Transition Watch: New Plum Book ready for download

he Government Printing Office today made available the “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” or the Plum Book, that lists the top jobs in the Executive Branch after every presidential election. The Plum Book is used to identify presidentially appointed positions in the federal government.

This year’s version is designed to be easier for users to navigate and download from the Web by section or the complete publication, the GPO noted.

The 2008 book lists more than 7,000 senior level and support positions that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the committee's ranking member, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

More than 4,000 of the positions were noncompetitively filled with political appointees as of Sept. 1, the senators said. Of those, more than 1,100 required Senate confirmation. The remaining 3,000 are positions that senior career civil servants have filled competitively even though the positions themselves could be filled noncompetitively, the senators said.

Federal agencies compile the book through the Office of Personnel Management, while the GPO publishes it, the senators said.

“The Plum Book is essential reading for anyone interested in pursuing public service in the executive branch of government,” the senators said. The book has traditionally been known as the Plum Book because it lists the best jobs in the executive branch.

Lieberman's committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee alternately sponsor the publication every four years, the GPO noted.

The book is available in its entirety as a single PDF file, according to the GPO, which said it refined this year’s version by adding bookmarks and optimizing it for the Web.

The complete book is also available in text format, the printing office also said, adding that it has also made the report accessible as a collection of smaller PDFs arranged by chapter based on the book's table of contents or by information on individual commissions, councils, corporations, departments and offices. The GPO also sells the print copy of the book through its online and physical bookstores.

The jobs include some under the Executive Schedule, Senior Executive Service, Senior Foreign Service, General Schedule 14 or above and some Schedule C positions excluded from the competitive service, the GPO said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.


  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    OPM nominee plans focus on telework, IT, retirement

    Kiran Ahuja, a veteran of the Office of Personnel Management, told lawmakers that she thinks that the lack of consistent leadership in the top position at OPM has taken a toll on the ability of the agency to complete longer term IT modernization projects.

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

Stay Connected