페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

authority is an impossible position in which to place a principal executive in or out of Government.

Carrying the parallel further, it is equally burdensome for a chief executive to be deprived of straight line administrative authority without ample power to delegate responsibility to trusted subordinates. Furthermore, such subordinates should be clothed with authority and organizational standing commensurate with their responsibility. For this reason, there is needed in the Department authorization for additional top-level assistants to assume on behalf of the Secretary the burden of the rapidly multiplying duties and responsibilities of the Department. Grouping of various activities into related functions, reporting to the Secretary through such assistants would release the Secretary for broader duties and more constructive thinking and planning. This pattern, again, is in direct line with that generally pursued in other large-scale enterprises.

Simplification of administration seems to us to be mandatory if efficiency is to be improved. Much has been made in recent years of coordination in various governmental activities. We have seen attempts at coordination result in piling one coordinating agency on top of another without ever achieving the desired purpose. We suggest that the only really effective coordination is that which comes to focus in one person with final authority over all the work for which he is responsible. By this we do not mean to imply that dictatorial methods should be resorted to. Such authority is not contemplated in Reorganization Plan No. 2. The reverse is true. Under the plan provision is made for hearings before changes can be made, with ample opportunity for interested persons to present their views and objections as to any detail of proposed changes. Appropriations for specific projects are to be administered for their particular purpose under the reorganization plan, just as they were before. Provision is made for administration of programs close to State, local, and regional levels, and they are required to be adapted to conditions at those levels. We deem it most desirable that those to be served by a program should have more to say as to the manner in which they are to be served in the administration of that service.

In the recent past the Congress has followed the sound policy of vesting functions directly in department heads so that they can be held accountable for the operations of their agencies. In the Department of Agriculture, however, we find a different policy having been pursued with major functions of the Department vested directly in subordinate officials and branches. We believe there are many valid reasons for correcting this patchwork of authority and responsibility in the Department of Agriculture thereby following previous patterns established for other departments of the Government.

Mr. RIEHLMAN. If there are no other persons to testify, the hearing will close.

Mr. FOUNTAIN. Mr. Chairman, before you close, may I just insert one statement ?

Mr. RIEHLMAN. Yes, sir.

Mr. FOUNTAIN. I should like to insert a question by Mr. Anderson and an answer by Secretary Benson when Secretary Benson appeared before the Special Subcommittee of the House to Investigate the Dairy Industry in the United States, and this was recorded in the hearings of that committee in March and April 1953 on page 291. They were discussing something relating to the Tariff Commission, and this is the question or a portion of the question which Mr. Anderson asked Mr. Benson:

Would you see any objection to following the pattern of section 104 and giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to exercise immediate action pending a decision by the Taft Commission?

Secretary BENSON. I think it will be well to have that authority vested somewhere in the Government, either in the Chief Executive or, through him, the Secretary of Agriculture.

The Secretary of Agriculture has a lot of authority now, as you know, Mr. Chairman. I am not seeking for myself more power or authority.

Mr. ANDERSON. I notice in a recent statement that you said the Secretary of Agriculture had too much authority.

Secretary BENSON. I have been very much surprised to find out how much authority is vested in the one office.

And one further statement-I would like to insert the question by Mr. Anderson and the answer by Mr. Benson in his appearance before the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for 1954 recorded on pages 864 and 865, part 3, as follows:

Mr. ANDERSON. I, personally, would like to know what your intent is for the future before I would be willing, as a Member of Congress, to vote to give you this authority.

I think I am justified in asking of you what your intent is if we do give that authority to you.

Also, do you have any specific plans in mind which will consolidate the Soil Conservation Service, the PMA, and the Extension Service?

Secretary BENSON. No. I can say to your last question, Mr. Chairman, that I do not have in mind any plans which will consolidate any agencies at the present time. We have not pursued our studies far enough to reach any conclusions on that. My feeling is that those agencies will continue probably as independent agencies.

I feel that the Soil Conservation Service must continue. It is a very important one; the Extension Service is also. On

page 863 of the same record of hearings before the subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, during the current session, Mr. Anderson asked this question of Mr. Benson:

How will this reorganization simplify and make more effective the operation of the Department?

I can well see that there in every opportunity to do so, but I would like your further comments on that specific point. Just how will it increase efficiency?

Secretary BENSON. I do not know that I have reached a final conclusion on all of those, Mr. Chairman. It is a very big problem, of course.

That is all I have.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. The hearing is closed.
(Whereupon, at 5:33 p. m., the hearing was closed.)

Х

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

And one further statement-I would like to insert the question by Mr. Anderson and the answer by Mr. Benson in his appearance before the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for 1954 recorded on pages 864 and 865, part 3, as follows:

Mr. ANDERSON. I, personally, would like to know what your intent is for the future before I would be willing, as a Member of Congress, to vote to give you this authority.

I think I am justified in asking of you what your intent is if we do give that authority to you.

Also, do you have any specific plans in mind which will consolidate the Soil Conservation Service, the PMA, and the Extension Service?

Secretary BENSON. No. I can say to your last question, Mr. Chairman, that I do not have in mind any plans which will consolidate any agencies at the present time. We have not pursued our studies far enough to reach any conclusions on that. My feeling is that those agencies will continue probably as independent agencies.

I feel that the Soil Conservation Service must continue. It is a very important one; the Extension Service is also.

On page 863 of the same record of hearings before the subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, during the current session, Mr. Anderson asked this question of Mr. Benson:

How will this reorganization simplify and make more effective the operation of the Department?

I can well see that there in every opportunity to do so, but I would like your further comments on that specific point. Just how will it increase efficiency?

Secretary BENSON. I do not know that I have reached a final conclusion on all of those, Mr. Chairman. It is a very big problem, of course.

That is all I have.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. The hearing is closed.
(Whereupon, at 5:33 p. m., the hearing was closed.)

Х

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« 이전계속 »