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REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 2 OF 1953

Department of Agriculture

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 1953

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., in room 1310, New House Office Building, Hon. R. Walter Riehlman presiding.

Mr. RIEHLMAN. The committee will come to order please. We have for consideration today Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 relating to the Department of Agriculture. The President transmitted this plan to Congress under date of March 25, pursuant to authority of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended. We also have for consideration H. R. 236, introduced by Congressman Fountain, of North Carolina, disapproving the plan.

Plan No. 2, under section 1, proposes to transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture all functions not now vested in him of all other officers, agencies, and employees of the Department of Agriculture except the following:

The functions vested by the Administrative Procedure Act in hearing examiners employed by the Department of Agriculture.

The corporations of the Department of Agriculture, the boards of directors and officers of such corporations, the Advisory Board of the Commodity Credit Corporation, and the Farm Credit Administration or any agency, officer or entity of, under or

subject to the supervision of said administration. It is understood that there are presently in the Department of Agriculture some 20 agencies, 10 of which were created in such a manner as to vest their functions directly in the Secretary, thus giving him inherent power to organize them. These agencies are the Agriculture Research Administration, Production and Marketing Administration, Commodity Exchange Authority, Extension Service, Foreign Agriculture Service, Office of Budget and Finance, Office of Information, Office of Personnel, Office of Plant and Operations, and Library.

Many of the functions of the other agencies within the Department were vested by statute or by prior reorganizations plans in the particular agency itself or in the head or some other officer of the agency, thus limiting the Secretary's authority to transfer or consolidate the functions of such agencies.

The present plan specifically exempts several of these agencies, as I have enumerated. The remaining ones which will be affected in the transfer of functions to the Secretary are

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Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, Farmers Home Administration, Rural Electrification Administration, and Office of the Solicitor.

Section 2 of this reorganization plan provides for two additional Assistant Secretaries appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate.

Section 3 of the plan permits the appointment of an Administrative Assistant Secretary under classified civil service.

Section 4 (a) of the plan provides that the Secretary of Agriculture may authorize the performance by any other officer or by any agency or employee of the Department of Agriculture of any functions of the Secretary, including any functions transferred to the Secretary under the provisions of this reorganization plan.

Section 4 (b) provides that to the extent that the carrying out of the delegation of functions provided for in section 4 (a) involves the assignment of major functions or major groups of functions to major constituent organizational units of the Department of Agriculture, now or hereafter existing, or to the heads or other officers thereof, and to the extent deemed practicable by the Secretary, he shall give appropriate advance notice of delegations of functions proposed to be made by him, and shall aftord appropriate opportunity for interested persons and groups to place before the Department of Agriculture their views with respect to such proposed delegations.

Section 4 (c) provides that in carrying out the delegations of functions provided for in section 4 (a), the Secretary shall seek to simplify and make efficient the operation of the Department of Agriculture to place the administration of farm programs close to State and local levels, and to adapt the administration of the programs of the Department to regional State and local conditions.

Section 5 and the final section of the reorganization plan provides that the Secretary of Agriculture may from time to time effect such transfers within the Department of Agriculture of any of the records, property, and personnel affected by this reorganization plan, and such transfers of unexpended balances--available or to be made available for use in connection with any affected function or agency-of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of such department as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this reorganization plan, but such unexpended balances so transferred shall be used only for the purposes for which such appropriation was originally made.

The President, in transmitting this Reorganization Plan No. 2 to the Congress, stressed that it was designed to make it possible for the Secretary of Agriculture te simplify and improve the ioterral organization of the Department of Agriculture and was substantially in accord with the recommendations made in 1949 by the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government. He further pointed out that Reorganization Plan No. 2 will permit the establishment of a clear line of responsibility and authority from the President through the Secretary of Agriculture down to the lowest level of operations in the Department; that it will make the Secretary responsible under law for activities within his Department for which he is now in fact held accountable by the President, the Congress, and the public, and that it will enable the Secretary from time to time to adjust the organization of the Department of Agriculture in order to achieve continuous improvement in operations to meet changing conditions. I desire at this time to insert in the record a copy of the President's message of March 25, transmitting Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, and the plan itself.

(The President's message of March 25, 1953, and Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 are as follows:)

[H. Doc. No. 111, 83d Cong., 1st sess.)

