- Jake Horton
- BBC Reality Check
Donald Trump has not yet recognized Joe Biden’s victory, but his administration has already agreed to begin the government transition process. Even when the legal resources filed by his team on the results of the November 3 elections are still in force.
So what is at stake in this strange transition and why is it so momentous?
What is the transition?
It involves the transfer of important information and tasks from one administration to the next, ensuring that the president-elect and his team are up-to-date when they arrive at the White House.
The incoming government is assisted by a government agency known as the General Services Administration (GSA, for its acronym in English), which provides funds and assistance with logistics such as offices, equipment and technology.
A transition usually lasts about 11 weeks.
It usually starts from when it is clear who the president-elect is and lasts Until 20th of January, when the new president takes office officially.
In addition, it is not just a job that is given, the new government has at its disposal around 4,000 positions, according to the Center for Presidential Transition.
What happens during the transition period?
There are three main issues: staffing, briefings, and organizing the president-elect’s busy schedule.
Once the handover begins, the transition team of the president-elect that has been preparing throughout the Bell.
One of the most important items is the daily safety report.
All presidential candidates receive some national security information before the elections, but these reports are not as frequent or detailed as those that the president-elect gets to access.
Biden, with the beginning of the transition, will begin to receive daily reports with classified intelligence information from the United States with the aim that the new administration is prepared for different eventualities that may arise.
The commission on the September 11 attacks in 2001 concluded that the delay in the transition after the 2000 elections it may have contributed to the failure of the Bush administration to prevent them.
The incoming government is also assigned sheltered environments as it prepares for entry into the White House.
Meetings are usually organized with current members of the governmental agencies to assist with staffing and coordinate policy changes.
Key team members often accompany outgoing staff to prepare for their new roles.
Biden has already started appointing those key staff members, but the transition process helps heads of each government agency identify the roles to play.
Of the 4,000 political posts held by the incoming administration, about 1,200 require Senate confirmation and their records begin to be verified during the transition.
In addition to meetings with government officials, the transition team generally coordinates with the State Department to organize calls between the president-elect and different foreign leaders.
Until now, Biden’s team has had communications through unofficial channels.
With the full start of the transition you will be able to use the government email and have access to more secure channels.
Both the president-elect and the future first lady visited the White House and were consulted about the decoration, although this is more a convention than a legal requirement.
Why is the transition delayed?
Typically, the process begins when the GSA issues a letter acknowledging who the next president is.
But this year, the state agency declined to issue a letter recognizing Biden as the winner until the November 23, almost three weeks after the elections.
This blocked the release of funds and other resources for the president-elect team.
The legal specifications on when a transition should begin are unclear, and that gave the Trump administration leeway to seek a delay while maintaining the dispute over the election result.
Under US law, the GSA has to activate the transition once there is an “apparent winner”, although there is no deadline for this.
This happened before. In 2000, the transition period lasted barely half its usual time as the result of the elections was contested in the tribunals.
By contrast, four years ago Trump was recognized as the winner by the GSA the day after the election, long before the results were made official.
The day after the vote, he visited then-President Obama at the White House.
Who pays for all this?
The cost of the transition is covered by a combination of government money and private funds.
Once the GSA recognizes the president-elect, they are released around US$7 millones of federal funds.
Usually this is completed with funds raised by the president-elect.
The New York Times reported that Biden had raised about $ 7 million for his transition team in early November and has since been asking his supporters for more funding.
All of this goes to pay the millions of dollars in expenses accumulated in the transfer of what they call the most powerful job in the world.
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Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.