Summary: S.2176 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/15/1998)

Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 - Revises provisions regarding the filling of Federal vacancies to authorize the President, if an appointed officer of an executive agency (defined to include the Executive Office of the President and exclude the General Accounting Office (GAO)) dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform office functions, to direct a person who serves in an office for which appointment is required to perform such functions temporarily in an acting capacity, subject to specified time limitations. Retains the requirement that the first assistant of such officer shall perform such functions temporarily in an acting capacity as well, subject to specified time limitations and the limitations described below.

Bars a person from serving as an acting officer if: (1) on the date of the officer's inability to serve, such person serves in the position of first assistant; (2) during the 365-day period preceding such date, such person served as first assistant for less than 180 days; and (3) the President submits a nomination of such person to the Senate for appointment to such office.

Applies vacancy provisions of the Federal judicial code with respect to the office of the Attorney General.

Revises time limitations on temporary appointments, limiting service to 150 (currently, 120) days, or, once a first or second nomination for the office is submitted to the Senate, to the period the nomination is pending. Changes the 120-day limitation to 150 days with respect to provisions regarding rejection, withdrawal, or return of nominations.

Makes vacancy and time limitation provisions applicable to any affected office for which an advice and consent appointment is required unless: (1) another statutory provision expressly supersedes such provisions; (2) a statutory provision in effect on this Act's enactment date expressly authorizes the President, a court, or the head of an executive department to designate an officer to perform the functions of a specified office temporarily in an acting capacity or designates an officer to perform functions of a specified office in such temporary acting capacity; or (3) the President makes an appointment to fill a vacancy during a Senate recess.

Sets forth additional requirements with respect to presidential nominations to fill vacant offices, requiring that an office, if it remains vacant after 150 days after the rejection, withdrawal, or return of a second presidential appointment nomination, remain vacant until a person is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Permits, in such instance, only the head of an executive agency to perform office functions until such appointment is made in the case of an office other than the office of head of an executive agency.

Provides that any action to perform a function of a vacant office by a person filling a vacancy in violation of requirements or by a person who is not filling such vacancy shall have no effect.

Directs the heads of affected executive agencies to submit to the Comptroller General and to the Congress: (1) notification of a vacancy and the date such vacancy occurred immediately upon occurrence of the vacancy; (2) the name of the person serving in an acting capacity and the date such service began immediately upon the designation; (3) the name of any person nominated to fill the vacancy and the date such nomination is submitted immediately upon submission; and (4) the date of a rejection, withdrawal, or return of any nomination immediately upon such action.

Requires the Comptroller General to report to specified congressional committees, the President, and the Office of Personnel Management any determination that an officer is serving longer than the prescribed 150-day period, including exceptions to such period.

Sets forth additional provisions regarding vacancies existing during presidential inaugural transitions, independent establishments, and exceptions to requirements of this Act for certain board members of independent establishments or Government corporations or commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.