[JURIST] US President George W. Bush issued an executive order [text; press briefing] on Thursday that creates a Transition Coordinating Council to head up transition efforts of executive agencies and the incoming administration in the months leading up to the presidential change early next year. The Council, among other things, will:
assist the major party candidates and the President-elect by making every reasonable effort to facilitate the transition between administrations. This assistance may include, among other things, providing information relevant to facilitating the personnel aspects of a presidential transition and such other information that, in the Council's judgment, is useful and appropriate, as long as providing such information is not otherwise prohibited by law.The Order also directs executive departments and agencies to prepare briefing materials for the new political appointees before inauguration day, and directs the Bush administration to work with the incoming transition team to provide these materials. The Order is set to expire on February 20, 2009, one month after the incoming president is inaugurated. AP has more.
Many US politicians have urged more coordination between government agencies, the outgoing Bush administration, and both major party candidates, especially in the area of national security. This election will be the first time that presidential leadership has changed both since the 9/11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive] and the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] in 2003. Last month, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs [official website] held a hearing [materials] to discuss homeland security risks associated with the upcoming transition and to determine DHS's preparedness. Both major-party presidential candidates, Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) [campaign websites], have in place their own transition teams [NY Times report], who have been working with the Bush administration in preparation for the transition.