The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has declared that three officials within the Biden administration are serving in their positions illegally, due to a breach of the specified limit of "acting" officials, The Hill first indicated in a report.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, Edda Emmanuelli Perez with the GAO wrote that "the Vacancies Act permits acting service for 210 days after a vacancy occurs, during the pendency of a first or second nomination for the office, and for additional 210-day periods after the rejection, return or withdrawal of the first or second nomination."
However, the GAO found that the individuals in question, who held the positions of acting controller at the Office of Management and Budget, acting director of the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women, and acting general counsel at the Federal Labor Relations Authority, had exceeded these limits since November 2021. The GAO issued letters outlining these violations to both President Biden and Congress.
The GAO also alerted the president about two other officials who were in violation of the law: the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the acting assistant administrator of the Bureau of Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
According to Government Executive, the titles of these officials have since been changed, thus bringing them in compliance with the law.
Despite the violations, the consequences are limited, and the White House has yet to respond to requests for comment. Nonetheless, the issue raises questions about the legalities surrounding the temporary appointment of officials in government positions.
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