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be his plan in name only as far as title is concerned; but not in substance. The President would not then have any opportunity to veto the amended plan as provided for other legislation, so lie could say about the reorganization plan which he submitted, "I don't want it at all the way you have amended it." So we have that problem before
On the whole, I support the reorganization plan idea. · Whether any amendments should be made in the present act or not, is a question for Congress to decide. But there are a great many things that can be and should be done in the executive branch of the Government that, in my opinion, can best be done through the submission of reorganization plans.
My one regret, if I may express myself frankly, is that we haven't had more reorganization plans before us, some that we haven't heard of yet, but that are very badly needed.
Mr. BRUNDAGE. We are working on that but the trouble is there are so many differences of opinion.
Mr. Brown. We have that trouble on the Hill, both among ourselves and with our constituents.
As a perfect example of what I am talking about, I would like to see some sort of reorganization plan set up here that would go further toward actually unifying the military services. We have not gone so far, under the Unification Act. Certainly I would like to see a plan submitted that would provide for central procurement, for at least common-use items in the Defense Department, and perhaps in other parts of the Government-a matter we have had before this committee and a situation which we have found not to be good. There is too much separate buying and bidding against each other.
The Hoover Commission, incidentally, has recommended better procurement procedures for the armed services. Every bit of evidence the Commission has had points to the need, and I think much has come before this committee in the past, to indicate great savings çould be made for the benefit of the taxpayers through centralized purchasing.
Mr. BRUNDAGE. That is right. It is one of the big problems that we are working on.
Mr. BROWN. The procurement field is where the money is spent, you know.
I think that is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BRUNDAGE. I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, I didn't intend to be dogmatic or imply there isn't an awful lot to be said on this question. I know that you and Mr. Brown have been working on this for a great many years. I was merely expressing our conclusions as a result of the operation of the plan, to date.
Mr. McCORMACK. There is nothing to stop the Congress, when a reorganization plan is sent up, from rejecting it and putting through their own plan during the 60-day period. .
Mr. BRUNDAGE. That is right. And that would give us a chance, as Mr. Brown said, to veto it if it doesn't accomplish at all what we want it to, while an amendment to the plan might destroy the heart of it and still go through, you see. si amendments were possible.
Mr. McCORMACK. Well, the original bill and the extensions thereto have been based upon a very practical situation of the difficulty of
the Congress to put through reorganization plans—that is, prior to
Mr. POLAND. I think not.
Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Brundage, last year this committee unanimously rejected Reorganization Plan No. 1 for the main reason that the committee did not consider that that plan constituted a reorganization within the four corners of the Reorganization Act of 1949. That plan, as you recall, seemed to create three new positions in the Department of Defense which did not in itself, constitute any particular reorganization of any functions, although reorganization may have been contemplated at some time in the future if the plan had been adopted.' · With a difference of opinion of that kind existing between the executive and the legislative branches on what constitutes a reorganization, do you feel that the act is presently unclear, or do you feel that there may have been some deficiency in the particular plan that was sent up, the Reorganization Plan No. 1? .
Mr. BRUNDAGE. It was a single part of a larger plan we are working on, but they were anxious to get that through, if possible in a hurry. The Secretary felt it would enable him to have better control over research and development which was giving him great concern. That is why that was done that way.
Mr. HENDERSON. As I recall, last year the committee was very concerned that rather drastic remedies such as this act seems to be, would not be used unless the proposed reorganization was very clearly and precisely defined and was within the four corners of the act.
One other thing that bothered the committee considerably, Mr. Brundage, is that on a number of occasions, the reorganization plans that have been submitted have not detailed the savings which the plan was intended to accomplish. I notice that in the act, itself, it
and shall specify the reduction of expenditures itemized so far as practicable, which it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganizations included in the plan.
Now I realize there may be difficulty in estimating savings, but do you not feel that some estimation of some kind should be made when these plans are sent up?
