Page images
PDF
EPUB

tioned earlier, we are requesting $118,307,600 for fiscal year 1980. However, if all Members used their full allowance, we would need over 126 million dollars. Inasmuch as the Committee has not held its hearings on the proposed changes, we cannot ascertain the exact increase, if any, at this time. We are confident, however, that one hundred percent budgeting of this account will not be necessary.

[blocks in formation]

• CONTINGENT EXPENSES OF THE HOUSE

THE CONTINGENT FUND The word “Contingent" in the heading is oftentimes misunderstood. Funds in this section are not requested to cover unforeseen expenses or obligations happening only by chance. Rather, the estimates which account for over one-third of the total House request pertain to specifically authorized or approved programs.

Approximately 80 percent of the Contingent Fund estimates relate to the allowances of Members and obligations of the investigating committees. I will now examine each of the Treasury Accounts and Line Items in detail.

Mr. COLLEY. Mr. Chairman, page 34, next to the last paragraph, is referring back to your discussion on the supplemental this morning. That paragraph summarizes how much underfunded we are in the 1980 request basing it on what we have seen the Members use every year.

TRANSFERS FOR COMPUTER USE Mr. MICHEL. Mr. Chairman, might I ask here do you have any statistics to show how many Members are transferring out of their Clerk Hire for that computer business or is it just for expense? Is it that expense item, and then we use that for computer and whatever?

Mr. HENSHAW. They transfer out. Do we have a figure?

Mr. COLLEY. Yes, sir, on page 38 in the testimony, when we get into allowances and expenses. In 1978, 59 percent of the Members allocated over $2.5 million to official expenses.

Mr. MICHEL. I don't know how much that breaks down to in

Mputer services, don't know howa mexpenses.

Mr. LAWLER. Under that allowance now, as it goes into official expenses, there is no way to earmark what portion of the transfer may have been for computer services. We do have statistics that show approximately 8 percent of our request for the allowances and expenses is spent on computers.

Mr. MICHEL. OK. Thank you.

increase for fiscal year 1980. The supplemental request for the current fiscal year is necessary to cover the pay raise granted to employees by many Members in October 1978.

PAY RAISE STATISTICS Before I analyze the Clerk Hire request, you may find the following pay raise statistics interesting: Of the 439 Members, Delegates, and Resident Commissioner; 112 Members or 25.5 percent of the total gave all their Clerk Hire employees a uniform 5.5 percent salary increase; 275 Members or 62.6 percent of the total gave raises of other amounts; and only 52 Members or 11.9 percent of the total gave no raise at all.

EXPLANATION AND UTILIZATION OF CLERK HIRE ALLOWANCE Mr. Chairman, several changes have taken place in the Clerk Hire account since my testimony before this Subcommittee last year. Although we are not asking for an actual increase in fiscal year 1980, you may find an in-depth review of the changes helpful. The maximum number of staff employees remained the same, at 18 per Member. However, the annual amount of Clerk Hire funds available was increased October 1, 1978 from $273,132 to $288,156. This was necessary to accommodate the pay comparability or Cost of Living increase. Increases in this allowance for other than pay comparability purposes must be approved by House Resolution. There were no increases of this type in the Clerk Hire allowance in 1978. The Clerk Hire minimum and maximum rates of pay are fixed at annual rates of no less than $1,200 or in excess of $47,500. The maximum rate is tied to the Executive Level V, which is currently $47,500.

The following statistics were prepared by the Office of Finance and will allow us to better analyze the use of the Clerk Hire Allowance.

During December 1978, the Members employed a total of 6,952 people or an average of 15.8, at an average annual salary of $15,956. Twenty-five percent of the Members employed persons at the maximum annual salary of $47,500.

Members used an average of $255,836 in Clerk Hire funds of the $276,888 available to them.

TRANSFER UNUSED CLERK HIRE FUNDS Effective January 3, 1978, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Committee on House Administration, a maximum of $15,000 of unused Clerk Hire could be transferred into Members' Official Expenses Allowances. During Calendar year 1978, 59 percent of the Members availed themselves of this program, allocating more than 2.5 million dollars. I might point out to the Committee that we request finding for the amounts transferred under Official Expenses of Members in the Contingent Expenses of the House which I will elaborate on later in my testimony. However, we are not budgeting twice for these funds, nor are the funds actually transferred from Clerk Hire to Official Expenses of Members. Since the Member's annual Clerk Hire Allowance is reduced by the allocation, we compensate for this by not requesting as much funding in Clerk Hire. The end result is a lower Clerk Hire funding request and a higher Official Expenses of Members request.

