Page images
PDF
EPUB

ties now conducted by the State Department. The Director of the new Agency will be the principal adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of State on international information and exchange activities.

The President has stated that the purpose of the reorganization is to broaden our intercourse with the world, to inform others about our country, and inform ourselves about the rest of the world. The integrity of educational and cultural exchange programs will be maintained and the Board of Foreign Scholarships will be retained by the plan. The Voice of America's news gathering and reporting functions will be kept independent and objective. Voice of America, the President, stated, will continue to present U.S. policy clearly and effectively ar be solely responsible for the content of news broadcasts. The Preside believes that the reorganization will result in greater efficiency by unifying in Washington the management of programs which are already administered in a consolidated manner in the field. ·

We have with us today representatives of the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of State, the U.S. Information Agency, and organizations which represent the employees affected by the reorganization.

I am particularly pleased that we have on this subcommittee Representative Dante B. Fascell, who is also chairman of the International Operations Subcommittee of the Committee on International Relations and who has made a detailed study of our international information and cultural affairs programs and the agencies which now carry them out. I understand that the President's plan follows, to a considerable degree, recommendations the Fascell subcommittee made to him.

I now recognize the gentleman from New York, Mr. Horton.
Mr. HORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I looked forward to receiving the President's plan to reorganize the Government's activities relating to international communications, educational, and cultural affairs, and the broadcasting activities due to its potential importance.

As most experts agree, we are embarking on a new era of what is being called "public diplomacy," that is, those programs in the area of information, international broadcasting, educational exchanges, and cultural exchanges. We have numbers of examples of how initial public diplomacy exchanges have led to more substantive diplomatic endeavors. The "ping pong" diplomacy that helped pave the way to limited diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China is probably the most famous example, but there were others. And, of course, the new emphasis on human rights will require a concentrated effort in public diplomacy.

In the past few years this has been an area of great concern and study with reports from citizen groups, the Stanton Panel; Government studies, the Murphy Commission; Congress own General Accounting Office; and just this past June, the House Committee on International Relations held 9 days of hearings with testimony from many distinguished scholars and statesmen concerned with this problem. In short, there is no dearth of information on this important subject.

The plan, in essence, just combines two agencies, the U.S. Information Agency and the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, into one new organization called the Agency for International Communication. USIA and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs are two of our smaller organizations and ones that are often overlooked. But they could, and should, be of great importance in this new day of public diplomacy. The President, the Secretary of State, and some of our more outspoken ambassadors make the headlines, but it is the U.S. Information Service personnel that have to deal with the day-to-day problems and constantly project our image in a world that is not altogether friendly these days.

It is with this background that I must admit a certain disappointhent with Reorganization Plan No. 2. Instead of using this opportunity for a whole new thrust for public diplomacy, we have seen a rather simple consolidation of the two agencies concerned with this subject. I think that it is important to note that this consolidation is not necessarily bad, just rather uninspiring. In all fairness to the President, perhaps I am expecting too much from reorganization. But, this disappointment reflects the feeling from experts in the field. Therefore, I hope that this reorganization plan is just the first step in the subject of public diplomacy.

I do have two other comments that are somewhat related. First is the great lack of specificity to this plan. For example, the plan calls for four Associate Directors, but does not specify what they are for. In the message, the President does state that one will be for Educational and Cultural Affairs and another for the Voice of America. But we are still left in doubt for the assignment of the other two Associate Directors. We also have no idea what happens to personnel in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. All we really know is that two old agencies are being combined into a new agency called the Agency for International Communication.

I would like to remind the administration of section 903 (b) of the Reorganization Act which states:

The message shall also estimate any reduction or increase in expenditures (itemized so far as practicable), and describe any improvements in management, delivery of Federal services, execution of the laws, and increases in efficiency of government operations, which it is expected will be realized as a result of the reorganizations included in the plan.

Now let me read what the President's message said regarding specifics:

It is not practicable to specify all of the expenditure reductions and other economies that will result from the proposed reorganization and therefore I do not do so.

I am disappointed that the message did not attempt to comply more with the intention of section 903 (b).

As we saw with Reorganization Plan No. 1, there is a great lack of, in fact, no backup material. As I mentioned earlier, this has been a subject of great concern to a lot of people lately. The International Operations Subcommittee hearings alone are 691 pages long, yet there is absolutely no backup material to Reorganization Plan No. 2. While this subject is fairly simple, we will be getting into some very complex

proposals such as reorganizing retirement plans, and unless we have backup material with jurisdictions, personnel, budget data, et cetera, I am afraid that sooner or later reorganization plans will be rejected on that ground alone.

Mr. Chairman, I will probably vote for the plan and support it on the floor of the House, but I feel compelled to point out my disappointment that, not only do we have a timid plan, we have no specifics to know whether we are saving money, personnel, efficiency, or getting any of the benefits we expect to realize from reorganization.

Mr. BROOKS. Thank you, Mr. Horton.

Our first witness will be W. Harrison Wellford who is Executive Associate Director for Reorganization and Management of the Offe of Management and Budget and will represent the administration.

Mr. Wellford was born in Wichita Falls, Tex., and graduated from Davidson College where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his masters degree at Cambridge University in England and his doctor of philosophy degree from Harvard University where he was a teacher fellow. He also has a law degree from Georgetown University for the study of responsive law and later became legislative assistant to the late Senator Phillip Hart of Michigan. Mr. Wellford has written. widely on consumer and governmental problems. He is married and has two children.

