In 1998, the Defense Science Board Task Force on Human Resources Strategywas established for the purpose of evaluating the Department of Defense's(DoD's) capacity to attract and retain both civilian and military personnel.As part of this evaluation, RAND was asked to study the growth of politicalappointment positions within the DoD as well as to examine the appointmentand confirmation process that potential political appointees face. Taskedwith reviewing relevant DoD data, the National Defense Research Institute(NDRI), acting in support of the Defense Science Board Task Force, foundthat the number of DoD positions requiring Senate confirmation has grownsignificantly over the past two decades. The study also revealed that thefunctional responsibilities of such positions have narrowed while theirvacancy rates have increased. In assessing the literature, the NDRI foundthat disincentives exist in the political appointment and confirmationprocess namely, requirements that candidates disclose a range of personaland financial information; requirements to comply with conflict-of-interestregulations that may require divestiture of stock holdings; and requirementsto comply with extensive post employment restrictions. Additionally, thelength of the appointment and confirmation process itself may serve as adisincentive to potential appointees.