It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) that no list shall be abolished in order to make Temporary Authorization Utilization (TAU) appointments. All other options, which include transfer, training and development (T&D), transfer of a candidate’s eligibility from another department’s list to DGS’ list (under special conditions that meet the transfer criteria), reinstatement, use of another department’s list for the same classification as an appropriate list, shall be exhausted before initiating TAU (this shall be the last resort).

In making a decision that an existing list should be abolished rather than supplemented, several factors should be considered. Among these are the needs of the service, length, and quality of the existing list; the ability of existing lists to meet departmental affirmative action goals; the existence and quality of a new competitive group; and the extent of list usage. The existence of a new competitive group is given particular weight in promotional examinations because of the policy of providing reasonably frequent opportunities to compete for promotion. In open exams, the existence of a new group of competitors is not decisive unless inclusion of the new candidates in an examination would improve the utility of the list for meeting equal employment opportunity goals.

A new group of potential competitors better qualified than the candidates on the existing list may be compelling, but only if the basis on which the new group is judged to be better qualified is compelling. The likelihood that the new exam will be effective in selecting better qualified eligibles and will provide a more appropriate equal employment opportunity resource should be considered in deciding whether the new exam plan should include abolishment of an existing list. A list should not be abolished if abolishment would result in no list being available and TAU becoming necessary. 

The Selection Unit in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) is responsible for the abolishment of eligible lists.

When it is determined that list abolishment is appropriate, after discussions with the user and C&P Analyst, the date of the abolishment is typically the date of new list establishment.


The following are considerations in list abolishment decisions specific to certain situations, as indicated. For a complete discussion of each consideration, refer to the Selection Manual section 6950.

Promotional Examinations

  1. Where there is a Cyclical Examination Plan
  2. Where there is no Cyclical Examination Plan

Lists with Different Examination Bases
In reviewing existing lists, differences in examination base must be considered. Lists vary as to the geographical area for which they are established and the competitive group on which they are based.

  1. Geographical Area
  2. Abolishment of Open List on Holding a Promotional Examination
  3. Abolishment of Promotional List on Holding and Open Examination
  4. Promotional Lists with Different Promotional Competitive Bases

Open and Promotional Lists of Same Date
If the existing lists are an open list and a promotional list of the same date, list abolishment decisions will be affected by whether the new examination will be held only on an open basis, only on a promotional basis, or on an open and promotional basis. The basic policies to be applied are contained in the last three sections above. The following are list abolishment considerations applicable to all exams.

  1. List Usage
    List usage must always be considered in determining if abolishment is appropriate. To determine list usage, compare the number of remaining active eligibles with the number originally on the list (access SPB On-line). If there has been very little usage of a list, abolishment action would only be appropriate if other factors strongly supported abolishment. For example, abolishment could be considered if the low list usage is a result of relatively low quality of the eligibles on the list. The more extensively a list has been used, the more list abolishment is supported. Heavy list usage, by itself, is never conclusive, however. Other factors, such as equal employment opportunity, recruitment difficulty and the views of using departments, should be considered before making a final decision.
  2. Quality of Remaining Eligibles
    The quality of remaining eligibles is an important consideration. The scores of the remaining eligibles on the original list provides some evidence concerning the current quality of the list. A comparison of the current list with scores on prior lists based on similar exam plans for the class may provide further evidence. If the remaining eligibles on the current list possess low scores, this may support list abolishment; however, if list abolishment would result in failure to consider and hire qualified minorities, women and disabled eligibles, the action would not be desirable unless the new exam is expected to produce more qualified persons in these target groups.

    The views of the user departments are another important source of information on the quality of the remaining eligibles. They may indicate that, based on recent interviews with the remaining eligibles, there do not appear to be many eligibles still interested in the position, or that those who remain interested are not well-qualified candidates.
  3. Availability of Better Candidates
    The current labor market should be assessed. The existence of better potential candidates than those remaining on the list, or of qualified candidates in target groups, although not conclusive, supports holding a new examination and abolishing the exisiting list.
  4. Age of List
    The age of a list taken alone is of secondary importance. List age is important only in association with factors that are related to it, such as list usage and the availability of better candidates. However, the cost of establishing a new list at an early date should be justified by the benefits expected.
  5. Change in Class Duties
    A change in the class usage or concept, if the change is such that it will be reflected in the examination through revised minimum qualifications or changes in the exam plan or test content, should be a major consideration in list abolishment decisions. If the changes are significant, they could support a new examination and list abolishment despite minor list usage. This is especially true for one or two position classes. There may have been a change in class concept from a highly technical class concept to a more general managerial concept, for example. In this case, there should be different candidates from those already on the list potentially available for the new examination.
  6. Screening in Last Examination
    The nature and degree of screening in the last examination is significant as evidenced by the quality of the list. For example, if the previous examination consisted of a written test only, and the DGS users of the resulting list comment that eligibles appear marginal or not acceptable, this is a clue to the exam analyst that the selection process should be modified and that a new exam and abolishment of the current list may be appropriate. Perhaps in the example give, addition of an oral interview to the examination to evaluate oral communication and interpersonal skills, or replacement of the written test with patterned interview questions to evaluate technical knowledge, would be more appropriate.
  7. DGS Views
    The views of DGS list users are especially important. Lists are not normally abolished if the department desires to continue to use them. When DGS hiring supervisors/managers support list abolishment because they want better eligibles, the exam analyst needs to get input from all of the user(s) as to the deficiencies of the available eligibles. If the deficiencies may be corrected in the new exam by use of a special recruitment effort, new exam plan, or other change, abolishment of the existing list may be appropriate. Ordinarily, in order to avoid TAU requests, the list should not be abolished until a replacement list is available.
  8. Continuous Testing
    The concept of list abolishment does not apply in an ongoing, continuous testing program.
  9. College Recruitment Classes
    The lists for most of the entry-level professional and technical classes are characterized by a short, useful period. If eligibles are not hired within a year, they are not likely to be interested.

Special Cases

  1. List Inadequate for Some Locations
    List abolishment should be analyzed carefully when the condition of the list is substantially different for several locations where positions exist.
  2. Extreme Recruitment Difficulty
    Lists sometimes should be retained even though they have very few or no active eligibles. This is true for some very difficult-to-fill construction, architectural, medical, and engineering classes where the possibility that an inactive eligible may become active and the consequent obtaining of a single additional eligible is important enough to justify maintenance of the list.
  3. Lists Ineffective for the Type of Appointments to Be Made
    Lists may be abolished when they are ineffective for limited term, intermittent, or part-time appointments if the bulletin for the examination notified the competitors that appointments would primarily be other than full time. However, it is not appropriate to abolish a list with no usage simply because no one is available for limited tenure appointments if the bulletin did not announce the fact that only such employment would be available. A new examination can be scheduled to fill the limited tenure positions, but the existing list of persons available for permanent full-time employment should remain in existence.


Responsible Control Agency

  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code Section 18901, 18906