Page images

We have housing specialists in LRS, poverty specialists, and specialists in most of the fields you named. We have not reached the point where we feel it is desirable to organize a special unit, but that may be the best way to handle the problem in the future. Presently it is done on a discipline basis, on a subject specialist basis, except where we have to bring together a number of disciplines to prepare a report.

Mr. STEED. It seemed to me the first reaction to this migration problem was back many years ago when they had the first of the so-called consolidated rural schools. This was an outgrowth of the shifting of population. As time has gone on we have added many other things that were actually stimulated by this, though at the time nobody was aware of the basic cause of it.

It seems to me at some point the material or the charts or the diagrams or the treatments that would bring this whole thing into a different focus would have to be forthcoming. The way I describe what I am trying to say is that at some point we will have to take a position where we can see the forest instead of the trees as to the causes and the effects, and maybe from that we can find the cure. Thinking this will be an increasing matter of Government attention, I would guess that in the years ahead your activities will be deeply involved in this because more people will be seeking more information.

Off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)

Mr. JAYSON. I might say that included within the report I mentioned was an analysis of how the executive branch handled this and we found there is little coordination, in the sense that one agency handles all these matters; there is an overlapping, with duplication in some instances. The survey we made in this area is not a very detailed one. It is a preliminary one in an attempt to meet the problem.

Mr. STEED. Mr. Langen and I represent areas that have a great many rural communities and they are interested in their problems from the standpoint, especially, of how they can bring in industry and create more jobs that mechanized agriculture is eliminating. I am sure many chambers of commerce give attention to this. I find that as you talk to people who build and operate factories they are very much interested in this, but apparently they have not been able to get their hands on the type of information that would guide them and help them do a better job of working in this area of rural and small town industrialization. I think there will be a growing demand for useful information. This brings in vocational training. It is hard to think about one phase of it that you do not find yourself mixed up in many phases. I think it illustrates how your workload can grow, snowball, multiply, and finally become a very big chore.

Mr. Jayson. We do have many problems. For instance, the one you raise as to how a small town once supported by a factor has left entices industry to come back. The town officials will go to their Congressman for help and the Member may come to us. This is not an infrequent request. We have prepared reports, not based on particular townships, but we can tell how other towns have met problems of this type by offering tax advantages, by aiding in the building of additional and more modern plants, and the like. We have specialists in many of the problems. We have specialists in housing, we have specialists in transportation, and we have educational specialists, and they are qualified

to make new applications of their skills to help on problems such as you are speaking of and it is true they are intensifying all the time.

Mr. STEED. As a thing like this generates itself from all the different angles, sooner or later you find yourself in a position where you need to do some actual research of your own to get a base from which all such requests can be filled. Is that true?

Mr. Jayson. Yes, sir.
Mr. STEED. This was not true in the past, as I understand.

Mr. Jayson. In the past, our researchers could reply as reference librarians from things on the shelves, books, and so on. The trend today is for us to do deep and very often creative research, and you often find that the books on the shelves are not recent enough. There are materials in current journals and periodicals, and so on, and our people will have to get the up-to-date information in that way. We do not, as you know, get into the field and make specific field investigations, but we try to get the raw material together.

Mr. STEED. Mr. Langen, do you have any questions on the Legislative Reference Service?


One of the things that surprises me in looking over the chart of the inquiries that are made, I note a tremendous increase in translations. Where do those requests come from?

Mr. Jayson. The translations were up during the past calendar year by about 1,000. Translation requests come from Members and from the committees. They come in terms of committees wanting translations of articles in journals and magazines and perhaps translations of preliminary testimony of witnesses. The largest volume is generally translations of correspondence in foreign languages from constituents that Members receive.

Mr. LANGEN. They have more than doubled since 1961.
Mr. JAYSON. Yes.

Mr. LANGEN. And it is by far the largest percentage increase of any of the inquiries during that 3-year period.

