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2000 Plum Book

Wednesday, August 2, 2000
Human Resources Directors
K. Joyce Edwards Director Office of Executive Resources Management
2000 Plum Book
As you know, every four years, just after the Presidential election, OPM assists in publishing the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, commonly known as The Plum Book. This year, the Senate is overseeing this effort; and in May, Senators Thompson and Lieberman wrote to your Agency Head to kick off the project.

We are making every effort to make the 2000 Plum Book project as simple as possible. Using data already entered into the Executive Information System, the Schedule C Information System, and the Senior Foreign Service Database, we should be able to produce a quality product with fewer demands on your staff. Our goal is to publish The Plum Book immediately after the election, and to do this we will need your help.

What You Need to Do

  • By August 15th, return the attached Information Sheet to designate your agency's Plum Book Coordinator and an alternate.
  • Make sure that your Plum Book coordinator and alternate attend OPM's August 24th training session.
  • Ensure that your agency's data is up-to-date in the EIS and Schedule C Information Systems. If your data is correct, your staff will have less work editing the Plum Book.

Critical Dates for the Plum Book Project

Aug. 15 Plum Book Coordinator and alternate designated; Information Sheet returned to OPM.

Aug 24 Plum Book Training Sessions

Sept 1 Data "Snapshot" from EIS, Schedule C, and Senior Foreign Service Databases

Sept 8 - 22 Plum Book Coordinators edit, add, or delete information in the database

Sept - Oct OPM prints, proofs, and sends to Human Resources Director for signature

Nov 8 Plum Book is published!

We have attached Guidance for the 2000 Plum Book with more details on the data verification efforts. If you have any questions, please contact me (202) 606-1610 or Nancy Gauthier, Plum Book Project Manager, (202) 606-1125.

Guidance for the 2000 Plum Book

What is the Plum Book?

Every four years, just after the Presidential election, the "United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions" is published. It is commonly known as the Plum Book and is alternately published by the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. The Senate Committee will publish the 2000 edition. Senator Fred Thompson, Chairman, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Ranking Minority Member, asked us to coordinate the data collection effort for the 2000 version.

The Plum Book is a listing of over 8,000 civil service leadership and support positions (filled and vacant) in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to noncompetitive appointment. These positions include agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials. Many positions have duties which support Administration policies and programs. The people holding these positions usually have a close and confidential relationship with the agency head or other key officials.

What is the data collection effort?

The 2000 Plum Book data collection effort is primarily a data verification process rather than a data collection process as in 1996. We will take data "snapshots" (as of September 1, 2000) from the Executive Information System (EIS), the Schedule C Information System, and the Senior Foreign Service Database and combine them into the Plum Book System. Your Plum Book Coordinator will make edits/additions/deletions to the agency's data. We will print and proof the data, make any additional edits, and send you a copy for signature. We will deliver camera-ready copy to the Government Printing Office for printing. We are confident that this system will help produce a quality product with fewer time and workload demands on you and your staff.

What positions are included in the Plum Book?

The positions included in the 2000 Plum Book are the same as those listed in the 1996 Plum Book and include the following:

Executive Schedule (EX) and salary-equivalent positions paid at the rates established for Levels I through V of the Executive Schedule

Senior Executive Service (SES) "General" positions (i.e., those positions which may be filled by a career, noncareer, or limited appointment) *

Senior Foreign Service (FS) positions *

Schedule C (SC) positions excepted from the competitive service by the President, or by the Director, Office of Personnel Management, because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties

Other confidential or policy-determining positions at the GS-14 and above level excepted from the competitive civil service by law because of the confidential or policy-determining nature of the position duties

* The majority of SES and FS positions are filled by career appointment because of the statutory limitations on the number that may be filled by noncareer appointment.

What positions are excluded from the Plum Book?

Senior Executive Service (SES) "Career Reserved" positions (those positions that can be filled only by career appointment)

Schedule A and Schedule B positions

Competitive Service positions

Other positions filled competitively under agency merit systems established by statute (i.e., GS grade equivalent (GG) positions in certain agencies)

What do I need to do?

Complete the Plum Book Coordinator Information Sheet in this package and return by August 15, 2000.

Attend the training session for Plum Book Coordinators on Thursday, August 24, 2000. We will hold a morning session (9:30 - 11:30 am) and an afternoon session (1:30 - 3:30 pm) at the Alan K. Campbell Auditorium, Office of Personnel Management, Ground Floor, 1900 E Street, NW, Washington, DC. You need to attend only one session.

Make sure your agency's data is as up-to-date as possible in the EIS and Schedule C Information System. If your data is correct in these systems, you will spend less time verifying and editing the Plum Book. Any data changes made to the Plum Book data will also need to be made in EIS or Schedule C System; the systems are not linked.

Make sure you have access to the Internet. The Plum Book System is a web-based system which will allow you to see your data as it will appear in the Plum Book, make edits, add positions, and delete positions. If you do not have access to the Internet, please call and we'll make special arrangements.

Make sure your Plum Book data is updated between September 8 and September 22. Because of our short timeframe for proofing and getting final agency approval, we will not be able to extend the deadline for updating your data.

What was my agency's submission for the 1996 Plum Book?

The 1996 Plum Book is available on the OPM Homepage and is called FederaLIST. You will be able to view the entire Plum Book, your agency's submission, and the appendices. The address is:

What are critical dates for the Plum Book Project?

August 15 Plum Book Coordinator and alternate designated and Information Sheet returned to OPM.

August 24 Plum Book Training: Morning Session (9:30 - 11:30 am)

Plum Book Training: Afternoon Session (1:30 - 3:30 pm)

September 1 Data "Snapshot" from EIS, Schedule C Information System, Senior Foreign Service Database

September 8 - 22 Plum Book Coordinators and/or alternates edit, add, or delete information in the database

September - October OPM prints and proofs data, sends paper copy to Director of Personnel for signature

November 8 Plum Book is published!

Who can I contact with questions?

General Plum Book Information: Nancy Gauthier, 202-606-1125 (including Plum Book System)

Executive Information System: Charles Vaughn, 202-606-1927

Stevie Miller, 202-606-1612

Schedule C Information System: Larry Lorenz, 202-606-1143

Plum Book 2000 Coordinator Information Sheet

Agency Name


Plum Book Coordinator's Full Name


Office Address


City, State, Zip


Phone Number


Fax Number


Email Address


Alternate's Name


Alternate's Phone Number


Training Preference

August 24, 2000

# people for the morning session, 9:30 - 11:30 am.

# people for the afternoon session, 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

Please return by August 15 to: Nancy Gauthier or Robin Buther 202-606-2126 fax or 202-606-0557 fax Email information to or