When and how does the GSA ascertain the President-Elect?
My question is, what is the process by which the GSA ascertains someone as the President-Elect?
What criteria does a candidate have to meet?
Do they just wait until news organizations project a winner, or until the runner up in the election has conceded, or what?
Discretion of the Administrator of General Services. Though concession by the runner-up is not required, the timing appears closely related to concession.
Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding, October 5, 2016
Ascertaining the “Apparent Successful Candidates”
For the purposes of the PTA, the “President-elect” and “Vice-President-elect” are defined as “the apparent successful candidates for the office of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained by the Administrator following the general elections.”1 In the immediate aftermath of the contested November 7, 2000, presidential election, neither candidate was provided with the resources that would be available for the President-elect and Vice President-elect. In testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, Administrator David J. Barram testified: “In this unprecedented, incredibly close and intensely contested election, with legal action being pursued by both sides, it is not apparent to me who the winner is. That is why I have not ascertained a President-elect.” In his testimony, the Administrator drew on a 1963 House floor debate concerning the PTA, during which a sponsor of the legislation stated that, “in a close contest, the Administrator simply would not make the decision.” The GSA Deputy Administrator reportedly provided PTA facilities and funds to the Bush-Cheney transition team on December 14, 2000, the day following Vice President Al Gore’s concession speech.
1§3(c) The terms 'President-elect' and 'Vice-President-elect' as used in this Act shall mean such persons as are the apparent successful candidates for the office of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained by the Administrator following the general elections held to determine the electors of President and Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 1 and 2.