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necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.
I recommend that the Congress allow the reorganization plan to become effective.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON. THE WHITE HOUSE, February 10, 1966.
REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 1 OF 1966
Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of
Representatives in Congress assembled, February 10, 1966, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, 63 Stat. 203, as amended
COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE
SECTION 1. TRANSFER OF SERVICE. Subject to the provisions of this reorganization plan, the Community Relations Service now existing in the Department of Commerce under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law No. 88–352, July 2, 1964), including the office of Director thereof, is hereby transferred to the Department of Justice.
SEC. 2. TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS.—All functions of the Community Relations Service, and all functions of the Director of the Community Relations Service, together with all functions of the Secretary of Commerce and the Department of Commerce with respect thereto, are hereby transferred to the Attorney General.
SEC. 3. INCIDENTAL TRANSFERS.-(a) Section 1 hereof shall be deemed to transfer to the Department of Justice the personnel, property, and records of the Community Relations Service and the unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds available or to be made available to the Service.
(b) Such further measures and dispositions as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall deem to be necessary in order to effectuate the transfers referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall be carried out in such manner as he shall direct and by such agencies as he shall designate.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS Staff memorandum No. 89-2-5.
FEBRUARY 21, 1966. Subject: Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1966, providing for reorganization of
community relations functions in the area of civil rights (S. Res. 220,
Disapproving plan No. 1). Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1966 was submitted by the President to the Congress on February 10, 1966. Unless disapproved by a majority vote of either House of the Congress, it will become effective on April 11, 1966.
Senate Resolution 22, providing for the disapproval of plan No. 1, was intro duced by Senator Jacob K. Javits on the same date. (Reorganization Plan No. 1 and the resolution of disapproval were referred to the Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization on February 21, 1966.)
PURPOSE OF THE PLAN
The purpose of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1966 is to transfer the Community Relations Service from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Justice and to transfer all of its functions from the Secretary of Commerce to the Attorney General.
According to the President's message transmitting plan No. 1, the proposed transfer is part of a program designed to eliminate duplication and undesirable overlapping in the activities of the Federal agencies involved in the field of civil rights. As a first step in the accomplishment of this objective, the President stated that he had issued two Executive orders on September 24, 1965, which (1) simplified and clarified executive branch assignments of responsibility for enforcing civil rights policies; (2) placed responsibility for the Government-wide coordination of the enforcement activities of executive agencies in Cabinet heads; and (3) directed the Attorney General to assist Federal agencies in coordinating certain of their enforcement activities.
Referring to the subject matter of plan No. 1, the President stated :
“As a further step for strengthening the operation and coordination of our civil rights program, I now recommend transfer of the functions of the Community Relations Service, established in the Department of Commerce under title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to the Attorney General and transfer of the Service, including the office of Director, to the Department of Justice."
PROVISIONS OF THE PLAN
Section 1 provides for the transfer of the Community Relations Service, including the office of the Director thereof, from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Justice.
Section 2 transfer all the functions of the Community Relations Service, including those of its Director, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Department of Commerce, with respect thereto, to the Attorney General.
Section 3 provides for the transfer to the Department of Justice of the personnel, property, and records of the Community Relations Service, as well as the unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds available or to be made available to the Service. It provides further for such additional measures and dispositions as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget shall deem necessary to effectuate the transfers provided for in this section, to be carried out in such manner as he shall direct and by such agencies as he shall designate.
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
In his message transmitting plan No. 1 of 1966, President Johnston stated that the Community Relations Service had been located in the Department of Commerce on the assumption that a primary need would be the conciliation of disputes arising out of the public accommodations title of the act. He stated further that “that decision was appropriate on the basis of information available at that time. The need for conciliation in this area has not been as great as anticipated because of the voluntary progress that has been made by businessmen and business organizations."
President Johnson continued, stating that:
"To be effective, assistance to communities in the identification and conciliation of disputes should be closely and tightly coordinated. Thus, in any par. ticular situation that arises within a community, representatives of Federal agencies whose programs are involved should coordinate their efforts through a single agency. In recent years, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department has played such a coordinating role in many situations, and has done so with great effectiveness.
"Placing the Community Relations Service within the Justice Department will enhance the ability of the Justice Department to mediate an conciliate and will insure that the Federal Government speaks with a unified voice in those tense situations where the good offices of the Federal Government are called upon to assist.
"In this, as in other areas of Federal operations, we will move more surely and rapidly toward our objectives if we improve Federal organization and the arrangements for interagency coordination.
