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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 11, 2008
Executive Order: Executive Branch Responsibilities with Respect to Orders of Succession
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the Federal Government to ensure that each executive branch agency can perform its essential functions and remain an effectively functioning part of the Federal Government under all conditions. Accordingly, each agency shall take all appropriate actions to establish, maintain, and, as necessary, revise an order of succession, or to propose presidential action to establish or revise an order of succession.
Sec. 2. Definitions. As used in this order:
(a) "agency" means:
(i) an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, other than the Government Accountability Office; and
(ii) the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission; and
(b) "order of succession" means a list of officials by position who shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of the head of the agency in the event that the office-holder has died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the office. "Order of succession" does not include any order, rule, memorandum, or other document delegating or partially delegating the authority of an office.
Sec. 3. Orders of Succession Requiring Presidential Action.
(a) Each agency for which presidential action is required to establish an order of succession shall draft a proposed order of succession if no such order exists and, not later than 30 days from the date of this order, send such proposed draft order to the Counsel to the President for review and comment.
(b) Each agency described in subsection 3(a) of this order shall send any proposed updates or revisions to the agency's order of succession to the Counsel to the President for review and comment.
(c) Upon completion of the requirements set forth by subsections (a) or (b) of this section with respect to a proposed order, the agency shall submit the proposed order to the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 11030, as amended.
Sec. 4. Orders of Succession Not Requiring Presidential Action. (a) Each agency for which presidential action is not required to establish an order of succession because of the agency's existing legal authority shall establish and maintain such order in accordance with applicable law and any applicable guidance issued by the President or the Secretary of Homeland Security, including the laws and guidance regarding continuity plans and programs for the executive branch.
(b) Each agency described in subsection 4(a) of this order shall update and revise its order of succession as necessary. Before implementing any revisions to its order of succession, such agency shall send the proposed revisions to the Counsel to the President for review and comment.
(c) Not later than 30 days from the date of this order, and not later than 7 days from the issuance date of any subsequent final revision to an existing order of succession, each agency described in subsection 4(a) of this order shall provide a copy of its order of succession to the Counsel to the President, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to delegate the President's authority under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq., to designate individuals to perform the functions and duties of a vacant office temporarily in an acting capacity.
(c) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 11, 2008.
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