MEMBERS' CLERK HIRE NOT BUDGETED AT 100 PERCENT If we recommended the maximum amount available to Members, our request would be $126,500,484. However, because not all Members use the maximum number of positions or gross amount of their Clerk Hire Allowance, we do not request the maximum amount. This year we are under funding by 6.48 percent or about 8.19 million dollars.

DISCLOSURE OF PAYROLL As you know, the Committee on House Administration requires us to disclose publicly each Member's signed monthly payroll certification. We may not release checks for employees of a Member who has not returned the prior month's signed certification to the Office of Finance. In 1978, we had 200 requests as compared to 300 in 1977 to view the payroll accounts.

POSSIBLE CHANGES IN CLERK HIRE ALLOWANCE Mr. Chairman, I am aware that the Committee on House Administration, pursuant to the recommendations of the Democratic Caucus, will be considering during this session certain changes in the use of the Clerk Hire Allowance. Certain proposed changes, although not increasing the dollar value of the allowance, could increase the utilization rate and thus could require additional funding. As I men

tioned earlier, we are requesting $118,307,600 for fiscal year 1980. However, if all Members used their full allowance, we would need over 126 million dollars. Inasmuch as the Committee has not held its hearings on the proposed changes, we cannot ascertain the exact increase, if any, at this time. We are confident, however, that one hundred percent budgeting of this account will not be necessary.

[blocks in formation]

THE CONTINGENT FUND The word “Contingent” in the heading is oftentimes misunderstood. Funds in this section are not requested to cover unforeseen expenses or obligations happening only by chance. Rather, the estimates which account for over one-third of the total House request pertain to specifically authorized or approved programs.

Approximately 80 percent of the Contingent Fund estimates relate to the allowances of Members and obligations of the investigating committees. I will now examine each of the Treasury Accounts and Line Items in detail.

Mr. COLLEY. Mr. Chairman, page 34, next to the last paragraph, is referring back to your discussion on the supplemental this morning. That paragraph summarizes how much underfunded we are in the 1980 request basing it on what we have seen the Members use every year.

TRANSFERS FOR COMPUTER USE Mr. MICHEL. Mr. Chairman, might I ask here do you have any statistics to show how many Members are transferring out of their Clerk Hire for that computer business or is it just for expense? Is it that expense item, and then we use that for computer and whatever?

Mr. HENSHAW. They transfer out. Do we have a figure?

Mr. COLLEY. Yes, sir, on page 38 in the testimony, when we get into allowances and expenses. In 1978, 59 percent of the Members allocated over $2.5 million to official expenses.

Mr. MICHEL. I don't know how much that breaks down to in computer services, do you?

Mr. LAWLER. Under that allowance now, as it goes into official expenses, there is no way to earmark what portion of the transfer may have been for computer services. We do have statistics that show approximately 8 percent of our request for the allowances and expenses is spent on computers.

Mr. MICHEL. OK. Thank you.

HISTORY OF NUMBER OF CLERK HIRE EMPLOYEES
Mr. BENJAMIN. Mr. Conte?
Mr. CONTE. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

I had asked for that table and I guess this would be the place to get it. I looked at pages 55 and 56, and you have the amount of money appropriated from 1971 to 1980. Could you put in a comparable table showing total number employed for that period of time? Mr. COLLEY. In the ten-year period? Yes. Mr. HENSHAW. Yes, sir. Mr. CONTE. Thank you. [The information follows:]

MEMBERS' CLERK HIRF
Ten Year Historical Study

1971-1980

FISCAL YEAR

APPROPRIATION

NUMBER OF
PERSONNEL

1/

1971

4996

1972

5980

1973

5727

1974

6125

1975

6313

$53,900,000
59,820,000
64,000,000
74,777,000
82,505,000
117,329,250
103,268,000
112,648,300
112,648,3003/
118,307,600

1976

6827

6738

1977 1978

6859

[blocks in formation]

Number of House employees in the month of December except
for 1980 estimate
Number of House employees as of January 1979
Does not include pending pay supplemental of $5,142,400.

Mr. BENJAMIN. Other questions?

CONTINGENT EXPENSES OF THE HOUSE-ALLOWANCES AND

EXPENSES Mr. HENSHAW. Mr. Chairman, we will now present for the subcommittee's consideration estimates for a group of Treasury accounts and line items commonly referred to as the Contingent Fund of the House.

The estimate for fiscal year 1980 is $62,376,700. In addition to funds for the Members' Official Expenses Allowances, this estimate includes amounts for House supplies, furniture, furnishings, stenographic costs for committees, reimbursements to the Civil Service Retirement Fund for reemployed annuitants, Government contributions for employees' benefits and certain miscellaneous items.

The next page of my testimony graphically depicts the various categories of allowances and expenses, which is on page 37.

The chart follows:]

« PreviousContinue »