5 U.S. Code § 3134. Limitations on noncareer and limited appointments
(a) During each calendar year, each agency shall—
examine its needs for employment of noncareer appointees for the fiscal year beginning in the following year; and
submit to the Office of Personnel Management, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Office, a written request for authority to employ a specific number of noncareer appointees for such fiscal year.
Subject to the 10 percent limitation of subsection (b) of this section, the Office may adjust the number of noncareer positions authorized for any agency under subsection (b) of this section if emergency needs arise that were not anticipated when the original authorizations were made.
(d) The number of Senior Executive Service positions in any agency which are filled by noncareer appointees may not at any time exceed the greater of—
(2) the number of positions in the agency which were filled on the date of the enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 by—
noncareer executive assignments under subpart F of part 305 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on such date, or
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