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Presidential Election Produces New ‘Plum’ Crop With AM-Transition Rdp Bjt, a0658

November 11, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Looking to earn more than $68,000 next year? If so, here are some possibilities:

-Special negotiator in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

-Associate commissioner in the disability office at the Department of Health and Human Services.

-Director of the intergovernmental affairs office at the Education Department.

These positions and thousands more are contained in an oversized, 230-page manual that Washington insiders call ″The Plum Book,″ a compilation of political jobs published every four years with the change of administration.

The book, formally entitled ″Policy and Supporting Positions,″ is a usually a best-seller. More than 500 copies of the $14 book had sold Thursday, the day after the manual was put on sale at bookstores run by the Government Printing Office, GPO spokewoman Carlyn Crout said.

The stores were closed Friday, a federal holiday.

William G. Norton of the Office of Personnel Management said there are differences between this year’s book and the edition that came out four years ago.

For one thing, fewer jobs are listed.

OPM sought to make the book ″a document that is more realistic and didn’t contain a lot of extraneous positions,″ Norton said. As a result, 8,000 jobs outside the competitive civil service are listed, compared to 10,000 four years ago.

Among the slots that were dropped: judgeships that already are filled.

The book also came out the day after Vice President George Bush was elected to the presidency; four years ago job-seekers waited until February for the book.

Although the book has about 8,000 jobs, Norton said the Bush people will only have about 3,000 to 4,000 full-time slots open because of laws governing the civil service. Also up for grabs on are about 1,400 positions on presidential boards and commissions that are generally compensated at a daily rate, he said.

Civil service laws prohibit politicians from filling all the top jobs with non-career people.

For instance, no more than 10 percent of the senior executive service jobs - those paying between $68,700 and $80,700 in 1989 - can be filled by non- career people. So, the book lists all the jobs available, but only a set number may be taken by people outside the civil service, Norton said.

Additionally, the book lists all senior Foreign Service jobs. Yet non- career people are only allowed to occupy 5 percent of those positions.

Bush’s transition office opens for business on Monday, but plenty of people have already submitted resumes. Chase Untermeyer, the man Bush named as director of personnel for the transition, said thousands of people had applied for work in the new administration.

Although the personnel management office compiles the jobs, the book is printed for the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, which directed agencies to provide descriptions of the political jobs.

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