« PreviousContinue »
sion of labor which, so far as the President's committee was concerned, confined us to the terms of reference that had been given to us in our appointment by the President. Under that agreement. or
understanding, the President's committee was to concern itself with w the problem of administrative management from the overall point of view. We were not to make detailed studies of the operating agencies of the Government. We did not intend to go into the operations of the bureaus and divisions, nor did we do that. Our understanding was that that was to be done by the Senate and House committees, both of which employed the Brookings Institution to do the research work for them. The employment of the Brookings Institution was made first by the Senate committee, and after that, as I understand it, by the House committee.
The President was given authority to set aside for the expenses of the President's committee a sum not to exceed $100,000.
The Senate had given its committee $20,000, and the House gave its committee $10,000, and later, when the House committee was organized, the President's committee, at the request of Mr. Buchanan, assigned $10,000 of its funds to the work of the House committee, and in that way the House committee made the same amount of money available for its services, including the Brookings Institution contract, as already was done by the Senate..
I mention that at this time because if you read this report you will see that we have not gone into any analyses of the actual operating work of the various departments of the Government, except insofar as there are certain overall agencies in the Government which affect all of the work of all of the departments, divisions, and bureaus of the executive branch, and those we have described in our report as the managerial agencies.
Our report, if I might just follow it from this table of contents for a moment, falls into five points. We actually describe it in six principal chapters in the report. The central theory of the report is that of the responsibility of the executive for the execution of the laws and the administration of the appropriations that have been determined upon by the Congress. We endeavor to make suggestions as the result of our studies, our experience, and our observations, which in our opinion would improve the work undertaken by the executive department in the execution of the laws, and to that we add suggestions for improving, in our opinion, the accountability of the executive to the Congress for its work. We base our conclusions upon the theory that an efficient administrative branch of the Government is necessary for the survival of the democratic system and for the carrying into operation of the decisions made democratically under the American Constitution.
Then, we attack the problems, and there follow now the chapter headings briefly. The first one has to do with the White House itself. We think that one of the difficulties in the administration and in the management features of the administration is that the President himself has no sufficient staff to enable him to keep track of the far-flung administrative establishment. Therefore, we suggest, in addition to his regular secretarial staff which deals with the public, the Members of Congress, with the press and with all of the things that are imposed upon the President from the outside, that he be given a small staff of administrative aides which would facilitate his work in keeping informed with respect to the administrative agencies of the Government, and who would, in turn, be able to facilitate the carrying out of the executive decisions once they are made.
The next chapter in the report has to do with personnel management. It is the opinion of the committee that management is inextricably bound up with the control of personnel; that to manage a job and we believe that this is the universal experience both in government and in business-it is necessary to obtain the best possible men and women to do that work.
So under “Personnel management” we recommend, first, the extension of the merit system to include all except the policy-determining officers of the Government. Then we next recommend the reorganization and improvement of the administration of the personnel department. Here for the first time, although it is repeated later in the report, we express our opinion, and so far as our committee is concerned, it is an opinion which is strongly held, that, for administrative work, boards, multiple-headed agencies, are inefficient; that boards are useful, desirable, and necessary for the purpose of consultation, for advice, for quasi-judicial operations, but that, for administration, we do better with one man. Our observation, and to some extent our experience, leads us to believe that the multiple-headed agency engaged in administration consumes so much of its time and its energy in resolving questions within the board or commission itself that forthright and efficient administration is defeated.
Recognizing the problem that might be raised by the setting up of a single civil service administrator, for safeguards we have recommended that this single civil-service administrator be appointed under a merit system after a Nation-wide competition, as the result of an examination.
We also have recommended the setting up of a Civil Service Board, a lay board, not to be administrative in character but to be advisory, consultative, and to serve as the watchdog of the merit system.
We recommend that that board be composed of nonsalaried men and women who would be given a small per diem and expenses when they came to Washington, but would be compelled to hold meetings four times a year, and oftener if necessary.
That board would have two other duties aside from advice and consultation. One would be, if there was a vacancy in the position of civil-service administrator, that it would appoint a special examining board which would hold the examination and report, through the board, to the President the names of the three highest on the eligible list.
Then, also, under "Personnel” we make a recommendation for the increase of compensation of some of the higher administrative officers.
The next chapter is on "Fiscal management. This is again on the theory that administrative management is necessary for the conduct of the Government. We think that, after personnel, the most important thing in any management undertaking is the fiscal affairs.
Here we recommend briefly the improvement of the Budget office, the setting up of the Budget office as an improved and expanding research unit, and we recommend I am going to ask Mr. Gulick later to expand this—we recommend that the accounting work be returned to the executive branch in the Treasury, and that the name of the Comptroller General be changed to Auditor General; that the office of Auditor General be set up to conduct an absolutely independent audit, and that the accountability of the executive to the Congress be sharpened and improved by the setting up of a joint committee or a special committee of the two Houses to receive continually the reports of the Auditor General.
The next chapter is on planning management-again, recurring to our central concept that management always consists of the recruitment and control of personnel, the management of the fiscal affairs, continued research into cost accounting, a proper accounting system, and an independent audit. The third feature of management is programing or planning.
Now, of course, planning is carried on by every department and bureau of the Government. Necessarily each of them has to have a program, but since there are so many and there is a lack of coordination, we recommend that a National Resources Board be created to serve as a central planning agency under the President, but which would have no administrative duties. And again there, where we recommend a board, we recommend an unpaid board; that is, a board of men who are paid a small per diem when they are actually in service, but not a full-time salaried board.