Mr. Jayson. Yes, sir. They jumped from 2,200 in 1964 to 4,600 in 1967.

Mr. LANGEN. So that with that increase in translations and the increase in previously prepared materials, those constitute the two major categories of increases. I suppose maybe most of them are letters written in foreign languages. You would think there would be less writing in foreign languages but maybe there is more. It surprised me to see such a large increase in that category.

Mr. Jayson. It may be, insofar as translations are concerned, that more Members are now aware that we have a translating service. We have had it for a long time. The increase in materials is a significant one because it was during this period that we issued our green sheets. listing our multilithed reports, which the Appropriations Committees gave us permission to distribute among the Members in general. These green sheet listings of our multilithed reports go to the Members, and any Members or their staffs seeing any material of interest listed on those sheets may ask us for a copy. We have found that this has been

very useful to the membership. We have found that every time we distribute a green sheet listing, we get back about 300 calls, usually from 300 different offices, asking for an average of about eight different reports on the list, totaling about 2,400 each month. So when you see an increase in materials previously prepared on this chart on page 149, a good deal results from this practice. This has been an effective way to meet the workload, because we prepare one report that is useful to many Members.


Mr. LANGEN. I note also the number of inquiries per personnel is going down.

Mr. Jayson. I believe you are referring to the figures on table V on page 155 of the justification book?

Mr. LANGEN. Yes.

Mr. Jayson. I must say I have some questions about the meaningfulness of this particular figure. The reason it is here is because this particular chart has been presented to the committee for many years and I hesitated to take it out. This figure is simply a result of dividing the total number of inquiries by the total number of positions we have. When I say we have 281 positions it does not mean we have 281 researchers. We have about 180 actually engaged in research. I would not rely on that "Inquiries per position” figure too heavily. I would like to see it go back to where it was in the forties on this chart because that would show that there had been a substantial decrease per position and that would mean improved quality,

Mr. LANGEN. You are not telling us the quality is not very good ? I thought it was excellent.

Mr. Jayson. I appreciate the compliment, but we think we can improve it. Our researchers are constantly saying they wish they had more time to devote to these inquiries.

Mr. LANGEN. That is all.

EFFECT OF REORGANIZATION BILL PROPOSALS ON LRS Mr. STEED. I think we should note the request covered here makes no provision for any expansion that would result if the congressional reorganization bill becomes law. As you know, it has already passed the Senate and is pending in the House and it may or may not be consummated. As it now stands, what would likely be the impact of this law, if enacted, on your activities and what additional manpower and money would likely be involved ?

Mr. Jayson. The reorganization bill of 1967 as passed by the Senate would do a variety of things insofar as our workload is concerned. I should answer your question not only in terms of the bill but also in the light of the discussions the joint committee had with us, in other words, the legislative history.

For one thing, it would require us to undertake anticipatory studies. The Reorganization Committee indicated it would like us at the beginning of each session of Congress to present reports on issues likely to be taken up in that coming session. They emphasize they want us to have more liaison with specific committees. We have staff members

well known to the committee staffs but this liaison could no doubt be expanded. We have found that when you have an LRS man very close to committee members, and they know he is available and can tell them what LRS can do, this inevitably results in a large increase of business in that particular area.

The reorganization bill would authorize LRS to bring in consultants and engage in contracts with outside researchers and research organizations. Of course this would involve our overseeing such contracts.

It provides for legislative histories of bills to be given whenever a bill is called up for a hearing. At the request of a Member we would provide the legislative history of the bill. We would also be required to tell him what other bills like it have been pending before the Congress in prior years, and something about them.

It would provide for LRS to have its own data processing equipment to engage in information system type of manipulation of information.

These are some of the things that would presumably enlarge our workload considerably.

Dr. MUMFORD. May I add one element? It also provides that LRS might send specialists into the field, does it not?

Mr. Jayson. The authority would be there, Dr. Mumford, yes.

