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I have always believed that one of the things the President and I have shared in our philosophy is a very strong desire to restrain and restrict the Government in that respect. I see some real danger. Ever since I saw the memo about finding the horror stories, I have been waiting for a newspaper story with sufficient identification to embarrass people and places. It is only a cut away from-and I thought at first a cut above-the Golden Fleece Awards, but I think it is now something less than that. While the courts stepped in with respect to the Golden Fleece Awards, and imposed some restraints that probably should have been self-imposed, the same sort of thing can happen here.
There really do not seem to be very many pieces of protection. I really believe that when Jack Brooks was passing the statute back in 1972, he was very much concerned that you go back and think of what was driving people in the way in which Congress was reacting to public concern. We were in a period with great concern over privacy and public disclosure at the same time. If you look at the act, it is really designed to throw up in front of anybody given access to Government agencies a warning saying:
Whatever you are doing is going to become public. You are fooling around here now, creating public records, and you ought to be somewhat cautious about what you want to put on the public record.
If they take the position that what they are doing is not indeed going to be a public record, and they are not subject to that kind of restraint, then there is no natural built-in warning system to tell them when they cross the line. That is a concern that I did not start out with when we started looking at this. I was drawn to the serious problems of having a vigilante group make all these policy recommendations for us. But now it takes on dimensions that are even more serious, and I feel it is something that should be brought to the attention of other Members of Congress, who I am sure will share my concerns.
I thank you very much, again, for your cooperation and look forward to working with you in the future.
Ms. KLEEMAN. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Margulies, Deputy General Counsel; Department of Commerce, accompanied by Robert Ellert, Assistant General Counsel; and Joseph Levine, Deputy Assistant General Counsel. Now we have some lawyers.
Your prepared statement will be inserted at this point in the record, and you may proceed to summarize it, comment on it, or supplement it in any way you deem most helpful to the record of this committee.
[The statement referred to follows:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
IRVING P. MARGULIES
COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE
PRESIDENT'S PRIVATE SECTOR SURVEY ON
COST CONTROL IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
September 15, 1982
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee:
I am pleased to appear before you to testify on matters
pertaining to the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control.
My testimony will describe the establishment and operation
of the Survey.
On February 18, 1982 President Reagan announced his
intention to establish a Private sector Survey on Cost
Control as a key item in the Administration's program to curb
runaway government spending.
The President assembled a group of outstanding experts
from the private sector who could report directly to him;
and he made it clear that, he expected them to "roll up their
sleeves and search out waste and inefficiency wherever it is
to be found in the federal establishment."
The President stated that special emphasis would be placed on eliminating overlap, red tape and duplication, identifying
non-essential administrative activities, and increasing
management e. ectiveness.
On June 30, 1982 President Reagan issued Executive Order
12369, President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in
the Federal Government.
This Executive Order established the
Executive Committee of the Survey and charged it with the
To conduct a private sector survey on cost control
in the Federal Government and advise the President and the
Secretary of Commerce, and other Executive agency heads with
respect to improving management and reducing costs;
To carry out in-depth reviews of the operations of
the Executive agencies and provide an objective outsiders
view on improving management and reducing costs; and finally
To consider providing recommendations in these
important areas of activity:
Opportunities for increased efficiency and reduced
costs in the Federal Government that can be realized by
Executive action or legislation;
(2) Areas where managerial accountability can be enhanced and administrative control can be improvec; (3)
Opportunities for managerial improvements over both
expenditures, indebtedness, and personnel management.
Section 3 of Executive Order 12369 assigns administration of the Committee to the Secretary of Commerce and directs that the Committee be "funded, staffed, and equipped, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, by the private sector without cost to the Federal Government". President
Reagan in Section 3(e) of Executive Order 12369 stated that
he expected that the Secretary of Commerce would accomplish
this by engaging in a joint project with a nonprofit organization pursuant to 15 U.S.C. $1525. Further, Executive Order 12369
charged the heads of all Federal agencies to cooperate in
carrying out the functions of the Committee.
Pursuant to the Executive Order and the requirements of
the Federal Advisory Committee Act the Secretary of Commerce,
on July 7, 1982, signed the charter of the Executive Committee. On July 13, 1982 copies of the charter were forwarded to the
House Committees on Energy and Commerce, and on Government
Operations, and the Senate Committees on Commerce, Science
and Transportation and on Governmental Affairs. Copies were also sent to the General Services Administration and the Library of Congress. With your permission, Mr. Chairman I would like to submit a copy of the charter for the record.
On July 7, 1982, under the authority of 15 U.S.C. $1525, the Secretary also signed an agreement with the Foundation for the President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, Inc., a private nonprofit corporation incorporated in the District of Columbia. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, i would like to submit a copy of this agreement for the record.
This agreement sets out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Commerce and the Foundation to assist the Executive Committee in carrying out its responsibilities. Included as Exhibit B to the Agreement are specific controls to be established by the Foundation to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of government information. Exhibit A to the Agreement sets out a statement relating to the disclosure of information to unauthorized persons to be signed by all persons performing services for the Foundation.