Skip to content

Several acting Biden officials are in positions unlawfully, government watchdog says

Leer en Español

A federal watchdog organization stated on Wednesday that three Biden administration officials are now holding their jobs against the law because they have exceeded the time limit for using the “acting” designation.

Deidre Harrison, the temporary controller at the Office of Management and Budget, Allison Randall, the temporary director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, and Charlotte A. Dye, the temporary general counsel at the Federal Labor Relations Authority, were all found to have violated the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act, according to the Government Accountability Office.

According to the GAO, all three officials have remained in acting positions since November 2021, surpassing the 210-day legal limit when a position falls vacant or the 300-day restriction following a presidential inauguration.

The report indicates that officials can only hold an acting position for a longer length of time if a permanent nomination is still pending, withdrawn, or rejected.

The report also stated after its conclusion:

In accordance with the requirements of the Vacancies Act, we are also sending letters reporting this violation to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Tae D. Johnson, who was acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and three former acting assistant administrators of the Bureau of Asia at the U.S. Agency for International Development were also found to have broken the law, according to the GAO.

However, Johnson is no longer breaking the law because his position at ICE has changed to deputy director and senior official, carrying out the director’s responsibilities for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Similarly, GAO discovered that the acting title is no longer used in USAID’s Asia bureau.