By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including Subchapter III of Chapter 33 of title 5 of the United States Code, it is hereby ordered that:
Sec. 1. Subject to the provisions of section 3 of this Executive Order, the officers named in section 2, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the office of Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) during any period when both the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Deputy Secretary) have died, resigned, or are otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office of Secretary.
Sec. 2. Order of Succession.
- Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health;
- Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Benefits;
- Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Memorial Affairs;
- General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs;
- Assistant Secretaries of Veterans Affairs, in the order in which they shall have taken the oath of office as Assistant Secretaries, other than the Chief Financial Officer and, if an Assistant Secretary, the Chief Information Officer;
- Chief Information Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs, if the Chief Information Officer is an officer appointed by the President by and with the consent of the Senate;
- Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
(h) Chairman, Board of Veterans' Appeals.
Sec. 3. Exceptions.
- No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 2(a)–(h) in an acting capacity shall act as Secretary pursuant to this Executive Order.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of this Executive Order, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by Subchapter III of Chapter 33 of title 5 of the United States Code, to depart from this Executive Order in designating an acting Secretary.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House,
December 18, 2001.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., December 20, 2001]