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING

REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 2 OF 1953 To the Congress of the United States:

I transmit herewith Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, prepared in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, and providing for reorganizations in the Department of Agriculture.

Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 is designed to make it possible for the Secretary of Agriculture to simplify and improve the internal organization of the Department of Agriculture. It is substantially in accord with the recommendations made in 1949 by the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.

With certain exceptions, Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 transfers to the Secretary of Agriculture the functions now vested by law in other officers, and in the agencies and employees, of the Department. It allows the Secretary to authorize any other officer, agency, or employee of the Department to perform any function vested in the Secretary. He is directed to utilize this delegation authority in such a way as to further certain objectives set forth in the reorganization plan. Those objectives are to simplify and make effective the operation of the Department of Agriculture, to place the administration of farm programs close to the State and local levels, and to adapt the administration of the programs of the Department to regional, State, and local conditions. Further, to the extent deemed practicable by the Secretary, he is required to give appropriate advance public notice and to afford appropriate opportunity for interested persons and groups to present to the Department of Agriculture their views on such proposed delegations of the Secretary as involve assignments of major functions or major groups of functions to major constituent organizational units of the Department or their officers.

Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 will permit the establishment of a clearer line of responsibility and authority from the President through the Secretary of Agriculture down to the lowest level of operations in the Department. It will make the Secretary responsible under law for activities within his Department for which he is now in fact held accountable by the President, the Congress, and the public. Also, it will enable the Secretary, from time to time, to adjust the organization of the Department in order to achieve continuous improvement in operations to meet changing conditions.

The Congress has in the past repeatedly followed the sound policy of vesting functions directly department heads so that they can be held accountable for the performance of their agencies. In acting upon recommendations of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, the Congress approved, in 1949 and 1950, a series of statutes and reorganization plans which applied that policy to all the executive departments except the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture. While some laws vest important functions directly in the Secretary of Agriculture, others place major functions in subordinate officers and agencies of the Department. By transferring to the Secretary the latter functions, with certain exceptions, the reorganization plan corrects the present patchwork assignment of statutory functions in the Department.

The functions excepted from transfer to the Secretary are the functions of hearing examiners under the Administrative Procedure Act; of the corporations of the Department, including their boards of directors and officers; of the Advisory Board of the Commodity Credit Corporation; and of the Farm Credit Administration and the banks, corporations, and associations supervised by it.

The exception of the hearing examiners is in accordance with the intent of the Administrative Procedure Act, and is consistent with the status of hearing examiners in other departments and agencies.

The corporations of the Department, together with their boards of directors and officers, are excepted because they have a different legal status than other

constituent agencies of the Department. Bodies corporate have independent legal personalities and act in their own name rather than in the name of the Department of Agriculture or of the United States.

The same reasons which prompt the exception of the corporations of the Department make desirable the exception of the entities supervised by the Farm Credit Administration itself is also excepted, since it is anticipated that general legislation covering this field will be recommended to the Congress.

The Department of Agriculture now has only one Assistant Secretary, Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1935 provides the Secretary with two more Assistant Secretaries and an Administrative Assistant Secretary to aid him in supervising the Department. The Assistant Secretaries will be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Administrative Assistant Secretary will be appointed under the classified civil service by the Secretary, with the approval of the President. These methods of appointment are similar to those prevailing in other departments.

The Secretary will prescribe the functions to be performed by these new assistants. It is his intention to have the new Assistant Secretaries aid him in providing closer policy and program supervision over the Department of Agriculture, and to have the new Administrative Assistant Secretary perform substantially the same role as that performed by the administrative assistant secretaries in other departments. Thus, the new officers will assist the Secretary in giving continuous attention to matters which are essential for the most efficient and economical operation of the Department.

The Secretary of Agriculture has advised me that the 2 new offices of Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, and the 1 new office of Administrative Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, provided for in the reorganization plan, will merely replace existing positions in the Department, and that hence the creation of these offices will not result in any net increase in the personnel in the Department of Agriculture. He has further advised me that both the number of officers and employees in the Office of the Secretary and the aggregate of their salaries will be less than those existing prior to January 1, 1953.

