The Vacancies Act
The Committee held a hearing on March 18, 1998 on oversight of the Vacancies Act. The hearing was held to address the widespread noncompliance by the executive branch with the Vacancies Act, an act governing the allowance of persons to serve temporarily in government positions requiring Senate confirmation when the person acting has not received Senate confirmation for a particular position. Two bills on the subject were introduced between the time of the notice of the hearing and the hearing itself. The senators who sponsored those bills appeared as witnesses. The hearing also focused on the large number of persons now serving as acting officials, including at least one in each Cabinet department. In addition, the Justice Department testified concerning its reasons for believing that the Justice Department and possibly other departments were not covered by the Vacancies Act, and the Committee heard testimony regarding other ideas for legislative proposals.