"The present distribution of Federal civil rights responsibilities clearly indi. cates that the activities of the Community Relations Service will fit most appropriately in the Department of Justice.” (Emphasis supplied.]
The President then noted that "the Department of Justice has primary program responsibilities in civil rights matters and deep and broad experience in the conciliation of civil rights disputes." After reviewing some of the statutory responsibilities of the Department of Justice in the field of civil rights, the Presi. dent stated that most of the Department's responsibilities in civil rights “require not only litigation, but also efforts at persuasion, negotiation, and explanation, especially with local governments and law enforcement authorities. In addi. tion, under the Law Enforcement Assistance Act the Department will be supporting local programs in the area of police-community relations."
After calling attention to the fact that the test of the effectiveness of an enforcement agency is not how many legal actions are initiated and won, but whether there is compliance with the law, as a result of which every such agency necessarily engages in extensive efforts to obtain compliance with the law and the avoidance of disputes, the President stated that:
"Among the heads of Cabinet departments the President looks principally to the Attorney General for advice and judgment on civil rights issues. The latter is expected to be familiar with civil rights problems in all parts of the Nation and to make recommendations for executive and legislative action.
“The Attorney General already has responsibility with respect to a major portion of Federal conciliation efforts in the civil rights field. Under Executive Order 11247, he coordinates the Government-wide enforcement of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which relies heavily on the achievement of compliance through persuasion and negotiation."
The President then stated that in the light of these facts, the accompanying reorganization plan would transfer the functions of the Community Relations Service and of its Director to the Attorney General. In so providing, the plan follows the established pattern of Federal organization by vesting all the transferred powers in the head of the Department, and the Attorney General will provide for the organization of the Community Relations Service as a separate unit within the Department of Justice.
With respect to the operations of the Service under the proposed transfer, the President stated that the functions transferred by the plan would be carried out with full regard of the provisions of title X relating to (1) cooperation with appropriate State or local, public, or private agencies; (2) the confidentiality of information acquired with the understanding that it would be so held; and (3) the limitation on the performance of investigative or prosecutive functions by personnel of the Service.
He concluded that “this transfer will benefit both the Department of Justice and the Community Relations Service in the fulfillment of their existing functions * * * and that "the Attorney General will benefit in his role as the President's adviser by obtaining an opportunity to anticipate and meet problems before the need for legal action arises." He stated further that "the Community Relations Service, brought into closer relationship with the Attorney General and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, will gain by becoming a primary resource in a coordinated effort in civil rights under the leadershp of the Attorney General. The Community Relations Service will have direct access to the extensive information, experience, staff, and facilities within the Department and in other Federal agencies."
Finally, the President stated that:
**** the responsibility for coordinating major Government activities under the Civil Rights Act aimed at voluntary and peaceful resolution of discriminatory
practices will be centered in one department. Thus, the reorganization will permit the most efficient and effective utilization of resources in this field. TOgether, the Service and the Department will have a larger capacity for accomplishment than they do apart."
BACKGROUND, MISSION, AND ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMUNITY RELATIONS SERVICE Background
The Community Relations Service was established in and as a part of the Department of Commerce by title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-352; 42 U.S.C. 20009–2000g-3), to aid persons and communities in resolving disputes relating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, and national origin, which impair the rights of persons in such communities under the Constitution or laws of the United States. The substance of title X was contained in the original bill submitted by the President in 1963, but was deleted by the House Committee on the Judiciary. It was subsequently added to the civil rights bill on the floor of the House of Representatives, as an amendment, and was adopted by the Senate, with some modifications. Mission
The mission of the Community Relations Service is to provide conciliation and mediation services, information, and technical assistance in communities where disputes over compliance with civil rights law disrupt, or threaten to disrupt, peaceful relations among citizens; and to assist in situations in which efforts are being made to develop programs and procedures designed to further compliance and reduce and prevent racial tensions and disorders which affect or may affect interstate commerce.
The Service is authorized to assist communities upon the request of local citizens or officials, or upon its own motion, and Federal courts may refer to the Service cases arising under title II of the act (public accommodations). In performing its functions, the Service is required, wherever possible, to seek and utilize the cooperation of appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, private and public groups or institutions and individuals working to develop methods and programs for the peaceful resolution of racial disputes.
