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What the Senior Executive Service is

The Senior Executive Service Provides Top Level Government Management

The 1978 Civil Service Reform Act  created the Senior Executive Service (SES) that became effective on July 13th in 1979. The goal was to “ensure that the executive management of the government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the nation and otherwise is of the highest quality.”

Why the  Senior Executive Service
The Senior Executive Service is made up of men and women charged with the responsibility for leading activity in more than seventy-five government agencies. These executives share common philosophy of a commitment to public service that is established in the US constitution. SES members serve key positions that are just below the top presidential appointees. These are positions that are generally above the General Schedule (GS) 15 ranking.

Positions not included
Senior Executive Service positions do not include the following:
·    Any jobs appointed by the president needing approval by the senate
·    Any legislative or judicial positions
·    Any intelligence or law enforcement job
·    Any administrative law judges, any members of boards of appeal, or any jobs in independent Government corporations, for example, the California Authority.

Types of Positions
Generally, there are two types of SES positions and 4 types of appointments:

1.       A career reserved position is defined by law to “ensure impartiality, or public’s confidence of impartiality of government.” The slots are filled by career appointments.

2.       A General position can be filled by any type of Senior Executive Service appointee through a career, non-career, limited term or a Limited emergency appointment.

Career appointments can either be general or reserved. Candidates are selected by agency performance evaluations and must have qualifications approved by the OPM oversight board.

Non-career appointments that are approved by the OPM are done so on a case by case basis and these positions are not allowed to exceed more than 25 percent of any agency and SES allocation. Throughout government staffing only 10 percent of all Senior Executive Service positions can be filled by non-career appointees.

Limited term appointments are up to 3 years and non-renewable. These must be SES General Positions and they expire when the job or project has ended.

Limited emergency appointments usually last eighteen months and they must also be SES General Positions that are created for an existing or unanticipated need.

What it Has Done

Once the CSRA was enacted, the Senior Executive Service became a “third” service. It operates apart from other personnel systems that feature competitive or appointed postings. Instead of the government having more than 60 separate executive personnel authorities, the Senior Executive Service rolled these into a single service that fills several thousand jobs. Prior to the CSRA and the formation of the Senior Executive Service, top government management positions fell subject to disparate regulations and oversight requirements. The Senior Executive Service has established a unified and distinct executive personnel management and selection system that provides for uniform application throughout government posting.

All vacancies for SES positions are available online at www.usajobs.gov where job vacancies may be downloaded. Regarding the application process, a SES resume, which is a more complex form of Federal resume, and ECQ’s essays are usually required.

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