The government has issued the book of “United States Policy and Supporting Positions,” better known as the “The Plum Book,” a guide to positions available to be filled at the discretion of a Presidential administration that is much valued by job seekers, including some career federal employees looking to advance.
While concentrated at upper levels and in the Washington area, the positions include various support and operational roles as well, and are spread throughout the country.
The tally includes more than 9,000 positions, although many are part-time seats on advisory panels and the like. The book also lists SES positions; by law, nine-tenths of SES positions must be filled by career employees and career SESers don’t have to leave. However, the prior SES political appointees do, and within the numeric restriction, career SES positions that become vacant may be filled by political appointment.
Excluding those categories leaves about 4,100 positions as what are considered the core patronage jobs–of which about 500 involved fixed terms that continue beyond a transition.
An administration does not necessarily have to fill the same number of positions per agency as did its predecessor, and already the Donald Trump transition team has indicated that some of the positions may be eliminated.
The publication is available online and in print through GPO and at various transition-related sites.