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For example, plan No. 8 of 1950 relating to the Federal Trade Commission, contained the following provisions :
"SECTION 1. Transfer of functions to the Chairman-(a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, there are hereby transferred from the Federal Trade Commission, hereafter referred to as the Commission, to the Chairman of the Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Chairman, the executive and administrative functions of the Commission including functions of the Commission with respect to (1) the appointment and supervision of personnel employed under the Commission, (2) the distribution of business among such personnel and among administrative units of the Commission, and (3) the use and expenditure of funds.
"SEC. 2. Performance of transferred functions—The Chairman may from time to time make such provisions as he shall deem appropriate authorizing the performance by any officer, employee or administrative unit under his jurisdiction of any function transferred to the Chairman by the provisions of this reorganization plan.”
Plan No. 1 of 1951 relating to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation contained the following provisions :
"SEC. 5. Functions transferred to Administrator.—All functions of the board of directors of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, including those of the members and chairman of the Board and including those with respect to the management of the Corporation, are hereby transferred to the Administrator, except as the said functions are otherwise vested by the provisions of sections 6 and 7 of this reorganization plan.
"SEC. 8. Delegation of functions.—The administrator may from time to time make such provisions as he shall deem arpropriate with respect to the performance by any officer, employee, or administrative unit under his jurisdiction of any function of the Administrator under the provisions of this reorganization plan.”
The reorganization plans relating to other commissions or boards in this group contained similar provisions for transfer of functions to the head and continuing authority in him to redistribute and delegate such functions.
Another group of reorganization plans which have become effective under the act of 1949 related to transfers of certain functions or agencies from one department or from an independent status to another agency. There were 11 such plans, including plans Nos. 2, 4, and 7 of 1949, and 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23 of 1950. While most of these plans related to a limited number of functions, each plan contained provision for the transfer of such functions to the head of the department or agency to which the transfer was made and granted continuing authority to such head to delegate or redistribute such functions in a manner similar to the authority provided by section 4 of plan No. 2 of 1953.
Only 2 of the 28 plans referred to which have become effective under the act contained provisions which could be said to be specific and limited. One of these was plan No. 14 of 1950 entitled "Labor Standards Enforcement" which established authority in the Secretary of Labor to prescribe appropriate standards, regulations, and procedures to be observed by other agencies with respect to compliance with and enforcement of labor standards. This plan was confined to this one specific purpose and did not contain any provisions of general transfer or authorization.
The other was plan No. 1 of 1952 relating to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. This plan abolished certain existing offices and established new offices which were specified. The plan, however, did provide for the transfer to the Secretary of the Treasury of “the functions, if any, that have been vested by statute in officers, agencies, or employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Department of the Treasury since the effective date of Reorganization Plan No. 26 of 1970.” The plan referred to (No. 26 of 1950) has already been mentioned as one of the departmental reorganization plans which contained general, continuing authority in the head of the department to redistribute and delegate any functions vested in him. Therefore, the Bureau of Internal Revenue reorganization plan contemplates that all functions affected by that plan are subject to the continuing right of the Secretary of the Treasury to redistribute and delegate them.
The foregoing review of reorganization plans which have become effective under the current act demonstrates that the provisions for transfer of functions to the Secretary and continuing authority in him to redistribute and delegate his functions are in conformity with the normal pattern that has been followed in the preparation and submission of reorganization plans pursuant to the Reorganization Act of 1949.
Under the procedure followed in the submission of reorganization plans under the act, each plan is reviewed and approved by the Attorney General. Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 was so re iewed and approved.
This pattern of including in reorganization plans general provisions for the transfer of functions to the head of a department and granting him continuing authority to redistribute and delegate functions became established even before the enactment of the Reorganization Act of 1949.
The Reorganization Act of 1945, in section 3 (5 U. S. C. 133y-1) is virtually identical with the provisions of section 3 of the 1949 act, in stating the President's functions under the act. The only substantial difference is that the 1919 act has added subsection (5) expressly providing for authorization to any official to delegate his functions (5 U. S. C. 1332–1). The Budget Bureau in discussions concerning departmental proposals under the 1945 act, recommended that transfers and consolidations within the Department be in the nature of transfers of functions to the Department head, with authority to provide for the exercise of such functions by designated officers and employees within the agency.
