The Lexicon of Appointed Positions

The Lexicon of Appointed Positions 2016-12-14T20:39:08+00:00

The following glossary outlines types of Executive positions in the Federal government. Many of these types of positions are politically appointed by the President or the head of a Federal Government Agency during the transition to a new Administration.


Executive Position Description
Career Appointment Senior Executive Service (SES) Career Appointments are made through a government-wide or all-sources merit staffing process that includes recruitment through a published announcement, rating and ranking of eligible candidates and approval by the agency of the professional qualifications of the selected candidate.  The process includes an additional review and approval of the executive/managerial qualifications of the proposed selectee by an Office of Personnel Management (OPM)-administered SES Qualifications Review Board.  It is not a political appointment.
General Senior Executive Appointment Appointments to Senior Executive Service positions. This includes career, non-career, limited-term or limited-emergency appointments.
Limited Emergency Appointment This is a non-renewable appointment for up to 18 months in an SES general position that must be filled urgently.  The total number of limited-term and limited-emergency appointments cannot exceed five percent of SES position allocations, government-wide.  Each agency has a pool equal to a percentage of its position allocations for making limited appointments of career or career-type employees from outside the SES.
Limited-Term Appointment An appointment for up to three years to an SES general position that is due to expire because it is a special project or because of the nature of the work.  The position is not renewable.
Non-Career Senior Executive Appointment These are political appointments to SES positions. The appointment authority is allocated on an individual case basis by OPM, and cannot exceed 25 percent of an agency’s SES position allocations. The appointment authority reverts back to OPM when the appointed individual leaves the position. Government-wide, only 10 percent of SES position allocations can be used for non-career appointments.
Presidential Appointment (PA) Presidential appointments that do not require Senate confirmation.
Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation (PAS) Presidential appointments that do require Senate confirmation.
Recess Appointment A political appointment made by the president when the Senate is not in session.  This can occur during a recess within a session (intra-session recess appointment) or between sessions (inter-session recess appointment).  This type of appointment expires at the end of the next session of Congress.
Schedule C Appointment Appointments to confidential or policy-making positions as designated by OPM or by Presidential Executive Order.
Senior Executive Service (SES) Position Appointments to positions in the executive branch classed above GS-15 or Level IV or V of the Executive Schedule. SES positions are for executives who exercise important policy-making functions.  Senate confirmation is not required.

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