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House of Representaties
and Civil Service
Hashington, B.U. 20515
September 23, 1982
Dear Mr. Larkin:
I have received your letter of September 23, 1982, transmitting certain information requested by this Committee during the September 15 hearing on the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control.
While I appreciate your furnishing the list of the individuals who comprise the staff personnel of the 35 task forces, I do not agree with your counsel's opinion concerning the duty of this Committee to protect the privacy of such personnel.
I am enclosing a copy of an opinion of the Acting General Counsel of the General Accounting Opfice. The opinion concludes that the task forces of the Survey are subcommittees or subgroups of the Survey's Executive Committee and, therefore, are subject to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
The provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act require that the Congress and the public be kept informed with respect to the membership and activities of all advisory committees. Additionally, the Act requires that all advisory committee meetings shall be open to the public and that all records, reports, working papers, drafts, or other documents which are made available to, or prepared by or for, each advisory Committee shall be available for public inspection and copying.
In view of the GAO opinion and the clear intent and purpose of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, I must insist upon full compliance with the provisions of that Act by the members of the Executive Committee and the personnel of the various task forces. In that regard you are requested to forward to this Committee, no later than 6 pom. on Monday, September 27, 1982, copies of the "work plans" of the Task Force on Personnel and the Task Force on Business-Related Boards and Commissions. I trust that it will not be necessary for this Committee to obtain the requested documents by other legal means.
Your cooperation with respect to this matter will be appreciated.
As requested, enclosed is a copy of the Personnel Task Force
As set forth in my letter of September 27, 1982, the legal issues raised by you and the recent GAO opinion have not been resolved due to the shortness of time available. Notwithstanding the legal reservations applicable to the requested documents, we are supplying this information in the spirit of cooperation and in an effort to see that the legitimate needs of the Committee are satisfied.
These materials are deliberative project management tools
pentx E. Larkin
1850 K Street, N.W. • Suite 1150 • Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Mr. Chairman:
sh In response to your July 9, 1982, request, we have prepared the enclosed information on the President's Private sector Survey on Cost Control.
The information covers organizational structure, participants' affiliations and responsibilities, the source of funding, White House and agency monitoring, and agency participation. We also collected information on the conflict-of-interest clearance process, legal authority and issues, the Survey's review and reporting process, and the advisory committee process. In this last area, our letter to you of September 21, 1982, expressed the opinion that the survey's task forces are subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
This information constitutes an interim report in response to your July 9 request. As described in our testimony at hearings held on September 15 and 21, the Survey has not provided all the data we have requested and has sought legal advice from the Department of Justice.
Because of their bulk, the documents referred to in the enclosed summary will be provided directly to your office.
OBJECTIVE, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY
The objective of this paper is to describe the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. We have collected and summarized information on the following
--general organizational structure,
--background on some participants including private affilia
tion and Survey responsibilities,
--source of funding,
--Federal agencies' involvement,
--White House oversight,
--legal authority for the Survey,
--conflict-of-interest clearance process,
--conformance to Federal advisory Committee provisions, and
--task force review processes with specific information on
the Personnel and Social Security Administration task
We reviewed Federal laws and regulations on conflict of interest, advisory committees, and tax-exempt organizations. Survey officials provided some documents that generally described the Survey's authority, organization, and work process.
In addition, we collected information on companies that contributed resources to the Survey. For key Survey members, we compared corporate affiliations with Survey duties and responsibilities.
To identify their roles in the Survey, we interviewed officials from the Survey's Management office and Foundation of the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, the White House Counsel's Office, the Department of Justice's Office of Legal counsel, the Department of Commerce's Offices of General Counsel and Information Management, the Office of Government Ethics, and the Survey's Personnel and Social Security Administration task forces. In addition, we conducted telephone interviews with Federal officials designated as agency contacts for the Survey.
Background on the President's Private
On February 18, 1982, the President announced that he was establishing the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. The President viewed the Survey as a way to control "runaway government spending" and charged the Survey with searching out waste and inefficiency .. in the Federal establishment. The President also said that the Survey would
--report directly to him,
--be results-oriented in deeply reviewing the executive
--provide an outside, objective view on management improve
ments and cost reductions,
--focus on eliminating red tape and duplication, identifying
nonessential administrative activities and increasing
--rely on private sector experts who volunteer their services.
The President mentioned that he used a similar private sector effort while Governor of California, relying on private sector volunteers to identify administrative improvements. He noted that these volunteers made about 2,000 cost-saving recommendations.
On March 3, 1982, the President named Mr. J. Peter Grace as the Survey Chairman. Since then, many actions, involving many organizations, have been taken. Primary organizations that have assisted the Survey include:
--Office of the White House Counsel, Executive Office of the
President: manages the clearance process and provides
--Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice: provides
legal advice to the Survey and interprets Federal laws'
--Office of Government Ethics: provided an early informal
advisory role on ethical considerations.
--Department of Commerce (DOC): serves as the administering
Federal agency for the Survey's Executive Committee which
--Federal agencies: cooperate with the Survey's task forces
to help them conduct reviews of Federal operations.
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