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crisis the President actually exercises this through communications systems; how, in following the devolution of authority, the technical means provided for the Government of the presidential function are to be exercised; whether what we have available actually makes it possible to do the things that are specified in law.
This is a central concern to the President.
This is the area which confused us at first as to the possible overlap of these two presidential agencies.
The OEP functions are to do exactly what you have just enumerated.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
Dr. HORNIG. In this particular area, what our group did was try to provide a conceptual farmework for doing it. The question of constructing a national communications system which will do these things is completely the role of the Office of Telecommunications Management in the OEP.
Senator MAGNUSON. They just received $2,270,000 to do the same thing. When you talk about agencies overlapping one another, it seems to me you are overlapping them or they are overlapping you. I do not know which.
Dr. HORNIG. You see, the difficulty in discussing this
Senator MAGNUSON. Maybe we ought to create a group to look at your overlapping.
Dr. HORNIG. I think the point here again is that we are a staff office of the President. What that amounts to is getting some very high-class brains, as I said, to look conceptually at these problems for the President.
Senator Magnuson. This is what they testified they were doing. Dr. HORNIG. They are busy doing it.
Senator Magnuson. They said they were going to seek out the finest consultants and we gave them $12 million for the whole office.
Dr. HORNIG. Yes, sir, and that is exactly the point. This is fraction of the effort of one man in my
Office. Senator MAGNUSON. Doctor, we have not given it to them yet. We were talking about it.
Dr. HORNIG. They need it though, sir.
What I am trying to say is, you see in this list we are talking about the fraction of the effort of one man within my Office, with some consultants, to get a concept straight. The problem of doing the actual job involves many millions of dollars.
Senator MAGNUSON. Doctor, and I do not like to belabor this, but they say they are responsible to put all this together if something happens, and they have given every agency some kind of a job to do. We have had much discussion in Congress as to who pays for that.
We have finally made the agencies pay for it, and not OEP. They were reimbursing them. We claim the agencies should be doing a lot of this anyway, in their Departments as a regular course of business, and they say they are getting all this ready.
When something happens they are exactly what they were proposed to be. They are the Office of Emergency Planning to advise the President.
Senator ALLOTT. That is right.
Dr. HORNIG. I think there is no conflict. I know their operations and they are doing that.
AUTHORITY FOR FUNDING TRANSFERS
Senator ALLOTT. I want to ask you just one question.
Referring back to the first questions I asked you about the items beginning on the bottom of page 1, $70,000 and $56,000, you say:
About $150,000 results from bookkeeping changes in fixed costs.
Now what was your authority specifically for these changes, the Bureau of the Budget?
Dr. HORNIG. Yes.
Senator ALLOTT. They were the ones who directed you to pick up $70,000 off of the President's staff and pick up $56,000 off of the other agencies; is that correct? Dr. HORNIG. That is correct.
The second item, of course, is part of a general policy in the Executive Office. We were not directed. There was a circular to all agencies with respect to the interagency transfers of personnel.
Senator ALLOTT. That is all right. I just wanted to find out what your authority for it was.
That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
We appreciate your coming today. We also appreciate your coming a little early so that we could proceed properly.
Your prepared statement will be placed in the record at this point. (The statement follows:)
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: I am very glad to have the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the appropriation for the Office of Science and Technology for Fiscal Year 1967. In particular, I wish to urge as strongly as possible the restoration of the full amount of funds requested in the President's budget.
The President's budget calls for new obligational authority of $1,360,000, a $290,000 increase over FY '66. Somewhat over half of this increase-about $150,000_results from bookkeeping changes and fixed costs, and provides for no increase whatever in the activities of the Office. The remainder, $140,000, would permit OST to add four professional positions to our current staff and to provide the secretarial and consultative support they require. The need for these additional people is urgent if OST is to meet its responsibilities under Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1962.
The $150,000 increase occasioned by bookkeeping changes and fixed costs can be divided into three categories as follows:
(1) Beginning with FY 1967, OST will bear certain costs amounting to about $70,000 currently carried directly by the White House for personnel compensation and travel for members of the President's Science Advisory Committee.
(2) In accordance with new policies for the Executive Branch, OST will reimburse other agencies for personnel loaned to OST. This is estimated at $56,000.
(3) There are increases of $24,000 in personnel compensation and budget costs resulting from the passage of the Pay Act. Thus, the $150,000 increase needed to cover these three items is required merely to maintain our activities at the FY ’66 level. The House of Representatives has voted to appropriate $1,200,000 for OST, which would permit no expansion and in fact would effectively reduce the current operating budget by $20,000.
You are familiar in general with the purposes of the Office and the ways in which it functions. I would like to discuss in particular those aspects which relate most directly to the request for a very modest expansion in the Office staff.
First, the Office plays a big role in the planning and development of programs in which more than one agency participates. For example, OST is spearheading the effort to develop a national network of scientific and technical information systems, which should greatly improve the efficiency with which we put to use this outpouring of data in both Government and industry. Yet the further development of the system requires more attention than can be given by the one man now on our payroll.
