« PreviousContinue »
SUGGESTED OUTLINE OF POINTS TO BE COVERED IN MEMORANDUM, a
Name: (Place in center-see sample project.)
number for this project, also the bureau number, division number, laboratory number, etc.; and, if cooperative, the station or institution number, with respective subdivision numbers, all names being abbreviated, as:
U. S. Dept. No. B. A. I. No.
ating. (Names only are desired here.) Organization and cooperation: Briefly state entire plan of organization, whether part
is under cooperation and part is independent, etc. (Matters of administration and
contracts only should be recorded under this head.) Sources of maintenance: Method of procedure: Here the method of approaching the problems (defined under
objects, above) should be briefly set forth. Where practicable, project the plan for the entire period of time required to complete the work; following with plan
for annual or other natural periods of division of the work.
Over 900 projects have been filed by the Department since that time, and the records of these are filed in the office of the Assistant Secretary in a vertical file. The projects are indexed for the purpose of ready reference, and whenever anything comes up in connection with the work of a particular project the Secretary can secure the report and is enabled in a few minutes to ascertain the scope of the work and its status at that time. It is believed that this is the largest collection of projects ever made by any branch of the Government service. The scheme has been found to be of immense value to the Department. It insures that the object and plan of every project shall be clearly worked out by the project leader, with revisions by the administrative officers above him, and often by other technicians who are able to aid in properly formulating or perfecting the plan of work. This plan has the further value of recording all administrative acts and of keeping clearly in view the cost and the prospective cost in relation to the value of the work. It enables the administrative officers to learn periodically the leading facts about the work and the results from the many projects under way and holds those in immediate charge to a closer responsibility for expenditures. The plan also aids in avoiding duplication and in bringing about coordination and cooperation of work.
The CHAIRMAN. So that, as a matter of fact, the Secretary of Agriculture has his hand on the brake all the while
& NOTE.-The sample projects herewith illustrate the use of this outline. In writing up the projects if is desirable that the typewriter employ capitalization, indentation, etc., in conformity with this sample.
about a year
Mr. ZAPPONE. He hes his hand on the brake all the while, and can send at any time and inquire into the status of any project then under way. This he does at times personally, and at other times through the Assistant Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. He does not understand or expect that any projects are to be embarked upon without having pursued this course that you have described ? Mr.ZAPPONE. That has been the case since this order was issued, and h: If
&go. The CHAIRMAN. Prior to that time you did not have that system? Mr. ZAPPONE. Prior to thxt time we had no such system, and I wish to say that I believe it is entirely original with the Department of Agriculture. If you visit the Department, this is one of the things that I would like you to examine. I want you to see the great miss of valuable information that we have collected, not only as to what the Dep.rtment is doing to-day, but what it has had under way for the past year and a h. If.
The CHAIRMAN. So that since the adoption of this rule you can go to the records of the Department and iscerts in the officia I authority for every line of investigation or every project that has been embarked upon?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Yes, sir; you will have the report of the official in charge of that project is to the scope of it and as to what he is doing.
The CHAIRMAN. And in this office, where all those things are gathered together, you will see whether or not that is approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, and if not approved by him of course the project is not emb rked upon ?
Mr. ŽAPPONE. I think that is right, Mr. Chairman. They must undoubtedly have his approval or else they would not have proceeded in the first place, and when they are first submitted to him in a tentative way he considers them. I do not know that the blank i' self bears his approval-I see no place for that purpose. The Assis ant Secreary is direcly in charge of this work, and, if the committee desire, could come before you and touch upon that more fully.
Mr. SAMUEL. You term a cer’ain report the "Littlefield Report." Will you please explain what occasioned that term and why it is employed?
Mr.ZAPPONE. Perhaps I am wrong in using the term at all. The report that I refer to is the Report on í he Expendi ures cf the Department of Agricul ure, which we have had under discussion here for some'ire. As Mr. Littlefield has been perscnally associa' ed wih it, I have drifted into the habit of calling it the "Littlefield Report."
Mr. SAMUEL. I see no objection to its being called the “Littlefield Report. I simply desired to bring out why you have termed it the "Littlefield Report."
Mr. ZAPPONE. That is the reason, Mr. Samuel, and as Mr. Littlefield is the author of this report in its present form and arrangement I feel that he should have the credit for it.
Mr. SAMUEL. What is the difference in the cost of the “Littlefield Report" and the previous report?
Mr. ZAPPONE. At the present time there is a difference of about $5,000, and if your committee approve of having the report submitted in manuscript form the saving will be over $6,000.
Mr. SAMUEL. That is $6,000 less than the previous printed form?
Mr. ZAPPONE. Six thousand dollars less than the report cost two years ago, prior to the reclassification of the expenditures, as suggested by Mr. Littlefield.
The CHAIRMAN. In the course of our examinations of the heads of the various bureaus considerable apparent duplication of investigation has been disclosed, indicating that the work of one bureau may be overlapping that of another, or showing that different sets of scientists have been engaged in apparently the same line of investigation in relation to the same subject-matter. Has this ever been called to the attention of the Secretary of Agriculture, and has any effort been made to eliminate this condition so far as possible?
Mr. ZAPPONE. This subject was called to the attention of the Secretary when he assumed office, and it not only received his careful consideration at that time, but has also been kept prominently in mind by him ever since.
