equity when it passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009. Beyond that well-received stride, the report calls attention to policy impediments yet to be addressed. Underrepresentation in corporate leadership, lack of paid parental leave, and inflexible work arrangements are some of the remaining frontiers in the gender equity struggle.

Persistent imbalance not only hamstrings women, it hamstrings the economy. When given equal participation as producers and consumers and full inclusion in the labor market, women can improve their own economic status—and benefit the economy as a whole. Bottom line: America’s 162 million women and girls are an asset worth investing in.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Bill of Rights Day

December 15, 2015

It has been said that the Declaration of Independence was the promise; the Constitution was the fulfillment. Then you might say that the Bill of Rights was the affirmation. Today, December 15, those enduring first ten amendments to the Constitution are 224 years old. GPO makes available a pocket copy of The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence that includes the celebrated Bill of Rights.

052-071-01545-1Since they were ratified in 1791, that compact collection of amendments have become some of the most talked about text in history. Before the guarantees of the Bill of Rights were plainly enumerated in the Constitution, there was a rumbling fear of the tyrannical actions of government. In response, James Madison authored a list of amendments requiring approval from the House, Senate, and all states. His list enshrined as inalienable rights the self-evident truths invoked in preceding documents.

Although the phrase itself does not appear explicitly in the Constitution, The Bill of Rights is a foundation stone of a document that has lived long and large. Because of it, fundamental freedoms such as religion, speech, and due process of law are formally protected within the supreme law of the land.

The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are three extraordinary documents. They are the slow-burning coals of a quiet revolution, a steady progression to improve the quality of American life. Together they secure individual liberties and safeguard the spirit of popular sovereignty extolled in the phrase “we the people.” Now is as good a time as any for “we the people” to re-read them.

How do I get the pocket edition of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


The Life & Death of JFK—A GPO Collection

November 19, 2015

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.“ –President John F. Kennedy

35_john_f_kennedy[1]

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963), the youngest man elected to the office. (Image source: whitehouse.gov)

Just as JFK’s purposeful idealism moved and shaped our nation, his November 22nd, 1963 assassination was a defining moment in American history.

Amid the aftershock of that dreadful day, President Lyndon B. Johnson directed an independent commission to investigate Kennedy’s death. In 1964, GPO employees proofed, printed, and bound the official President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly known as the Warren Commission Report. Fascinating stories about the heavily secure production process and overwhelming public interest are presented in these two GPO videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoKPEVN7L1s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzyJyWBqd9E

JFK-Assassination_WARREN-COMMISSION-REPORTIn 2013, nearly 50 years after it was released to the public, GPO digitized the complete 889-page report and its 26 hearing volumes. The digitization effort was a very different task compared to the 235,000 report copies and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings originally printed! The free digital edition of the Warren Commission Report is available online through GPO’s Federal Digital System.

In addition, GPO makes available a variety of Kennedy gov docs. Click over to the GPO Bookstore collection for Federal publications about the life of the slain 35th president and his momentous 1000 days in office. Works on the Cuban Missile Crisis, founding of the Peace Corps (proud RPCV here!), and NASA’s manned space program await you.

From 1960s print to modern day digital, GPO’s information products are a permanent tribute to a presidential legacy imprinted on the annals of U.S. history.

How do I obtain JFK publications?

You can find official John F. Kennedy publications by clicking here or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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