The Service is headed by a Director, appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation, for a term of 4 years, at an annual salary of $27.000. The Director is authorized to appoint such staff as is necessary to enable the Service to carry out its functions and duties, and is required to submit to the Congress, on or before January 31 of each year, a report of the activities of the Service during the preceding fiscal year.
Finally, the Service has no powers of compulsion or law enforcement, and the act specifically provides that the Service must conduct its activities in confidence and without publicity and must hold confidential any information acquired in the regular performance of its duties upon the understanding that it would be so held. Furthermore, any officer or other employee of the Service who makes public in any manner whatever any information in violation of this provision is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year. Activities
According to the first annual report filed by the Community Relations Service for fiscal year 1965, during much of that period, the Service "was in its formative stage, recruiting and organizing a staff while at the same time filling urgent requests for help.”
The Service reported that:
“The staff of the agency has assisted 120 troubled communities in 28 States. Most of these communities were called to the attention of the Service by 213 complaints filed by groups and individuals. A majority of these communities are located in the Southeastern States and have populations under 25,000. A statistical description of CRS assistance cannot, however, provide the complete picture. There are also intangibles such as the guidance and suggestions given by our conciliators and other staff specialists in innumerable meetings and discussions both in the field and Washington.
"Included among the communities CRS has assisted are the nine large target cities of a Cabinet-level task force on urban problems: Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, Newark, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Rochester.
Referring to the types of problems encountered, the report states:
“Typically, a community in trouble, north or south, has a broad range of interlocking discriminatory problems as the source of dispute or tension. Althougb the specific cluster of problems varies with the locale, they frequently include voter registration difficulties; employn:ent inequities in city government and private business; segregation in the schools; discrimination in public facilities, public accommodation or housing; police-community relations and inadequate law enforcement techniques.
"These problem areas cannot easily be compartmentalized. Conciliators who are called in initially to work on a school desegregation problem, for example, find it impossible to resist the community's pressures to become involved in other problems such as housing, use of public facilities, or any number of other community disputes. So common is this experience that by the end of fiscal year 1965, CRS conciliators were still active in 73 of the 120 communities."
Concerning its preventive activities, the report states :
"The Service has several affirmative action programs and seeks to focus these efforts, wherever feasible, on communities before they reach the point of crisis where positions have become polarized and emotion rather than reason prevails.
“The increasing demands for CRS assistance have often made it necessary, however, for the Service to direct its efforts primarily toward communities already in a crisis situation.
“As a direct result, fully adequate and timely attention often cannot be given in many situations to opening lines of communications between the white and Negro communities, providing continued on-the-spot consultation on Federal programs having an impact on minority group problems, assisting with programs to assure healthy police-community relations, or helping communities establish or strengthen human relations commission."
Referring to its future activities, the report states :
"Significantly, there has been a steady increase of late in the number of requests CRS has received from large northern urban centers where the largest and most compressed concentrations of deprived minority group people are located. As the focal point of racial difficulties shifts northward, it is anticipated that more of the efforts of the Service will be directed at northern problems.”
In discussing the role of the Community Relations Service field conciliator, the report states :
"Tension and crisis are as much a part of the normal life of any community as are peace and tranquillity. The job of the CRS field conciliator is to help communities use both phases constructively-for growth toward a better life for al} citizens, regardless of race."
With respect to Community Relations Service goals for communities, it is reported that:
"The most important general goal of CRS conciliation activity is to assist communities in every way possible to help themselves achieve voluntary and peaceful compliance with Federal civil rights laws.
"Since CRS usually assists communities in crisis situations, our work is often described by others as that of 'settling' disputes. We have found that one can rarely 'settle' a dispute or "close a case' when discrimination is involved, however, for it is deep and insidious and hard to root out. CRS is called to encourage compliance, and each apparent 'settlement of a crisis is more accurately seen as another small step in the never-ending battle against injustice.
"Peaceful compliance will be a reality only if certain long-range goals are achieved in the community. Among them are:
“(a) Respect for Federal law throughout the community;
“(6) Understanding and an attitude of mutual respect among groups in the community;
"(c) The development of confidence and leadership skills among minority group members, so they may move from nonparticipation to full and active participation in all parts of community life;
"(d) The development and encouragement of the kind of courageous leadership among white people that will enable the community to move ahead more effectively;
"(e) Some permanent form of ongoing interracial communication between representative leaders of races. CRS conciliators work for the establishment of a professionally staffed official community or human relations commission as part of the structure of city government—a body which is respected by all sides, controlled by no political or economic interest, can