and Director of Internal Revenue. For the most part, however, SES members serve as Directors or Associate Directors for the issue areas. These executives oversee approximately 50-60 audits at a time. Def. Ex. 3; Tr. Vol. II 241-42.
24. Of the approximately 4,600 GAO employees worldwide, only 145 are in the SES. This number is set by congressional act. Tr. Vol. II 236, 244.
25. Out of necessity, mainstream members of the GAO SES must have demonstrated the ability to organize and oversee a number of employees, as well as to set up and run at the same time a number of complex evaluations. SES executives must also have superior verbal and written communication skills so that they can easily and effectively testify in congressional hearings. Tr. Vol. I 112, 144-45; Tr. Vol. II 235, 237, 244-45; Tr. Vol. VI 969.
26. There are essentially three routes into the SES. They are noncompetitive limited term appointments, competitive Comptroller General career appointments and the ECDP. Approximately 80 per cent of those eventually rising to the SES come through the ECDP. Def. Ex. 4, 6(b), 6(c), 6(d); Tr. Vol. II 205-07, 223-24, 249-51.
27. The ECDP came into existence in 1981. Its purpose was and continues to be to provide the GAO with a pool of GS-15 executive candidates capable of immediately filling positions within the SES. This program also serves a training function. It provides executive candidates with the knowledge and understanding of the organization that are required to perform successfully as an executive. Additionally, it ensures that the executive candidate continues to demonstrate excellence in managerial skills. Def. Ex. 3; Tr. Vol. I 41, 115-19, 132, 144, 151, 170; Tr. Vol. II 179, 186-87, 198-99.
28. Once selected to the ECDP, the executive candidate receives intensive training to develop his management, technical and program skills. When this training period is completed, the candidate is eligible for a noncompetitive promotion to the ECDP. Def. Ex. 3.
29. Since its inception in 1981, there have been 10 ECDP classes. On the average each class has had 10-12 members, which accounts for approximately two per cent of those eligible for promotion to the SES. Since 1981, 116 people have been taken into the ECDP. Of that number only approximately seven have failed to reach the SES. Tr. Vol. I 106; Tr. Vol. II 197-99, 240, 243-44.
ii. Selection to the ECDP
30. Ultimately, selection to the ECDP is somewhat subjective, being based on a comparison of nominees in any given year. Generally, the successful candidate has demonstrated exceptional skill in performing the GAO's main tasks, namely, managing several audits and evaluations at one time and showing outstanding conceptualization and communications skills which would enable them to testify effectively before Congress. Although the selection process remains to a certain extent a subjective and comparative assessment of a candidate's skills and accomplishments, there are, nevertheless, certain guidelines which form the basis for the decisions. These guidelines are by their nature flexible and are designed to reflect potential as much as past achievement. The guidelines are delineated in Def. Ex. 4(a) and 4(b) and were the focus of much attention at trial. Tr. Vol. I 112, 132, 145; 159-60; Tr. Vol. II 179, 211-12, 243-44; Tr. Vol. V 897; Tr. Vol. VI 969, 978-80.
31. These criteria, which appear in the ECDP Job Opportunity Announcement under the title "Qualification Requirements", are as follows:
Knowledge of evaluation or auditing principles, techniques and practices, and the potential to organize and direct a comprehensive evaluation and/or audit program are required. Applicants meeting the above criteria will be further evaluated to determine the extent to which their experience, education and accomplishments are indicative of competence to accomplish the following six activity areas.