The duplication of work in the Department of Agriculture that is, the overlapping of the work of one Bureau on that of anotherwas one of the hardest problems that the Secretary of Agriculture had to deal with when he assumed charge of the Department. It is believed that he has eliminated all such duplication or overlapping of work, so far as it is practicable to do so. There are investigations and experiments constantly being considered by the Department which are so closely related that they dovetail into one another, making it a difficult matter to draw the line of demarcation. A scientist will take up a certain line of work, prosecute the study for several months, and at the end of that time, probably before his work is half completed, discover that it overlaps slightly on work assigned to some other Bureau. At the time he may be in the field, and naturally the man does not stop his work to wait for another man to come and take it up from that point, but continues his investigations to the end and makes a report upon the entire subject. As stated, a few of the scientific investigations and experiments are so closely related that they must of necessity overlap one another, but there is no duplication of work; it simply means that one official in the Department instead of another may do the work. I will state, on the authority of the Secretary himself, that the greatest difficulty is not in duplication of work, but in securing the cooperation of one Bureau with another.
In the case of the nutrition work at Middletown, Conn., under Doctor Atwater, I will say that Doctor Atwater originated the work. The quarters occupied by the Government were furnished by the experiment station and occupied without expense. The experiment station also paid Doctor Atwater a salary while connected with that station, which was in addition to the amount received from the Department. Doctor Atwater is one of the most eminent physiological chemists in the world, but is now unhappily incapacitated by a paralytic stroke. He was succeeded by Professor Benedict, at $1,800. Professor Benedict is also receiving $2,500 from the college. This work appears to duplicate that of the Bureau of Chemistry, but Doctor True has explained that it is not a real duplication, as the Bureau of Chemistry is doing none of this work at the present time.
It seems proper to add that the Secretary has had under consideration for some time the mati er of the transfer of this station from Middletown to Washingion, togei her with the calori neter, and it is also his purpose to recommend legislation which will ultiraiely transfer the work to the Bureau of Chemistry. The Office of Experiment Stations in carrying on these experi renis was si rply execu ing the wishes of Congress, as Congress had placed i he appropria ion under the control of that Office. The Depari rent has done the principal part of the work at Middletown, because it could noi pay enough to the iran in charge to secure his en ire tine and bring hi i to Washington. The Carnegie people have just offered a large salary to Professor Benedict and he is about to leave us.
The Department is constantly making changes, usually minor changes, so as to avoid duplication. In some of the bureaus the work is constantly branching out into new lines and closing old projects, making necessary considerable changes every year. In case of other bureaus where the work remains more constantly along set lines, as with inspection work, the changes to avoid duplication are not so frequent. There is at all times an apparent minor amount of overlapping, as men and methods can not at once be shoved into position as can the pieces on a chessboard.
a chessboard. Scientists who are discovering and inventing must be given assurance of continuity along their new lines, into which, perhaps, no one but themselves has a clear insight. And even they do not always have this at first, but have to grope in the dark for a time. To make too formal his relations to other officers often retards the scientist in devising ways and accumulating the methods and apparatus he needs and which suit his ideas of how to approach his problem. The more original genius the scientific worker has, as also the artist, the greater need there is of giving him freedom. The Secretary has built up the Department about problems rather than about methods, and the tendency is more and more to classify the work according to the objects to be attained, using for the solution of each problem whatever methods, whatever sciences, and whatever apparatus may be necessary.
Where it is, on the whole, economy in both cost of work and in results to assemble a given line of routine or even of new scientific work in one place or under one head, that is done as rapidly as the readjustments can reasonably be effected. The Department is new in that such an assemblage of scientific and related work was never before brought together in such a large organization. The complexity of administrative problems in the Department can be understood from the fact that it has about one hundred divisions, most of which are in the 10 bureaus, and that these divisions cooperate among themselves and also with the nearly 600 divisions in the more than 50 State experiment stations, and from the further fact that both the divisions of this Department and the divisions of the respective State experiment stations operate in agriculture in the same territory.
The control of all this machinery for the research, education, and police work which is delegated to the Department, although attended with minor difficulties, is being rapidly adjusted into a perfect system. While the results and the immediate means of securing them are con
sidered first, much attention is also given to the gradual development and perfection of the organization.
The present popularity of the Department among scientists is such that many of them prefer to work here at lower salaries than they can command elsewhere. These men remain with us because of the special facilities afforded them in the pursuit of those investigations in which they are especially interested.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any information as to the question of superannuation in the Departments of the Government, as bearing upon the efficiency of the service, and the conditions actually existing in that respect? If you have, I wish you would insert what you have on that line.
Mr. ZAPPONE. The term superannuation is very misleading, and hardly covers the old age of clerks. Some clerks who are 40 years of age are just as superannuated as some clerks 65 years of age. It depends entirely upon the physical and mental condition of the man in each case. The Civil Service Commission a short time ago prepared for the President a statement respecting the number and efficiency of employees over 65 years of age in the civil service at Washington. With their permission the statement in question is submitted herewith:
By direction of the President, the Civil Service (ominission, on March 22, 1906. requested of the Departments information respecting the number and efficiency of employees in the civil service at Washington over 65 years of age. The last reply was received on May 7, 1906. The following summary of the more important facis disclosed by the data furnished was prepared and transmitted to the President May
AGED EMPLOYEES IN DEPARTMENTS.
There are 1.626 employees over 65 years of age in the departmental service at Washington, of whom only 127, or less than 8 per cent, entered through examination under the civil-service rules. If 44 employees who owe their appointment to preference under section 1751, Revised Statuies i which practically made their examination noncompetitive), be excluded, the number appointed through competitive examination is reduced to 83 and only 5.1 per cent of the total number owe their appointment to competitive examination.
According to their duties, the 1,626 employees under consideration may be arranged as follows: