President Bush signed an executive order in October creating a Presidential Transition Coordinating Council. In that order, it stipulates that one of the first orders of business after the election is to sign a memorandum of understanding between the outgoing Bush Administration and the incoming President-Elect’s transition team.
The memo paves the way for the “parachute teams” that are to begin arriving in agencies on Monday. It lays out the rules of engagement:
The President-Elect’s Transition Team (PETT) will provide lists of approved transition team members in writing to the White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten. The Chief of Staff will provide this list to the appropriate departments and agencies. “The Administration will conduct its transition activities with the PETT through the contacts authorized by the Chief of Staff and the Chair of the PETT.”
Each agency will “use best efforts to locate and set aside available space” and provide “appropriate support to and equipment for use by the PETT.” Separate media reports say that space for 50 transition team members has been set aside in the Pentagon.
The memo goes into the rules for sharing classified or confidential information, especially given that transition team members are not government employees. The memo also defines how disagreements over access are to be resolved.