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conduct studies and examinations

to assist it in matters within its jurisdiction.

The Committee on House Administration, under rule XI, 9(n), has the duty of arranging memorial programs, of examining bills, amendments, and joint resolutions, and of reporting the travel of Members to the Sergeant at Arms.

The Committee on Un-American Activities, under rule XI, 18(b) is authorized to investigate un-American propaganda and its diffusion within the United States.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

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The relationship of the General Accounting Office with this committee has been evolutionary. Under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 the Comptroller General and the General Accounting Office were assigned duties and functions which paralleled, supplemented, and perhaps overlapped all of the functions within the jurisdiction of the committee prior to 1946 except “the abolishment of useless offices” and, maybe, "retrenchment." See for example 31 U.S.C. 53, 54, 67, 71, 93.

It is clear from the legislative history of the Budget and Accounting Act that the framers of the legislation had the British Parliamentary Committee on Accounts as an archetype. See extended testimony of W. F. Willoughby.

Congressman Madden presented this idea to the House where he said:

If I have my way, when this legislation is completed, I shall propose the creation of a great committee of the House, to be known as the Committee on Expenditures, consisting of the best men in the House because it is to be a great committee--if it is created-to whom this auditor and Comptroller General may report from day to day, and through this medium supply the House of Representatives and the Senate with such information as to what is being done with the money appropriated as to keep the Congress advised in connection with every step taken. "The powers and duties enumerated above as they appear in the act of 1946 have been adopted by each suoceeding Congress as parts of rule XI. A paragraph of the rules giving the Committee on Government Operations the power of subpena and the authority to sit whether or not the House is in session, in recess, or has adjourned, was adopted February 10, 1947. (See Congressional Record, 79th Cong., p. 942.)

No rule provided for the reference of any “proposed legislation” to the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments. Neither was there any rule providing for reference of legislation to the Committee on Rules, Committee on Accounts, and Committee on Memorials.

Thus, so far as these committees were concerned, no legislation was referred to them by virtue of a rule. The Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments did occasionally report out a bill, the subject matter of which was so closely related to its enumerated investigatory powers that reference of such bills became a matter of parliamentary precedent, e.g., the discontinuance of collectors of customs at several ports reported by the Committee on Expenditures in the Treasury Department in 1894 (Hinds’ Precedents, sec. 4518); or when, in 1928 by unanimous consent, a bill to provide for the more expeditious settlement of money claims against the United States was transferred from the Committee on the Judiciary, to which it was originally referred, to the Committee on Expenditures (Cannon's Precedents, sec. 2046).

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT

OPERATIONS

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 redefined the powers and duties of this committee and assigned new duties to it, among them:

1. The duty to receiveall proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to

(A) Budget and accounting measures, other than appropriations.

(B) Reorganizations in the executive branch of the Government. Thus the committee gained specifically enumerated legislative powers and duties. Both before and after the enactment of the Legislative Reorganization Act, however, the committee had referred to it measures which were closely related to its other functions or which, by reason of precedent, fell within its jurisdiction; for example, thé Employment Act of 1946 and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949.

2. A cognate duty set forth in section 136 of the act of 1946

To assist the Congress in appraising the administration of the laws and in developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, each standing committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives shalí exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by the administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee; and, for that purpose, shall study all pertinent reports and data submitted to the Congress by the agencies in the executive branch of the Government.

This duty to "exercise continuous watchfulness" seems to stem from the legislative duties of the various committees. It may fairly be concluded that the Committee on Government Operations is required to exercise continuous watchfulness in respect to the administrative agencies concerned with budgetary and accounting matters and those involved with reorganizations in the executive branch of the Government.

It should also be noted that the statute and rule imposing oversight duties on all congressional committees limit the exercise of such duties to the legislative subject matter, if any, “which is within the jurisdiction of the committee."

3. Certain additional study or investigative duties, as follows: Such committee shall have the duty of

(A) receiving and examining reports of the Comptroller General of the United States and of submitting such recommendations to the House as it deems necessary or desirable in connection with the subject matter of such reports;

(B) studying the operation of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining its economy and efficiency;

(C) evaluating the effects of laws enacted to reorganize the legislative and executive branches of the Government;

(D) studying intergovernmental relationships between the United States and the States and municipalities, and between the United States and international organizations of which the United States is a member.3 Only three other committees of the House have additional study or investigative duties or powers.

The Committee on Appropriations, under rule XI, 2(b), is authorized to conduct studies and examinations to assist it in matters within its jurisdiction.

The Committee on House Administration, under rule XI, 9(n), has the duty of arranging memorial programs, of examining bills, amendments, and joint resolutions, and of reporting the travel of Members to the Sergeant at Arms.

The Committee on Un-American Activities, under rule XI, 18(b) is authorized to investigate un-American propaganda and its diffusion within the United States.

