The Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act, or PLUM Act, will provide the American people with timely and transparent information about senior government officials. This important effort will help improve public trust and confidence in our government.
Currently, a comprehensive list of positions appointed by the President is available only once every four years in a publication referred to as the Plum Book. The PLUM Act would modernize the Plum Book by requiring the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish and maintain a current, publicly available directory of senior government leaders online.
Also, it will include demographic information so that we can know which segments of our society are at the policymaking table, and which are not. We are working to ensure that both the House and Senate bill include this important point. The more diverse our policymakers are, the more inclusive our policies will be.
In order to achieve a truly representative democracy, we need up-to-date, not outdated, information regarding which segments of our population are at the policymaking table and which are not. The PLUM Act (H.R.2403 / S.3650) will provide up-to-date information that will not only increase transparency in the Executive Branch of our government, but also help our government remain more accountable and accessible to the people and communities it serves.
Coalition of Supporters
The following groups signed onto Open Letters (House / Senate) in support of the PLUM Act.
Chairwoman Maloney’s Statement on Inclusion of PLUM Act in Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA — September 24, 2021
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after successfully pushing for the inclusion of the Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act (PLUM Act) in the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
House bill would add demographics to the Plum Book — July 08, 2021
A House bill meant to modernize the Plum Book, the quadrennial list of presidentially appointed jobs in the federal government, has a new addition that would require the release of summary-level demographic information about political appointees.
Oversight Committee Approves Legislation Strengthening Whistleblower Protections and Transparency of Political Appointees — June 29, 2021
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the Committee voted favorably to approve her bills, the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act and the Periodically Listing Updates to Management (PLUM) Act, along with several other important reforms, many with bipartisan support
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Introduces Legislation to Improve Transparency of Political Appointee Diversity — June 19, 2021
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) introduced the Political Appointments Inclusion and Diversity Act, which requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to coordinate with the White House Office of Presidential Personnel to make a summary of demographic information on political appointees publicly available.
Carper Reintroduces the PLUM ACT — March 19, 2021
Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced The Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act (The PLUM Act), a piece of legislation that would increase transparency of Executive Branch’s senior leaders.
Maloney, Connolly, and Sarbanes Reintroduce PLUM Act — March 18, 2021
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, Rep. Gerry Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Senior Committee Member John Sarbanes reintroduces bill to increase transparency and modernize reporting on Senior Government Leaders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do appointees have a right to privacy?
- OPM civil service regulations stipulate that certain information from personnel records for current and former federal employees is available to the public, including names, present and past position titles, salaries, position descriptions, and duty stations.
- Federal employees generally have no expectation of privacy regarding this information.
- Information on senior leaders in government may already be obtained by outside groups through FOIA requests.
Does identifying appointees publicly put them at risk of political demonstrations and/or doxxing?
- Information, such as the names of current political appointees, may already be released by agencies in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
- The bill would not call for agencies to report personally identifiable information or contact information such as a physical address or email address.
- Appointees most at risk of having political demonstrations at their home are already public facing and well-known.
- The public often learns about the highest level appointees, such as cabinet secretaries, because the media covers these officials.
Is an exception needed for National Security positions?
- Longstanding guidance from OPM already excludes public reporting on the names of individuals in certain sensitive positions, such as law enforcement and national security, which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
- For example, courts have routinely held that employees in law enforcement and with national security functions have substantial privacy interest in their names because disclosure could subject them to embarrassment or harassment in their official duties and personal affairs.
Would reporting on demographic information dissuade potential public servants?
- The amendment provides an option for appointees to “not specify” with respect to any demographic categories for which information is collected.
- The information would be reported in aggregate, similar to other information on federal employees that OPM collects and reports, such that individual appointees would not be able to be identified.