The Senate was urged to pass the Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act (PLUM Act, S. 3650) by a coalition of 27 organizations and individuals led by Demand Progress in a letter sent to Senate leadership last week. The PLUM Act would increase transparency and oversight of the most senior leaders of the Executive Branch. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to favorably report the bipartisan legislation on March 30, 2022.
Demand Progress has long advocated for reforms to the Plum Book (officially the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions), a congressional document that lists more than 9,000 political appointees and is currently published only every four years. As amended, the PLUM Act would modernize the Plum Book and annually publish online an updated directory of senior government leaders.
The PLUM Act would resolve an important issue raised by the Government Accountability Office, which noted in a March 2019 report that “there is no single source of data on political appointees serving in the executive branch that is publicly available, comprehensive, and timely.” It would address GAO’s conclusion that such a source of “information would facilitate congressional oversight and hold leaders accountable.”