Plans Nos. 1, 2, and 3 of 1946, contained provisions of this type (see 5 U. S. C. y-16 note). Plan 1 of 1946, among other things, would have provided for the transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture of the functions of the several research bureaus of the Department. The plan also provided, for example, for the similar transfer of certain functions to the Secretary of State. This plan was rejected; however, the issue here involved was not raised. Plans Nos. 2 and 3 of 1946, which went into effect, included similar provisions vesting functions in the Department heads with reference to the Department of Labor, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture. This Department was involved in part V of plan 3 of 19.6, which transferred to the Secretary various functions which had been consolidated during wartime in the War Food Administration. In 1947 plan No. 1 (see 5 U. S. C. y-16 note) was adopted transferring to the Secretary of Agriculture the research agency functions which had been contained in the rejected plan 1 of 1946.
The interested committees of Congress have recognized the force and effect of thes various reorganization plans in several reports. See, for example, Report of the Senate Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments dated September 13, 1950, Organization of Federal Executive Departments and Agencies, Committee Report No. 10, 81st Congress, 2d session. On page 2 of that report it is stated :
"Major accomplishments in the reorganization field include the complete realinement of the Departments of Defense and State, and the creation of a General Services Administration consolidating the functions of the Federal Works Agency, the War Assets Administration, the National Archives Establishment, and the Bureau of Federal Supply. In addition, the functions of all except one of the executive departments and many of the independent establishments have been vested in the heads of the respective agencies. Authority was granted under such legislative actions which permits the chief official of such agencies to effect necessary reorganizations therein by administrative action, as recommended by the Hoover Commission."
We find nothing of record to indicate that the validity of any of these reorganization plans now in effect has been challenged on the ground that they did not constitute reorganization plans or that they did not otherwise conform to statutory requirements. Sincerely yours,
KARL D. Loos, Solicitor.
PUBLIC CONSIDERATION OF MAJOR CHANGES
Secretary Benson. The authority provided in the present plan for redistribution of functions is subject to express qualifications. The first qualification provides, to the extent deemed practicable by the Secretary, for public notice and opportunity for interested persons
and groups to present their views with respect to any major changes in the assignment of functions which may be made pursuant to the authority conferred by the plan. In discussing this matter we have repeatedly stated that it is our intention to consult with Members of Congress and with the farm organizations and other interested groups. We do not expect to make any major changes in organization without full consultation and advice.
I might say, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, that that particular provision was put in at my request.
To give assurance that this intention will be followed, the present plan provides in section 4 (b) that in case of any proposed major change, appropriate advance public notice shall be given, to the extent deemed practicable, and interested persons and groups shall be afforded appropriate opportunity to place before the Department their views with respect to the proposed redistribution of functions. It is not intended by this provision that redistributions of functions shall be accompanied by formal rulemaking procedure. For example, it is not contemplated that such notices would be published in the Federal Register. But it is contemplated that full publicity would be given to the matter through press releases and through direct notification to major farm organizations. It would also be our purpose to advise and consult with the appropriate committees of Congress and leaders in agriculture.
By these means we would insure full consideration of every major move pursuant to the plan. It is recognized that in some cases there may be substantial difference of opinion regarding a particular step to be taken. We would expect to develop and receive a full expression of views on all sides of any such controversy. Pending such consideration of any subject, we intend to keep an open mind and avoid reaching any definite conclusions. Therefore, we cannot attempt to anticipate at this time what the final decisions in respect to any particular phase of the Department's activities may be. These provisions for notice and opportunity for submission of views were not contained in plan No. 4 of 1950.
A further qualification of the authority of the Secretary to redistribute functions is contained in section 4 (c) of the plan. This provision states three specific objectives intended to be accomplished under the plan. It provides in substance: The Secretary shall
(1) Seek to simplify and make efficient the operation of the Department of Agriculture;
(2) Seek to place the administration of farm programs close to the State and local levels;
(3) Seek to adopt the administration of the programs of the Department to regional, State, and local conditions. These requirements point the direction that any changes made pursuant to the plan must take. They constitute additional differences between the present plan and plan No. 4 of 1950.
Section 5 of the plan authorizes transfers of records, property, and personnel and unexpended balances of appropriations and other funds in connection with the transfer of any functions which may be made within the Department. This section includes a specific requirement that any unexpended balances so transferred shall be used only for
the purpose for which such appropriation was originally made. Section 4 (4) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, contains a similar requirement and this limitation upon expenditures of appropriations is doubtless applicable to any plan transmitted pursuant to the act. However, the express statement of the requirement in the plan itself adds emphasis and should give assurance that appropriations will not be diverted from their original purposes. Plan No. 4 of 1950 did not contain a limitation of this character and a substantial part of the criticism directed against it was occasioned by the failure to include in the plan such an express limitation.
SUMMARY OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PLAN 2 AND PLAN 4
At this point I should like to summarize the major differences between plan No. 4 of 1950, and the present plan.
First, the present plan does not transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture the functions and agencies of the Farm Credit Administration. These would have been transferred to the Secretary under plan No. 4.
Second, the present plan requires public notice of major changes with opportunity to interested persons and groups for presentation of their views. There was no such provision in plan No. 4.
Third, the present plan contains certain directions to the Secretary with respect to the redelegation of functions. In any redistribution of functions, the Secretary shall seek to simplify and make efficient the operations of the Department, to place the administration of farm programs close to the State and local levels, and to adapt the administration of programs to regional, State, and local conditions. There were no such provisions in plan No. 4 of 1950.
Fourth, under the present plan, any unexpended balances of appropriations transferred shall be used only for the purposes for which such appropriation was originally made by the Congress. Plan No. 4 of 1950 contained no such provision, although the Reorganization Act imposed such a limitation.
ABOLITION OF FUNCTIONS NOT AUTHORIZED
It has been suggested by some that if the pending plan becomes effective, the Secretary would be authorized to abolish in whole or in part any function of the Department and thereby frustrate the will of Congress. No such authority is contained in the present plan. A function may be transferred from one agency to another and provision for the performance of the function by some other officer or employee may be made. But no function can be abolished in whole or in part.
It is true that a plan under the Reorganization Act of 1949 may authorize the abolition of functions. Section 3 of the act refers to:
(2) the abolition of all or any part of the functions of any agency; Section 8 defines the term “reorganization” as meaningany transfer, consolidation, coordination, authorization, or abolition, referred to in section 3. So it would be possible to include in a plan of reorganization provision for the abolition of some function of a department.
However, this plan does not contain any such provision. This particular portion of the statutory authority is not used in any way in the pending plan.
If a provision for abolition of a function is contained in a reorganization plan, section 3 of the act requires:
The President in his message transmitting a reorganization plan, shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function included in the plan the statutory authority for the exercise of such functionThe message transmitting plan No. 2 of 1953 does not contain any reference whatever to the abolition of any function.
Therefore, it is clear that this reorganization plan does not give the Secretary or anyone else in the Department of Agriculture any new or enlarged discretion with respect to what functions must be performed. All that is given the Secretary is some additional discretion in choosing tools by which the functions prescribed by Congress will be performed. No present function of the Department can be abolished in whole or in part pursuant to any authority contained in this plan.
IMPROVEMENTS THROUGH REORGANIZATION
Careful study of the problem has convinced us that the procedure contemplated by the present plan is the most practicable way to bring about improved organization of the Department. On January 1, 1953, there were 55,586 full-time and 11.820 part-time employees on the payroll of the Department of Agriculture. In addition, we have estimated that there are some 112,000 other persons participating in the committee systems provided for the various departmental programs.
It would hardly be practicable to provide for the organization of such a large Department in any single order or other document. As the President's Committee on Administrative Management pointed out in 1937, on page 37 of the study already noted:
The work of reorganization is a continuing task growing out of and intimately related to the day-to-day work of the executive agencies. It is a task that cannot be done once and for all. It will require continuing attention. * * * In each instance the reorganization of the work will require careful research as to functions, processes, objects, and personnel, and the arrangements in each particular case will require not only advance consideration but experimental adjustment.
Thus, the reorganization of a department such as this must be a continuing program.
Each step must be taken as the need arises. That is the reorganization procedure provided by Reorganization Plan No. 2. Under it we are confident that we can bring about improved and efficient operation of the Department, elimination of duplication and more economical operation.
It is impossible at this time to give any detailed estimates of the amounts of savings that may be accomplished or of specific areas in which economy can be effected. But we are certain that savings will be accomplished without diminishing services to farmers; and that the savings will be greater under a procedure for reorganization pursuant to the present plan than could be accomplished without it.
As an illustration of the characater of savings which we expect to achieve we may mention some that have already been effected under existing authority. These savings, of course, may not materialize to