ACUS Committee Approves Proposed Recommendation on Acting Agency Officials and Delegations of Authority

On November 4, the Committee on Administration and Management approved a series of draft recommendations offering agencies best practices related to the use of acting officials and delegations of authority when a Senate-confirmed position sits vacant.

As discussed in a recent blog post, the Committee considered how best to promote compliance with the Vacancies Act and agency-specific succession provisions and encourage agencies to improve transparency regarding the use of acting officials and agency delegations of authority in the face of staffing vacancies. The Committee’s consideration was supported by research by Anne Joseph O’Connell. Professor O’Connell is the Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, a public member of ACUS, and one of the nation’s leading experts on the Vacancies Act.

The draft recommendations approved by the Committee urge agencies to establish processes to comply with the Vacancies Act; improve transparency by disclosing on their websites information about acting officials and delegations of authority; and provide additional support and training to agency officials responsible for Vacancies Act compliance.

If placed on the agenda by the Council, the full Assembly will discuss and vote on the Recommendation during the agency’s 72nd plenary session on December 12, 2019.

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