Executive Schedule (5 U.S.C. §§ 5311 – 5318) is the system of salaries given to the highest-ranked appointed officials in the executive branch of the U.S. government. The President of the United States appoints individuals to these positions, most with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. They include members of the president's Cabinet, several top-ranking officials of each executive department, the directors of some of the more prominent departmental and independent agencies, and several members of the Executive Office of the President.
Title 5 of the United States Code outlines the role of government organization and employees in the United States Code. It also is the Title that specifies Federal holidays.
An officer of the United States is a functionary of the executive or judicial branches of the federal government of the United States to whom is delegated some part of the country's sovereign power. The term "officer of the United States" is not a title, but a term of classification for a certain type of official.
The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
There are five pay rates within the Executive Schedule, denoted with a Roman numeral with I being the highest level and V the lowest. Federal law lists the positions eligible for the Executive Schedule and the corresponding level. The law also gives the president the ability to grant Executive Schedule IV and V status to no more than 34 employees not listed.
Certain job titles tend to be placed at certain levels of the Executive Schedule. For example, in the executive departments, Secretaries are on Level I; Deputy Secretaries are on Level II; Under Secretaries are mostly on Level III; and Assistant Secretaries, General Counsels, Inspectors General, Chief Financial Officers, and Chief Information Officers are mostly on Level IV. The directors of departmental and independent agencies vary widely in their placement, and are represented in every level from I to V, with their subordinates being placed on levels below them. A few agencies have General Counsels, Inspectors General, Chief Financial Officers, or Chief Information Officers on Level IV along with their departmental counterparts, although agency officials with these titles may instead be on another pay scale such as the Senior Executive Service.
A minister is a politician who heads a government department, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some jurisdictions the head of government is also a minister and is designated the ’prime minister’, ‘premier’, ’chief minister’, ’Chancellor’ or other title.
An undersecretary is an executive government official in many countries, frequently a career public servant, who typically acts as a senior administrator or second-in-command to a politically appointed Cabinet Minister or other government official. The title is used in many different political systems.
Assistant Secretary is a title borne by politicians or government officials in certain countries, usually a junior ministers assigned to a specific Cabinet minister.
Many political appointees have had their pay rate frozen at lower levels. § 5318, at the beginning of the first pay period for any position under the Executive Schedule, the amount of pay will be adjusted and rounded to the nearest multiple of US$100. If this amount is found to be midway between multiples of $100, then it will be rounded to the next highest multiple of $100.According to 5 U.S.C.
Section 738 of division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141, March 23, 2018), continued the freeze on the payable pay rates for certain senior political officials at 2013 levels through January 5, 2019. The failure to enact new appropriations legislation may allow the freeze to expire. However, the officially established and posted pay rates (or pay ranges) for 2018 are in effect and used for determining pay for other employees. For more information, please see Compensation Policy Memorandum 2018-08 at https://chcoc.gov/content/continued-pay-freeze-certain-senior-political-officials-2.
Executive Schedule rates indirectly affect the rates of pay for other pay scales such as the General Schedule, Senior Executive Service, Senior Level, Senior Foreign Service, and other federal civilian pay systems, as well as the pay of uniformed military personnel, because various federal laws establishing those pay systems normally tie the maximum amount payable to various levels of the Executive Schedule. For example, no one paid on the General Schedule may earn more than the rate for Level IV of the Executive Schedule. Because of these pay caps and freezes to the Executive Schedule, federal workers at the top of their pay bands are often unable to receive pay increases, resulting in salary compression.
The Senior Foreign Service (SFS) comprises the top four ranks of the United States Foreign Service. These ranks were created by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and Executive Order 12293 in order to provide the Foreign Service with senior grades equivalent to general- and flag ranks in the military and naval establishments, respectively, and to grades in the Senior Executive Service. Like military ranks and other Foreign Service ranks, the Senior Foreign Service grade system assigns rank in person, not rank in position.
5 U.S.C. § 5312 lists the positions that receive the amount of pay determined by Chapter 11 of Title 2. Since January 2018, the annual rate of pay for Level I is $210,700. There exist 21 positions, which are as follows:
5 U.S.C. § 5313 lists positions given the rank of executive schedule II. Deputy secretaries of cabinet-level agencies usually have this rank. Since January 2018, the annual rate of pay for Level II is $189,600. While not listed, the Deputy Secretary of Commerce is also at Level II of the Executive Schedule. The 56 positions are:
Other independent agencies
5 U.S.C. § 5314 lists 125 positions granted the rank of level III. Since January 2018, the annual rate of pay for Level III is $174,500. The positions are:
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Note: The Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision was level III before that office was abolished by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
5 U.S.C. § 5315 lists 346 non-obsolete positions with the rank of executive schedule level IV. Since January 2018, the annual rate of pay for Level IV is $164,200. The positions are:
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Transportation
United States Agency for International Development
Other independent agencies
5 U.S.C. § 5316 lists the 143 positions that receive the amount of pay determined by Chapter 11 of Title 2. Since January 2018, the annual rate of pay for Level V is $153,800. The positions are as follows:
Per 5 U.S.C. § 5317, the president can at any time appoint no more than 34 individuals to pay rates Level IV and V, provided that they are viewed as a necessary change to organization, management responsibility, or workload within a specific agency. This figure is in addition to Level IV and V positions specifically authorized in the bill. However, Senate consent is required and the pay rate takes effect only upon a new appointment to that position. All actions taken during this process are to be published in the Federal Register , except when it is deemed that such publication would stand in conflict to national security. The president may not take action under this section with respect to a position, the pay for which is fixed at a specific rate by this subchapter, or by statute enacted after 14 August 1964.
The following positions are granted Level IV pay status of the Executive Schedule:
The following positions are granted Level V pay status:
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