Data for: Who Isn’t Running American Government: Appointee Vacancies in U.S. Executive Branch Agencies

Published: 3 October 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pw63gcbpkn.1
William G. Resh, Gary Hollibaugh, Patrick Roberts, Matthew Dull


Position vacancy data were constructed from two public release files: Office of Personnel Management (OPM) personnel data obtained through the Central Personnel Data File (CPDF) covering PAS appointees confirmed during the first Bush and Clinton administrations, from 1989 to 2001; and Government Accountability Office (GAO) data supporting the April 1994 report, “Political Appointees: Turnover Rates in Executive Schedule Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation,” (GAO/GGD-94-115FS, 1981-1990) covering PAS appointees confirmed, from 1981 to 1990. Using nomination and confirmation data drawn from the Senate record accessed via, the research team verified and expanded the data file to cover the 1989-2015 time series. A full succession of appointments to each PAS position was assembled using Congressional Research Service reports published each Congress (Hogue 2003), annual Congressional Quarterly Staff Directory, contemporaneous media coverage obtained through LexisNexis, and a growing range of online resources. Appointee departure dates presented the greatest difficulty, as reliable public data are not available (Dull and Roberts 2009: 449). A number of PAS positions are omitted, including U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal positions in the Department of Justice; Foreign Service and diplomatic positions in the Department of State; officer corps positions in the civilian uniformed services of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce, and of the Public Health Service in the Department of Health and Human Services; and the officer corps in the military services. Excluded from the analysis are multilateral banking organizations, legislative branch agencies, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (Hogue 2003: 37). Recess appointments are included; “acting” appointees are not.



Political Science, Public Administration, Public Policy