More than half the vacancies are at the departments of Treasury, Justice, State, Defense and Homeland Security, said New York University professor Paul Light, an expert on federal bureaucracy.
"Those are pretty significant policy jobs, and ones that the public ought to be concerned about. Obama is well on pace right now to set a new record in terms of lateness," Light told USA Today in a story published Tuesday.
The jobs remain open because of stalled nominations, new ethics rules, lengthy background checks and delays in Senate confirmations, department officials said.
The U.S. Senate, so far this year, has confirmed 366 nominees, compared with 421 for the same period during George W. Bush's first year in office, 379 during Bill Clinton's first year and 480 during Ronald Reagan's first year, USA Today reported.