Mr. STEED. I would be the last one to say Congress should not hare access to any and all information it can usefully get its hands on, but some of this gives me concern. For example, what will this mean if you are to make these advance projections, particularly in the controversialtype areas, where you might be subjected to the accusation that you are in the field of propaganda or lobbying rather than informing? There might be a thin line of demarcation there.

Mr. Jayson. We traditionally stay away from that type of report. Our staff would probably consult with the chairman and ranking minority member or their chief staffman on a committee and discuss what issues their particular committee intends to take up in the coming session, and we probably would prepare a background report such as we are now preparing, for example, in the science fields. This is to implement the work of the committee staff, not in substitution of the work of their staff.

COMMITTEE STAFF IMPOSITIONS ON LRS Mr. STEED. Sometimes you are required to do work that comes cloze to being a substitute for work the committee staff should do. I suppose there is not much you can do when a Member's staff fudges by letting you do the work they should and are paid to do, but it becomes a little different problem if in effect you are performing the duties staff people are supposed to perform. I do not believe there has ever been a serious problem here, but in this expansion, it could quite easily become a problem if it is not closely watched.

Mr. Jayson. It could be a problem, particularly where you are dealing with the volume we are. There are times when the nature of thr inquiry makes us suspicious of it, and we will call the office back to raise questions. Sometimes we may go directly to the Administrative Assistant. Committees occasionally will borrow our staff for a period of time and, by the rules under which we operate, if they borrow our staff for more than 60 days they are supposed to reimburse us.

There is no question that the problem you suggest is a possibility. but this is not a serious problem as yet.

Mr. STEED. Even if you were doing the work that a staff member could and should do and did not do, the end result would be to the Member's benefit because having a good job done for him is what he is after.

Mr. Jayson. And it releases the staff to do other work for the Member.

Mr. STEED. The thing I have in mind is someone who occupies an important staff position and will take your material and put his name on it so he appears to be rendering a quality and quantity of service which he is not performing. In this case, I suppose the chairman of the committee would be the person to become concerned about it, but I would hate to see this kind of thing going on because it could have some serious repercussions if it went too far. I do not know what system could be devised to minimize this.

Mr. Jayson. We have devised one very small way of safeguarding ourselves against our preparation of a report which a staff man may take and remove the cover page that carries the LRS identification, and submit it as his own. If you look at the pagination of our reports you will note that it states "LRS page 1” and so on. This at least prevents a man from taking the front page off of the report and substituting his own front page. He would have to retype the report to offer it as his own. It is a small way of making practices of this kind more difficult, but as yet it is not a serious problem so far as we know.

Mr. STEED. Of course the reason committees have staffs is to enable response to the requests made, and I do not think the person you pass the information on to cares who got it in that shape. But somebody trying to palm himself off as a top research specialist, or where his personal talent is a key factor, if he is using this device to project himself as being capable of doing more than he can do, this should not be permitted.

Mr. Jayson. Let me give you an illustration that occurred 2 weeko ago.

May I go off the record ?
Mr. STEED. Yes.
(Discussion off the record.)

IMPROVEMENT OF THE BILL DIGEST Mr. STEED. This speedup that you have mentioned in the analysis of bills—what do you call it, the Bill Digest? Would you like to make some reference as to how you have improved that situation and shortened the time lag? I have heard a lot of favorable comment on it.

Mr. Jayson. Yes. As you know, for some 30 years the Legislative Reference Service has been preparing the Digest of Public General Bills. We have a staff which very briefly summarizes the bills introduced and these digests are published in a publication that appears approximately every 2 weeks in pamphlet form. As you know, the number of bills introduced in any one session is growing.

Over 20,000 were introduced in the first session of the 90th Congress. Our staff briefly summarizes those bills, places them in this Bill Digest by number. The Digest indicates the number of the bill, the sponsor of the bill, the committee to which it was referred, and then

« PreviousContinue »