5 CFR § 214.402 - Career reserved positions.
(a) The head of each agency is responsible for designating career reserved positions in accordance with the regulations in this section.
(b) A position shall be designated as a career reserved position if:
(1) The position (except a position in the Executive Office of the President):
(i) Was under the Executive Schedule, or the rate of basic pay was determined by reference to the Executive Schedule, on October 12, 1978;
(iii) Entailed direct responsibility to the public for the management or operation of particular government programs or functions; or
(2) The position must be filled by a career appointee to ensure impartiality, or the public's confidence in the impartiality, of the Government.
(1) Career reserved positions include positions the principal duties of which involve day-to-day operations, without responsibility for or substantial involvement in the determination or public advocacy of the major controversial policies of the Administration or agency, in the following occupational disciplines:
(i) Adjudication and appeals;
(ii) Audit and inspection;
(iii) Civil or criminal law enforcement and compliance;
(iv) Contract administration and procurement;
(v) Grants administration;
(vi) Investigation and security matters; and
(vii) Tax liability, including the assessment or collection of taxes and the preparation or review of interpretative opinions.
(2) Career reserved positions also include:
(i) Scientific or other highly technical or professional positions where the duties and responsibilities of the specific position are such that it must be filled by a career appointee to insure impartiality, of the Government.
(ii) Other positions requiring impartiality, or the public's confidence in impartiality, as determined by an agency in light of its mission.
(d) The Office of Personnel Management may review agency designations of general and career reserved positions. If the Office finds that an agency has designated any position as general that should be career reserved, it shall direct the agency to make the career reserved designation.
(e) The minimum number of positions in the Senior Executive Service Governmentwide that must be career reserved is 3,571 as determined by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management under section 3133(e) of 5 U.S.C. To assure that this figure is met, the Office may establish a minimum number of career reserved positions for individual agencies. An agency must maintain or exceed this number unless it is adjusted by the Office.