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THE REORGANIZATION OF THE
A. E. BUCK
REORGANIZATION OF THE TREASURY
The vast proportions and far-flung operations of the Federal Government now make it imperative to have an up-to-date, systematic and smooth-working financial system. Such a system cannot be developed on the basis of the existing fiscal organization. The most important element in this organization, namely, the Treasury Department, has grown quite archaic in both structure and methods. In addition, it has accumulated over the years several functions which are only remotely related to over-all fiscal policies and processes.
The time is ripe, it seems, to strip the Treasury Department of most of its nonfiscal functions, and to reorganize the remaining functions into an orderly and efficient structure which will concern itself mainly with the central financial processes of the Government. These processes relate to the administration of the major revenues, the collection, custody and disbursement of Government funds, the management of the national debt and maintenance of public credit, the maintenance of central and control accounts over the operating departments and agencies, the preparation of the budget and general financial reports, the supervision of programs relating to banking and international finance, and the liquidation of lending agencies of the Government. Our first recommendation, therefore, is that the Treasury be made into a real department of finance and nothing else. It should be returned to its historic role in the Government.
Present Organization of the Treasury Department
The present organizational units and offices of the Treasury Department may be grouped under three headings, namely, general administration, fiscal offices and units, and nonfiscal offices and units. The major elements under each heading are as follows: L GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE TREASTKY
A Secretary of the Treasury.
II, A, E, E1, below).
3, Budget Officer.
0, Technical Services (Operations and Methods).
(1) Office of the Commissioner.
(8) Section of Surety Bonds.
(1) Office of the Commissioner.
(6) Division of Savings Bonds.
(1) Administrative Division,
II. FISCAL OFFICES AND UNITS OF THE TREASURY—Continued
2. U. S. Savings Bonds Division (sales promotion).
4. Bureau of the Mint.
1. Bureau of Internal Revenue.
4. Office of Tax Legislative Counsel (under General Counsel).
III. NONFISCAL OFFICES, UNITS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TREASURY
1. Bureau of Federal Supply.
While the organization of the Treasury Department is continually changing in some of its minor details, only a few major changes have been made in the past 20 years or more. Some of these changes are worth noting. An Executive order in 1933 set up a Division of Disbursement, which absorbed the duties of more than 2,000 disbursing officers in the various departments and establishments except those in the National Defense Establishment, the Post Office, the Panama Canal, and certain Government corporations. This order also established a Procurement Division (now Bureau of Federal Supply) in the Treasury Department. Under the President's Reorganization Plan I of 1939, the Bureau of the Budget was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Executive Office. Then under the President's Reorganization Plan III of 1940, the Fiscal Service was set up in the Treasury Department and the office of Fiscal Assistant Secretary was established. This Service was intended mainly to bring together the major activities in the fiscal field, such as the general accounting work, the debt administration, and the custody and management of Government funds. So far it has only made a beginning in this direction, especially in modernizing the archaic, overlapping, and duplicating accounting methods employed by the Treasury. The main weakness of the Fiscal Service from a structural standpoint seems to be that it was superimposed upon several Treasury offices and units without adequate statutory authority completely to reorganize them and to realign their methods and procedures. Further attempts to reorganize along this line are likely to produce similar and disappointing results.