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RELATIONSHIP WITH GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE

The relationship of the General Accounting Office with this committee has been evolutionary. Under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 the Comptroller General and the General Accounting Office were assigned duties and functions which paralleled, supplemented, and perhaps overlapped all of the functions within the jurisdiction of the committee prior to 1946 except “the abolishment of useless offices” and, maybe, "retrenchment." See for example 31 U.S.C. 53, 54, 67, 71, 93.

It is clear from the legislative history of the Budget and Accounting Act that the framers of the legislation had the British Parliamentary Committee on Accounts as an archetype. See extended testimony of W. F. Willoughby.

Congressman Madden presented this idea to the House where he said:

If I have my way, when this legislation is completed, I shall propose the creation of a great committee of the House, to be known as the Committee on Expenditures, consisting of the best men in the House because it is to be a great committee-if it is created—to whom this auditor and Comptroller General may report from day to day, and through this medium supply the House of Representatives and the Senate with such information as to what is being done with the money appropriated as to keep the Congress advised in connection with every step taken.

* The powers and duties enumerated above as they appear in the act of 1946 have been adopted by each succeeding Congress as parts of rule XI. A paragraph of the rules giving the Committee on Government Operations the power of subpena and the authority to sit whether or not the House is in session, in recess, or has adjourned, was adopted February 10, 1947. (See Congressional Record, 79th Cong., p. 942.)

At that time there were still 11 separate Committees on Expenditures which were consolidated on December 5, 1927, by House Resolution 7 of the 70th Congress, 1st session. But even the new and consolidated committee lacked the specific and declared authority to get information from the executive branch. This awaited the act of May 29, 1928, requiring every executive department and independent establishment to "furnish any information requested of it" to the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Department "if such information is within the jurisdiction of tbe committee.” (5 U.S.C. 105a.)

By the terms of the act of 1946 the committee has to receive and examine the reports of the Comptroller General, thus fulfilling much of Congressman Madden's prognosis of the functions of the committee.

It should be noted that 31 United States Code 60, directing the Comptroller General to make analyses to determine whether public funds have been "economically and efficiently administered and expended," and report to the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments is not derived from the Budget and Accounting Act but from the Legislative Reorganization Act. This is an apparent recognition of the new duty conferred by the act of 1946to study the operation of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining its economy and efficiency.

CHANGE OF NAME

The name of the committee was changed on July 3, 1952, by House Resolution 647 of the 82d Congress, 2d session, from Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments to Committee on Government Operations. The new name had been adopted by the Senate on March 3, 1952, and had been used by a subcommittee of the House Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments.

There was no debate on the question of the change of name. The relevant comment was contained in a letter from Senator McClellan to Senator Hayden, the pertinent portion reads as follows:

As you may recall, this committee reported a bill in the 80th Congress (S. 2575) to amend the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, on May 3, 1948, proposing this change in the name of the committee. The bill was then referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration for further consideration but, due to other provisions contained in the bill to which members of your committee were opposed, no action was taken to report the bill or the provision which would have changed the name of the committee at that time, although I understand there was no opposition to that particular section of the bill.

This committee is proposing the indicated change in the present title, in view of the fact that it is misleading and the committee's functions and duties are generally misunderstood by the public. Some members of the committee indicated that they had refrained from using the committee letterhead because of this fact and that they had received a number of communications which indicated confusion in the minds of the public regarding the exact functions and purpose of the committee.

In suggesting the proposed change the committee based its decision on what it considers to be the major or primary function of the committee under the prescribed duties assigned to it to study “the operations of Government activities at all levels with a view to determining its economy and efficiency.” It was the unanimous view of the members of the committee that the proposed new title would be more accurate in defining the purposes for which the committee was created and in clearly establishing the major purpose it serves.

SUMMARY

The powers and duties of the Committee on Government Operations appear to be as follows: A. Legislative: 1. Matters referred:

(a) Budget and accounting measures.
(6) Reorganizations in the executive branch of

the Government.
(c) Measures referred because of legislative prec-

edent or those closely related to other

functions of the committee. 2. Continuous watchfulness over the execution of budge

tary and accounting laws and reorganization laws in the executive branch by agencies respectively

concerned therewith.
B. Investigative:
1. Specific subjects named in act of 1946:

(a) Reports of Comptroller General.
(6) Government activities at all levels to deter-

mine economy and efficiency.
(c) Effect of laws to reorganize the legislative and

executive branches. (d) Intergovernmental relationships. 2. Derived or supplemental investigative functions: (a) Direction of investigations by Comptroller

General under 31 U.S.C. 53(b). (6) Consideration of expenditure analyses under

31 U.S.C. 60. (c) Investigation of executive and independent

agencies under act of May 29, 1928,

5 U.S.C. 105(a). (d) Any other matter coming to the Committee

by reference, whether by the Speaker or otherwise.

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