Then having attempted in this way to equip the Chief Executive with what we conceive to be the necessary three arms of managerial direction, personnel, fiscal, and planning, we have a chapter on the administrative reorganization of the executive branch, where we recommend, in brief, that the power be granted by the Congress to the Executive to make, from time to time, the allocations, the consolidations, and what not, very much along the line that was carried in the Economy Act of 1932, the Economy Act of 1933, and indeed before that time, during the war, under the Overman Act.
We believe also, as stated in this section, that for the efficient management of the executive branch it is necessary to cut down the great number of separate agencies now reporting directly to the President. It was our idea to get them all into regular departments, so that with the exception of the managerial agencies which must report directly to the President, all of the operating administrative agencies would report to the President through regular Cabinet officers.
In order to achieve that our studies led us to make the recommendation that two new departments be established, and that all of these agencies be brought within the 12 regular departments.
In a discussion of the independent regulatory commissions we also recommend that they be brought in for their administrative work, although there would continue to be, in those cases where they already have been established, the independently appointed commission or board for the quasijudicial functions.
Then the next chapter is devoted to the accountability of the Executive to the Congress which, in our opinion, should be sharpened.
The machinery for making that accountability effective and timely should be improved. That ties back on the fiscal side to the recommendations that we already have made on the accounting and auditing side, to the recommendations that we already have discussed here, to the Auditor General and accounting; it would tie in on the other side of the fiscal affairs with the work of the Bureau of the Budget by special committees of the Congress which would follow that work and we have also suggested special committees of Congress to follow the work of the personnel management and the planning management features.
I would be very glad, if you desire to ask me questions now, to try to answer them, or shall I call on the other members of the President's committee to supplement these statements ?
The CHAIRMAN. I think the committee would desire to question you.
Mr. BROWNIOW. At the proper time I would like Mr. Gulick to make a statement.
The CHAIRMAN. May I ask you, how is the number of necessary executive aides, that is, assistants to the Chief Executive, arrived at?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Well, that is not a precise number, and indeed our report said "these assistants probably not exceeding six in number."
The CHAIRMAN. How is six arrived at?
Mr. BROWNLOW. We arrived at that by looking over the different types of administrative work in the Government, where we thought a man of the type that we have described would be useful. One, for instance, might handle foreign affairs, one fiscal affairs, one matters dealing with the economic work functionally, one would be a liaison officer, no matter what department it was in, with the personnel, and one with the planning
Representative TABER. In other words, they would be split somewhat along the line of the split of the administrative functions into departments?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Well, they would be split, Mr. Taber, functionally and not in the way the departments were organized. For instance now, if something comes from the State Department with respect to foreign affairs, there ought to be some machinery for checking that recommendation with, let us say, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Labor which has the immigration and naturalization.
Representative TABER. Could not that have been done before it is submitted by the State Department ? Now, I am going to project this idea first: Does not the result of this administrative set-up look just about like this: It breaks the direct connection of the departments represented and presided over by Secretaries in the Cabinet, and does not that kind of a set-up destroy the present efficiency of the Executive resulting from the Cabinet meetings and the direct contact between these officers and the Executive?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Not in our concept, Mr. Taber. We have stated here that these men are not to be assistants, they are not to be bet ween the Cabinet and the President, they are to facilitate the work. We have one at the White House, we have had one there for years who has been doing that kind of work, but there is too much work for him. Rudolph Forster is the type of man, for instance, and that is the type of work.
Senator TOWNSEND. What authority would these men have?
Mr. BROWNLOW. None, whatever. They could not make any decision, or anything else. They would be high-class, intelligent administrative aides, such as the president or the general manager of almost any business corporation has near him.
Senator OʻMAHONEY. What is the particular kind of work that needs to be done by these executive aides which is not being done?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Well, one thing is that sometimes now when they report directly to the President
Senator O’MAHONEY (interrupting). When who reports directly?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Any one of these 100 agencies. They have to get to the President. There ought to be somebody there, when they send over things, who would brief the matters for the President.
Senator O’MAHONEY. When the head of an agency sends over something he ought to see a subordinate and not the President; is that your suggestion?
Mr. BROWNLOW. No; he sees the President. The President can act on it, but if the President wants additional information on it he ought to have somebody there that can look it up for him.
In answer to Mr. Taber's question, sometimes, of course, a department makes a recommendation and does not know that some other department is at work on the same thing.
Senator McNARY. Doctor, how did your committee reach the conclusion that we need two additional departments of government?
Mr. BROWNLOW. On the ground that we believe that all of these agencies should report through a department head, for coordination.
Senator McNARY. Following that idea of the expansion of the Government as expressed by two additional departments, do you propose to indicate to this committee what agencies and divisions should be in each one of these 12 departments!
Mr. BROWNLOW. No more than we have in this report.
Senator McNary. I find it very indefinite, very illusory. It is not even suggestive of what I think you must have had in mind when you suggested the expansion of the administrative and departmental agencies of the Government.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Senator, if I may answer that, we did not go into the operation of the particular bureaus, as I said, but if you look over the whole range of activities in the Government there were certain ones,
and certain very large ones, that did not seem to fit into a general description of a department, and so we suggested a Department of Welfare and a Department of Works. Now, in the Department of Welfare, of course, which has been talked about for a long time, there are such things as indicated here, such things as health, for instance. The principal health activities are now in the Treasury Department, and general educational activities are now in the Interior Department. It is to conduct research in this field, to administer Federal grants, for such purposes; to protect the consumer. Now, there are consumer activities in three different departments, Labor, Agriculture, and Commerce, and if there is a unification perhaps it should be in this department. There is very grave reason for doubting if a consumer-protection unit should be associated with either Commerce, Agriculture, or Labor, for obvious reasons—they are primarily engaged in producer protection.
Senator O’MAHONEY. Is your fundamental concept that the Government establishment is bound to expand further, bound to grow