Mr. BRUNDAGE. That is a very real problem. I think you can estimate in the sense of what kind of savings you would hope for and expect, but--well, the difficulty of trying to identify savings--we have been asked by Congress, by individual Congressmen and by constituents to identify savings on the Hoover Commission recommendations we have put into effect. Well, like all management changes, you cannot put a dollar value on it. It is just impossible. That is our difficulty.
Mr. BROWN. Will the gentleman yield to me a minute?
Mr. BROWN. I believe counsel may have a little different viewpoint on the meaning and requirements of the Reorganization Act than some of us have. In other words, as to these six provisos, or paragraphs, I feel it is unnecessary to meet each and every one of those requirements in order to justify a reorganization plan. Instead, the act lists six different objectives, the meeting of any one of which, in my opinion, would justify consideration of the plan.
In other words, one plan may not make any savings, but would give greater efficiency in the Government. Another plan might not make too much of a saving, although it should provide a more orderly Government by eliminating overlapping and duplication of effort.
It is also possible that consolidation of agencies does not always. make a savings, but one of the principal provisos of the Reorganization Act is to increase the effieiency of the operations of the government to the fullest extent practicable. In other words, to get better government for the same amount of money. Where we can get it for less, I am for it, as you know, and so are all the other members of this committee.
Also No. 1 provision is to promote the better execution of the laws, the more effective management of the executive branch of the Government, and the expeditious administration of public business. Sometimes the saving of time alone is as important as the saving of money. So I don't think we have to have, in every instance, economy but I do believe that this should be one of the prime objectives of a reorganization plan.
I comprehend the reorganization-plan method the same way I have the Hoover Commission objectives--to get greater economy and efficiency in the conduct of public business.
The Commission made 1 or 2 recommendations, which, in my opinion, would get neither, and I opposed them. I thought they were outside of the purposes for which Congress created the Commission. So I don't quite get your questioning on that one thing.
Mr. HENDERSON. Well I won't belabor the point, Mr. Brown, but it seems to me in reading sections 2 and 3 of the act together that there is a rather explicit requirement that some specific estimate of the reduction in expenditures be made.
Mr. Brown. I just don't understand them as being one overall and absolute requirement in every case, that is what I am driving at. I agree with you it should be the objective to save money and, if there are possible savings, there should be some estimate made.
Mr. McCORMACK. Any further questions?
Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Brundage, in a number of reorganization plans that have been submitted in recent years, there have been transfers of functions which have been originally placed by statute in various subordinate officials of departments to the heads or the Secretaries of those departments. The Secretary subsequently redelegates those functions to those to whom he feels they belong. And then even after that he can change and redelegate, transfer and so forth, apparently ad infinitum.
Is it your oponion that the Reorganization Act contemplates that after there has been an original transfer of functions which were at first placed by statute in a subordinate official to the head of a department, that the department head can transfer and retransfer those functions at any time in the future to any extent that he deems necessary?
Mr. BRUNDAGE. Well I think it is a rather fundamental part of good administration that the head of a department should have the authority and opportunity to delegate. I think the main difficulty sometimes with identifying an individual in legislation-it might be quite proper at the time of the legislation and then the operations of the Government and the department change and his main duty may be something quite different from what it was at the time of the original designation. I think that is the main purpose of the transfer, Is that right, Mr. Finan?
Mr. Finan has been working on these plans for a good many years and perhaps he can amplify that.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM F. FINAN, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET
Mr. FINAN. I am sure Mr. Henderson is talking about the 6 or 7 reorganization plans of 1950 which transferred the functions that had been vested by law in subordinate officers or constituents of the executive departments to the respective Secretaries.
In answer to your question, it is our understanding that once those functions were vested by law in the Secretary, and he has been given authority to delegate, which he has, that he may make one delegation and withdraw it and delegate to someone else, and make different terms and conditions if he decides that is necessary.
It is a continuing authority and not a one-time authority. That policy of vesting functions in these department heads has generally been followed by the Congress in enacting basic legislation. There are, as I am sure all of you know, some exceptions but the general policy and certainly the one that we have encouraged has been to vest the powers in the department heads rather than in subordinate officers or units.