We are delighted to have you with us this morning, Mr. Wellford. We are pleased to see that you have with you two associates, Mr. Peter Szanton, your Associate Director for Organization and Studies of OMB, and Eric Hirschhorn, now the Acting Deputy Associate Director, National Security and International Affairs Division, President's reorganization project, of the OMB.

He was counsel for the Government Information and Individual Rights Subcommittee as late as a year or so ago and prior to that worked as a congressional aide. We have a high regard for him. I might add that we were perfectly willing for him to remain on this staff where he was competent and dedicated and able. I know he will be the same for you if you utilize him. If you do not, we will get him a better job somewhere else. [Laughter.]

STATEMENT OF W. HARRISON WELLFORD, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR REORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET; ACCOMPANIED BY PETER L. SZANTON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR ORGANIZATION AND STUDIES; AND ERIC L. HIRSCHHORN, ACTING DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR ORGANIZATION, PRESIDENT'S REORGANIZATION PROJECT

Mr. WELLFORD. We are grateful for having the loan of Eric Hirschhorn, as we are for many congressional staff who have been helping us. One of the characteristics of the executive branch is that when you move from Capitol Hill downtown your title gets longer even if your responsibilities don't. My title is unfortunately in the same boat, although not quite as long as Eric's.

I am pleased to report to you today on Reorganization Plan No. 2. I have a prepared statement. In the interest of time, I will read only some excerpts from that statement this morning.

Mr. BROOKS. Without objection, the statement in its entirety will be entered in the record.

[See p. 44].

Mr. WELLFORD. You will also hear testimony today from the State Department and USIA. They are particularly well suited to respond to questions about some of the specifics, particularly those about which Mr. Horton talked. We will try to answer some of those questions as well.

This proposal, the second of a series of reorganization plans, was transmitted to Congress on October 12 and reflects the President's strong commitment to making the Government more efficient and more effective in carrying out the programs enacted by the Congress. It also reflects his commitment to a vital public diplomacy_program.

This plan will create a new agency-the Agency for International Communication-which will take over the international communications programs of the United States Information Agency and the international educational and cultural exchange activities now conducted by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Director of the new Agency, like the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, will act under the general direction of the Secretary of State, but will report directly to the President as well as to the Secretary. The Director of the Agency for International Communication will act as the principal adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of State on international information and cultural exchange activities.

The principal programs that will be conducted by the Agency for International Communication include educational and cultural exchanges and other specific activities including the following:

Exchange of persons program, providing academic exchanges, international visitors, American specialists, cooperation with private institutions and cultural presentations.

The Voice of America, radio broadcasting worldwide in a total of 37 languages.

Overseas missions operating libraries and cultural centers and programs of English teaching and media relations, seminars, and lectures.

This reorganization will increase the efficiency of the programs involved by unifying here in Washington the management of activities that already are administered together in the field. We do not, however, view this proposal merely as a more efficient amalgamation of unaltered programs. The combination of these programs reflects and is part of an ongoing change in the tone of our public diplomacy programs, an increasing concern for the mutuality of these activities.

The relationships between the United States and other nations of the world have become increasingly interdependent. To be sure we still seek to protect our interests and to present our point of view to the rest of the world. More and more we must build bridges between our people and the peoples of other nations.

In the President's words, "Only by knowing and understanding each other's experiences can we find common ground on which we can examine and resolve our differences.”

This change in the world and our view of it has lead us to conclude that we have far more to gain by fostering and encouraging the interchange of information and experiences between all aspects of our society and all aspects of other societies than by engaging in a one-way propaganda exercise to sell a monolithic, rosy view of the United States.

The mission of the Agency for International Communication will thus be twofold:

n

To tell the world about our society, including our policies, in a ner that demonstrates the diversity of experience and opinion within this country and our commitment to free speech.

To learn about the other peoples and nations of the world, so as to enrich our own culture and enable ourselves to address more effectively the problems that may arise among nations.

Several additional principles underlying this plan are closely related to the idea of mutuality. They were emphasized in the President's message, and I restate them here:

First, the nonpolitical character of the educational and cultural exchange programs must and will be maintained. The independent Board of Foreign Scholarships, which is selected by the President and which in turn selects those who will participate in the academic exchange program, will be retained. The leadership of the Board has been one of the major reasons for the high quality and distinguished reputation of the educational exchange program. In addition, the President has indicated his intention to nominate an Associate Director-one of four in the new Agency-who will be responsible for the educational and cultural programs.

Second, the news gathering and reporting functions of the Voice of America must and will be independent and objective, and VOA will be solely responsible for the content of its news broadcasts. The VOA charter, which Congress enacted into law last year, provides that "VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive"; that VOA will present U.S. policies "clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion on these policies"; and that VOA will "present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions."

This reorganization does not alter that charter in any way. It reaffirms in particular the charter's guarantee of news independence. As is the case with regard to the educational and cultural exchange programs, the President has indicated his intention to nominate an Associate Director of the new Agency who will be responsible for the Voice of America.

There have been in recent years a number of excellent, thoughtful studies, reports, and hearings dealing with the organization of our public diplomacy activities. Most of these had substantial public input and participation, and all were studied carefully by the administration in the process of preparing this organization plan.

Principal among these were: one, the report of the Panel on International Information, Education, and Cultural Relations chaired by

« PreviousContinue »