The Commission may, without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an Executive Director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties. The decision to employ or terminate an Executive Director shall be made by an affirmative vote of at least six of the nine members of the Commission.
The Commission may provide reasonable compensation to the Executive Director without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the Executive Director may not exceed the rate payable under level II of the Executive Schedule under section 5313 of such title. The rate of pay for other personnel of the Commission may not exceed the rate payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of such title. All employees of the Commission shall otherwise be treated as employees whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate, including for purposes of applying the Standing Rules of the Senate. The Commission shall be treated as an employing office of the Senate.
The Commission and the Executive Director shall hire Commission staff on the basis of professional and nonpartisan qualifications. Commissioners may not individually hire staff of the Commission. Staff shall serve the Commission as a whole and may not be assigned to the particular service of a single Commissioner or a specified group of Commissioners. This subsection does not prohibit staff personnel from assisting individual members of the Commission with particular needs related to their duties.
Upon the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a reimbursable or nonreimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or agency to the Commission to assist it in carrying out its functions under this subchapter. The detail of any such personnel shall be without interruption or loss of civil service or Foreign Service status or privilege.
The Executive Director shall be required to obtain a security clearance. The Executive Director may request, on a needs-only basis and in order to perform the duties of the Commission, that other personnel of the Commission be required to obtain a security clearance. The level of clearance shall be the lowest necessary to appropriately perform the duties of the Commission.