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Plum Book

Policy and Supporting Positions - 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 between the House and Senate. 

The Plum Book is a listing of over 9,000 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 appointments. 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. 

The Plum Book is available online at https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/plum-book

What positions are included in the Plum Book? 

Positions in the Plum Book 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) 

Ordering Information: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/plum-book