Filling Presidentially Appointed, Senate-Confirmed Positions in the Department of Homeland Security [Updated January 16, 2004] [open pdf - 195KB]
"During consideration of the legislation creating the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), many observers stressed the need to mobilize a new department quickly to respond to threats to homeland security. Yet new government agencies often encounter substantial difficulties that lead to start-up delays. In one study of reorganized agencies, the General Accounting Office identified delays in obtaining key officials as one common start-up problem. Nearly all the top policymaking positions in the new homeland security department are to be filled through appointments by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. In general, delays in filling such positions have not been uncommon, particularly at the outset of a new Administration. Although appointment delays may raise problems for any agency, delays for new agencies can cause major difficulties; leadership is critical during the transition, when many decisions regarding policies, procedures, and organizational issues must be made. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296) created DHS, which came into existence on January 24, 2003. The act creates or transfers to the new department some 26 full-time, civilian, presidentially appointed positions subject to Senate confirmation. As of January 15, 2004, the President had submitted 14 nominations to these positions, and the Senate had confirmed 13 of these. In addition, the President had used authority provided in the act to appoint six individuals to DHS positions on a temporary basis. Five of these had been nominated and confirmed to the positions after their temporary appointments."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31677
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