The Secretary of Agriculture, aided by the Interim Agricultural Advisory Committee, has been studying the organization and functions of the Department of Agriculture. Recently the Secretary rearranged the organizational units of the Department so as to form (in addition to the Office of the Solicitor and a reorganized Foreign Agricultural Service) four major groups of agencies, each with a supervising head to whom the agencies within the group report. By so doing, the Secretary sought both to reduce the number of separate officials reporting to him and to improve coordination within the Department. Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 will make it possible for the Secretary to make further internal adjustments within the Department as study and experience identify opportunities for improvement. It will thus further the better management of the affairs of the Department of Agriculture.

After investigation I have found and hereby declare that each reorganization included in Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2 (a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.

I have found and hereby declare that it is necessary to include in the accompanying reorganization plan, by reason of reorganizations made thereby, provisions for the appointment and compensation of two Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture and an Administrative Assistant Secretary of Agriculture. The rates of compensation fixed for these officers are those which I have found to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch of the Government.

Reductions in expenditures will result from reorganizations of the Department of Agriculture made possible by the taking effect of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, but such reductions cannot be itemized at this time.

I recommend that the Congress allow the accompanying reorganization plan to become effective.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER. The White House, March 25, 1953.

REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 2 of 1953 (Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress

assembled, March 25, 1953, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, approved June 20, 1949, as amended)

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

SECTION 1. Transfer of functions to the Secretary.-(a) Subject to the exceptions specified in subsection (b) of this section, there are hereby transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture all functions not now vested in him of all other officers, and of all agencies and employees, of the Department of Agriculture.

(b) This section shall not apply to the functions vested by the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U. S. C. 1001 et seq.) in hearing examiners employed by the Department of Agriculture nor to the functions of (1) the corporations of the Department of Agriculture, (2) the boards of directors and officers of such corporations, (3) the Advisory Board of the Commodity Credit Corporation, or (4) the Farm Credit Administration or any agency, officer, or entity of, under, or subject to the supervision of the said Administration.

Sec. 2. Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture.—Two additional Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each such assistant secretary shall perform such functions as the Secretary of Agriculture shall, from time to time, prescribe and each shall receive compensation at the rate prescribed by law for Assistant Secretaries of executive departments.

Sec. 3. Administrative Assistant Secretary.An Administrative Assistant Secretary of Agriculture shall be appointed, with the approval of the President, by the Secretary of Agriculture under the classified civil service, and shall perform such functions as the Secretary of Agricultuer shall, from time to time, prescribe. The provisions of the item numbered (1) of the third proviso under the heading "General Provisions" appearing in chapter XI of the Third Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1952, approved June 5, 1952 (66 Stat. 121), are hereby made applicable to the position of Administrative Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.

Sec. 4. Delegation of functions.-(a) The Secretary of Agriculture may from time to time make such provisions as he shall deem appropriate authorizing the performance by any other officer, or by any agency or employee, of the Department of Agriculture of any function of the Secretary, including any function transferred to the Secretary by the provisions of this reorganization plan.

(b) To the extent that the carrying out of subsection (a) of this section involves the assignment of major functions or major groups of functions to major constitutent organizational units of the Department of Agriculture, now or hereafter existing, or to the heads or other officers thereof, and to the extent deemed practicable by the Secretary, he shall give appropriate advance public notice of delegations of functions proposed to be made by him and shall afford appropriate opportunity for interested persons and groups to place before the Department of Agriculture their views with respect to such proposed delegations.

(c) In carrying out subsection (a) of this section the Secretary shall seek to simplify and make efficient the operation of the Department of Agriculture, to place the administration of farm programs close to the State and local levels, and to adapt the administration of the programs of the Department to regional, State, and local conditions.

Sec. 5. Incidental transfers.-- The Secretary of Agriculture may from time to time effect such transfers within the Department of Agriculture of any of the records, property, and personnel affected by this reorganization plan and such transfers of unexpended balances (available or to be made available for use in connection with any affected function or agency) of appropriations, allocations, and other funds of such Department, as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this reorganization plan; but such unexpended balances so transferred shall be used only for the purposes for which such appropriation was originally made.

Mr. RIEHLMAN. I also desire to insert in the record House Resolution 236, disapproving of the plan. (H. Res. 236 is as follows:)

(H. Res. 236, 83d Cong., 1st sess.)

RESOLUTION Resolved, That the House of Representatives does not favor the Reorganization Plan Numbered 2 of 1953 transmitted to Congress by the President on March 25, 1953.

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