United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 25, 2023
Definitions and exclusions
For the purpose of this subchapter—
“agency” means an Executive agency, except a Government corporation and the Government Accountability Office, but does not include—
any agency or unit thereof excluded from coverage by the President under subsection (c) of this section; or
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Department of Defense intelligence activities the civilian employees of which are subject to section 1590 of title 10, and, as determined by the President, an Executive agency, or unit thereof, whose principal function is the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence activities;
the Federal Election Commission or the Election Assistance Commission;
the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision,,1
the Resolution Trust Corporation, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and the Office of Financial Research;
1So in original.
the Securities and Exchange Commission; or
the Commodity Futures Trading Commission;
“Senior Executive Service position” means any position in an agency which is classified above GS–15 pursuant to section 5108 or in level IV or V of the Executive Schedule, or an equivalent position, which is not required to be filled by an appointment by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and in which an employee—
directs the work of an organizational unit;
is held accountable for the success of one or more specific programs or projects;
monitors progress toward organizational goals and periodically evaluates and makes appropriate adjustments to such goals;
supervises the work of employees other than personal assistants; or
otherwise exercises important policy-making, policy-determining, or other executive functions;
but does not include—
any position in the Foreign Service of the United States;
an administrative law judge position under section 3105 of this title;
any position established as a qualified position in the excepted service by the Secretary of Homeland Security under section 226 2
of the Homeland Security Act of 2002; or
2So in original. See References in Text note below.
any position established as a qualified position in the excepted service by the Secretary of Defense under section 1599f of title 10;
“senior executive” means a member of the Senior Executive Service;
“career appointee” means an individual in a Senior Executive Service position whose appointment to the position or previous appointment to another Senior Executive Service position was based on approval by the Office of Personnel Management of the executive qualifications of such individual;
“limited term appointee” means an individual appointed under a nonrenewable appointment for a term of 3 years or less to a Senior Executive Service position the duties of which will expire at the end of such term;
“limited emergency appointee” means an individual appointed under a nonrenewable appointment, not to exceed 18 months, to a Senior Executive Service position established to meet a bona fide, unanticipated, urgent need;
“noncareer appointee” means an individual in a Senior Executive Service position who is not a career appointee, a limited term appointee, or a limited emergency appointee;
“career reserved position” means a position which is required to be filled by a career appointee and which is designated under subsection (b) of this section; and
“general position” means any position, other than a career reserved position, which may be filled by either a career appointee, noncareer appointee, limited emergency appointee, or limited term appointee.
For the purpose of paragraph (8) of subsection (a) of this section, the Office shall prescribe the criteria and regulations governing the designation of career reserved positions. The criteria and regulations shall provide that a position shall be designated as a career reserved position only if the filling of the position by a career appointee is necessary to ensure impartiality, or the public’s confidence in the impartiality, of the Government. The head of each agency shall be responsible for designating career reserved positions in such agency in accordance with such criteria and regulations.
The Office shall periodically review general positions to determine whether the positions should be designated as career reserved. If the Office determines that any such position should be so designated, it shall order the agency to make the designation.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, any position to be designated as a Senior Executive Service position (except a position in the Executive Office of the President) which—
is under the Executive Schedule, or for which the rate of basic pay is determined by reference to the Executive Schedule, and
on the day before the date of the enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was specifically required under section 2102 of this title or otherwise required by law to be in the competitive service,
shall be designated as a career reserved position if the position entails direct responsibility to the public for the management or operation of particular government programs or functions.
Not later than March 1 of each year, the head of each agency shall publish in the Federal Register a list of positions in the agency which were career reserved positions during the preceding calendar year.
An agency may file an application with the Office setting forth reasons why it, or a unit thereof, should be excluded from the coverage of this subchapter. The Office shall—
review the application and stated reasons,
undertake a review to determine whether the agency or unit should be excluded from the coverage of this subchapter, and
upon completion of its review, recommend to the President whether the agency or unit should be excluded from the coverage of this subchapter.
If the Office recommends that an agency or unit thereof be excluded from the coverage of this subchapter, the President may, on written determination, make the exclusion for the period determined by the President to be appropriate.
Any agency or unit which is excluded from coverage under subsection (c) of this section shall make a sustained effort to bring its personnel system into conformity with the Senior Executive Service to the extent practicable.
The Office may at any time recommend to the President that any exclusion previously granted to an agency or unit thereof under subsection (c) of this section be revoked. Upon recommendation of the Office, the President may revoke, by written determination, any exclusion made under subsection (c) of this section.
any agency is excluded under subsection (c) of this section, or
any exclusion is revoked under subsection (e) of this section,
the Office shall, within 30 days after the action, transmit to the Congress written notice of the exclusion or revocation.
(Added Pub. L. 95–454, title IV, § 402(a),
Oct. 13, 1978, 92 Stat. 1155; amended Pub. L. 96–54, § 2(a)(12), Aug. 14, 1979, 93 Stat. 382; Pub. L. 96–187, title II, § 203, Jan. 8, 1980, 93 Stat. 1368; Pub. L. 100–325, § 2(c), May 30, 1988, 102 Stat. 581; Pub. L. 101–73, title VII, § 742(c), Aug. 9, 1989, 103 Stat. 437; Pub. L. 101–509, title V, § 529 [title I, § 101(b)(9)(A)], Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1427, 1441; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVIII, § 1841, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3835; Pub. L. 102–496, title IV, § 402(b), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3184; Pub. L. 102–550, title XIII, § 1351(b), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3969; Pub. L. 103–359, title V, § 501(d), Oct. 14, 1994, 108 Stat. 3429; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title XI, § 1122(a)(1), Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2687; Pub. L. 107–123, § 8(d)(1)(B), Jan. 16, 2002, 115 Stat. 2399; Pub. L. 107–171, title X, § 10702(c)(1), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 517; Pub. L. 107–252, title VIII, § 811(b), Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1727; Pub. L. 108–271, § 8(b), July 7, 2004, 118 Stat. 814; Pub. L. 110–289, div. A, title I, § 1161(g)(2), July 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2781; Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title IX, § 931(a)(1), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4575; Pub. L. 111–203, title I, § 152(d)(4), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1414; Pub. L. 112–277, title V, § 505(b), Jan. 14, 2013, 126 Stat. 2478; Pub. L. 113–277, § 3(b), Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3008; Pub. L. 114–92, div. A, title XI, § 1107(b), Nov. 25, 2015, 129 Stat. 1027.)
cite as: 5 USC 3132