GSA says Change.gov is a legal, "hybrid" site
Posted Thu, Dec 12, 2008 at 1:29 pm
www.Change.gov is legal because the presidential transition is an activity with hybrid support from Government and the private funds from the President-elect - and others. The Office of the President-elect is specifically recognized by federal law, specifically -- The Presidential Transition Act of 1963, as amended (3 USC 102 note). It is a unique entity that is entitled to government support while still retaining characteristics of a private organization. Section 3 of the Presidential Transition Act authorizes the General Services Administration to provide services and support to the Office of the President-elect beginning the day after the election until 30 days after the inauguration. Based on the federally recognized status of the Office of the President-elect, and GSA's responsibility to support the Office, we have determined that it is appropriate for them to use a .gov domain. This is the same conclusion that we reached in the presidential transition of 2000-2001.
Below is a listing of other functions that we perform for president-elects as they enter office. We also support the departing president with certain functions after they leave office.
Presidential Transition Overview
The transfer of power from one administration to the next marks a significant moment in U.S. history. Many federal employees may not realize that we play a prominent role in this process. The Presidential Transition Act authorizes the U.S. General Services Administration to provide the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect the services and facilities needed to assume their official duties.
Some of GSA's responsibilities include:
* Providing temporary office space, parking, furniture, telephones, furnishings, supplies, IT equipment, mail management, payroll, financial, contracting and other administrative services for the transition team;
* Consulting with Presidential candidates prior to the general election, to develop a plan for technology systems that will support the transition between the election and the inauguration;
* Paying for travel, printing, postal services and other expenses;
* Developing in collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) a transition directory to help familiarize key Administration officials with information about each department and agency;
* Coordinating orientation activities with high level nominees and appointees;
* Supporting the Presidential Inaugural Committee;
* Providing support to the outgoing President and the former Vice-President;
* At the end of the transition period, establishes the permanent office of the former President, and maintains a budget to manage the office during the lifetime of the President.