Oceanography is another example of a complex national program in which OST plays an important coordinating role. We have been fortunate in having on our staff for the past year an outstanding professional oceanographer, Dr. H. W. Menard, who has done a superb job in pulling this national program together. Nevertheless, we are talking here about a job of such scope that no one man can possibly be expected to carry all that needs to be done.
Second, we require an extremely able staff in order to be able to make fully effective use of consultants. As you know, we employ consultants a great deal and it has proven to be a highly satisfactory technique. But the usefulness of consultants and advisers is directly proportional to the adequacy of the staff support they receive, and the effectiveness of the entire operation depends more on the strength of the full-time staff than on any other single factor.
Third, once our understandings of the problems are clear and we have determined the directions in which we should go, there is a constant need for follow-up to assure that the right things happen with all reasonable speed. This requires a great deal of time and skill on the part of very able people. The 1963 report on “Use of Pesticides,” for example, was a thorough and careful study containing many recommendations for Federal action. Much action has resulted. I am not prepared to say, however, that we could not have done better, and sooner, if we had had available the staff to pursue the implementation energetically and full-time. At the moment we have before us the 104 recommendations contained in the report of the President's Science Advisory Committee on “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment," and we are facing analogous problems on implementation.
There is an increasing tendency by the Congress to look to the Office for the performance of leadership, and broad management functions in the planning of Federal research and development.
Let me cite as just one example the bill, S. 2916, which was introduced the week before last by Senator Magnuson. Among other things, this bill would authorize the Office of Science and Technology to direct the planning and supervision of the Federal weather modification program, including establishment of goals and priorities. I estimate that to perform this job at a minimum level of adequacy, in the manner proposed by the bill, would require a professional staff of at least five people, or 25 percent of my entire organization.
At the moment what we can do is severely limited by the available staff. We need expertise in many areas. Since we must cover a very wide range of problems with few people, each staff member must be able to handle a number of problems simultaneously and to shift his field of emphasis easily. Staff members tend naturally to concentrate on certain areas, but they can and do range over a wide and changing area of assignment. They cannot be narrow experts and collectively they must be capable of dealing with very wide problems. All of the staff must be able to work directly and on their own with Cabinet level people in the Executive Branch, with Congressmen and with leaders in universities and private industry. High competence in science or technology is required in some tasks. The staff members must have an understanding of the relationship between the Executive Office of the President and the federal agencies. The staff of necessity is highly flexible, responsive to changing needs, and in close touch with me.
The Office, together with its predecessor staff organization in the White House, has now been in existence since 1957, or nearly nine years. It is still learning, although during this time it has of course matured and established itself as a functioning part of the management structure of the Government, and addressed itself to an extremely wide range of problems. The growth of the Office, however, has not kept pace with the range and complexities of the problems with which it has had to deal.
In 1962 when the Office of Science and Technology came into existence there were about 10 professional persons in the Office. At this moment there still are fewer than 20 professionals on the staff. This number of people is far from commensurate with the amount of work the Office is asked to undertake.
I feel that the request made to Congress for staffing and support in Fiscal Year 1967 really represents the absolutely minimum level required to keep the Office in a position to do its basic job. It is an austere request, with no pretense that it is adequate to keep OST on top of everything that is going on in its fields of responsibilities.
The funds we request would provide for four additional professional staff members. The general technical areas where this added staff strength is most notably required are the environmental sciences, scientific and technical information, science policy development, and military systems technology.
At the moment, I have the equivalent of approximately two men devoted full time to national defense matters. They are involved with strategic and tactical weapons systems, Presidential command and control, national communications, civil defense, atomic energy, military aspects of the space program and arms control, and certain aspects of intelligence, among other things. Two men are simply not enough in these critical times.
I am not equipped adequately to work in some of the environmental sciences, such as the atmospheric and geophysical sciences. Increased attention is needed to a number of current problem areas such as weather modification and earthquake prediction. The availabliity of an environmental scientist on my staff would also relieve our oceanographer of some of his present extra load.
As previously mentioned, OST is greatly in need of at least one more staff man to assist our present staff member, Mr. Knox, in handling the enormously complex problems of scientific and technical information.
And finally, and at least as important as any of these matters, is the need to have someone on my staff who can devote full time to the development of national strategies for the rational support of scientific research. We must consider further the health and strength of our universities and the effect of Government policies and support upon them. We must be in a position to consider thoughtfully and to extend where necessary the excellent work begun by the National Academy of Sciences in studying the needs and opportunities in different fields of science. And we must attempt to sharpen our ability to attach relative social values to the opportunities and alternatives for scientific endeavor which confront us. It is noteworthy that the Federal Government is currently spending $1.3 billion a year in universities, and a total of $2 billion on basic research.
Mr. Chairman, it is my conviction that the Office will be materially handicapped in trying to do its job, for the Congress and for the President, if it does not receive the requested funds. I wish to thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you, and I will be glad to attempt to answer any questions that you may have.
The subcommittee will recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow when we have the very uncontroversial appropriation for the Selective Service System.
(Whereupon, at 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 24, 1966, the hearings were recessed until 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 25, 1966.)