Mr. Brown. May I comment on that, Mr. Chairman? Doesn't the counsel think that the answer to this question depends entirely upon how the law has been written and how the reorganization plan has been drawn? Now where the reorganization plan vests a general power in an officer to delegate, that is one thing, but where the legislation just says, “It shall be so and so," that is another thing.
In my opinion, where a reorganization plan which is the approved bill of Congress and has the effect of law, the same as though it passed Congress, it delegates powers, that is one thing, but if the reorganization plan says specifically something definite, that is another and I don't believe under those circumstances you would have the power or that it would be legal to do something else.
In other words, I think that the executive branch and the agencies are just as responsible for carrying out any definite provision of a reorganization plan which becomes law was a result of this action that we take up here by not rejecting it, as to obey the definite provisions of statutory law passed by the Congress.
Do you agree with that?
Mr. FINAN. Oh, yes, sir. I assumed Mr. Henderson was talking about-they were plans 1 through 6 and then plan 26 of 1950. The Congress, as I recall, rejected—I have forgotten the plan number, but it was originally the plan that dealt with the Treasury Department and that later became plan 26, having omitted the Comptroller of the Currency, and it became effective. I presume it was those specific reorganization plans you were referring to and I answered that question specifically.
don't believy su specifically soment is one thing
- Mr. HENDERSON. Some in 1952 did the same thing. I mean 1953.
Mr. Finan. Involving the Department of Agriculture, yes. That plan was a little bit different than those earlier ones. It put certain restrictions on the Secretary in his use of that authority.
Mr. HENDERSON. Yes. I was not sure in my own mind whether the act contemplated that a plan would give such continuing authority or if plans would have to be submitted each time a reorganization was made.
Mr. FINAN. The continuing authority would have the same effect as though a general statute had been passed, vesting certain functions and responsibilities in the Secretary that authorized him to delegate, which is the conventional way of writing a law of that kind.
Mr. HENDERSON. Inasmuch, Mr. Brundage, as only five plans have been submitted as of January 1955, do you feel that the continuation of this rather extraordinary authority is really warranted?
Mr. BRUNDAGE. Well, I do. As I say, we are working on several and it is only because they are tough ones that we haven't been able to perfect them and come up with them. We want to do a little more preparatory work, as Mr. Brown suggested.
Mr. BROWN. You mean you have learned by experience? Mr. BRUNDAGE. That is correct. : Mr. McCORMACK. Any further questions? · Mr. HENDERSON. No. Thank you.
Mr. McCORMACK. Mr. Poland · Mr. POLAND. I yield to Mr. Fascell
Mr. FASCELL. I would like to get back to Mr. Finan on this question of functions. The law provides that, in the message transmitting the plan, the President shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function.
As I understood your statement, you construe a plan to grant full authority to the department head with respect to the delegation of all functions?
Mr. Finan. Not any and all reorganization plans, Mr. Fascell. I was talking about six very specific reorganization plans. · Mr. FASCELL. Let's not talk about them. In other words, if any plan then contains a specific provision which would be tantamount to general statute authority—that is what you are saying?
Mr. FINAN. Well one of the authorized reorganizations found in this act is in section 3, subsection 5, the ability of an officer to delegate any of his functions.
If a reorganization plan makes a provision of this kind under this specific authority,
Mr. FASCELL. That is what I am getting at, but it has to specifically state that, doesn't it?
Mr. FINAN. Surely.
Mr. FASCELL. If the plan doesn't carry that subsection 5, of section 3, then it would have to delineate all of the functions, specifically, which were being transferred, wouldn't it?
Mr. FINAN. I am afraid I can't follow you on that kind of a generalization. I mean if we talk about a given reorganization plan, I could comment-on it.
Mr. FASCELL. Whenever the President finds after investigation “that the authorization of any officer to delegate any of his functions”—that is the section you read. Then, further down in section 3 it says that that has to be part of the plan.