A number of tasks are underway under the Presidential Transition Act, which requires a range of actions by a number of agencies in a presidential election year regardless of whether there ultimately is a change in administrations, the GSA has said.
Two new organizations required by the most recent update to that law, in 2015, the Agency Transition Directors Council and the White House Transition Coordinating Council, are now in place, GSA said. The former will provide guidance to agencies regarding preparations for the potential Presidential transition, including succession planning, preparation of briefing materials and more; the latter, established under a recent OMB memo, is to ensure an integrated strategy for addressing interagency challenges and responsibilities around transitions and turnover of non-career appointees, among other activities.
GSA said it has identified office space for transition teams for the candidates and is set to convene meetings on matters including security clearances for transition team members with a need for access to classified information.
It added that it “expects that the core infrastructure related to GSA transition services will be fully in place by August 2020 for pre-election services and October 2020 for post-election. This infrastructure includes GSA’s development of alternate ways (e.g., remote, virtual) to fully deliver its statutorily required transition services in a way that mitigates the effects of the present national public health emergency on a potential transition of power.”
It said that meanwhile the Office of Government Ethics is “training agency ethics officials and other stakeholders for a potential transition, emphasizing substantive government ethics and financial disclosure issues” and is updating resources for financial disclosure filers and reviewers.
Further, OPM will provide guidance to agencies “as they prepare for departing and incoming political appointees” submit a list of all presidential appointments to candidates after the conventions, and collect information for the Plum Book, the listing of politically appointive positions including those that do not require Senate confirmation, it said.
The intelligence agencies, Justice Department, FBI, DoD and the National Archives and Records Administration also play key roles under the law.