government policy

United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions

United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions (more commonly, the Plum Book) is a publication of the United States Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform. Published alternately after each Presidential election, the register lists over 7,000 Federal civil service leadership and support positions in the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment, nationwide. Data covers positions such as agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials. The duties of many such positions may involve advocacy of Administration policies and programs and the incumbents usually have a close and confidential working relationship with the agency or other key officials.


The Plum Book is used to identify presidentially appointed positions within the Federal Government. The list originated in 1952 during the Eisenhower administration. For twenty-two years prior, the Democratic Party controlled the Federal Government. When President Eisenhower took office, the Republican Party requested a list of government positions that President Eisenhower could fill. The next edition of the Plum Book appeared in 1960 and has since been published every four years, just after the Presidential election. Older editions of the Plum Book are held by any Federal depository library.

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