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personnel you always act for the best interest of the work you are trying to accomplish, and for the greatest efficiency of your personnel as an organization, you will not have trouble, but will have the support of your people, even though some of your moves may be distasteful to some of them. They will see that what you are doing is for the best interest of the work and of the people. But if on the other hand, either you are careless about the work or your people who do it, or you make your moves not for the good of the work or of your people, but for outside reasons, then you have trouble.
If in a law office you are trying every year to get the best young men from the best law schools, and you begin to take in too many of your partners' or clients' sons or nephews, without top merit of their own, you find that the supply of the top promising youngsters from the law schools shuts off like a water faucet. So with promoting people for something else than merit in any kind of an organization. So with everything to do with personnel. The first thing that happens, when you do not run it sincerely, is that you cut off your own supply of the good ones.
PUBLIC SERVICE CAREERS
Good operating, whether in Government or industry, depends in large measure on developing and using incentives that move the employees. One of the most fundamental of incentives is the “career incentive.” Ability to make a career of the public service, advancing up the ladder on the basis of ability, perforance and service, is one of the most satisfying accomplishments known to man. The career incentive properly understood, used and protected is a prime instrument for correcting present shortcomings of democratic public service and for progressively improving it. This is not only the key to greater efficiency, but is the basic deterrent from listlessness, from the occasional efforts to corrupt and from misusing governmental power. We believe that the present system of the President appointing and the Senate confirming postmasters, customs collectors, and United States marshals, amounts to a major barrier to properly making careers of these important services.
Appointments to these places now rest, in the main, on a personal and political basis rather than on ability and merit. When the hundreds of thousands of employees within these departments see the President and the Senators fill these places on the basis of political favor they know that no matter how well they do their own work the places are not open to them but instead are a roof that cuts them off from rising further in the civil service. It does not take half an eye to see that many qualified young people who look upon this will say that a civil service with this kind of a roof over it is not for them. So also the man and woman who, already in the service are begining to feel in themselves the power to be good civil servants preparing for higher responsibilities, will receive à rude shock and decide that they had better jump out into private business before it is too late.
Next, with worse material to build on, and with their doubting your own interest in results and their seeing that you care about outside objects more than you care for good work and a good organization, they fall under destructive influences. They lose interest in the job. They decide to leave Government or to remain and to protect themselves by other means. And then you are in a vicious circle. All who see a person get his position on the basis of personal friendship, or as a reward for political service, know there is little or no test. They know his loyalty is to a special interest group and not to the public service as a whole. Since he achieves his position on the basis of political favor, they know that he will view the entire service with the same philosophy that brought him into the job. This not only warps his attitude toward his own job, but what is more important, destroys not only in his own subordinates but in everybody else who is in the civil service or is thinking about going into it, confidence that he can make it a life's career, without finding an impassable roof over him. These people see the path of advance blocked by the layer of politically appointed places over them. They see that they cannot hope for the higher places on the basis of merit and performance, but only through making themselves politically and personally acceptable.
You have heard the testimony of various other groups regarding the state of things in the Post Office Department. The National Association of Letter Carriers has advised you that "today we have the poorest mail service in the history of the Post Office Department and that the morale of the postal employees has never been lower.” We believe that the present system of appointment, with the requirement that the Senate confirm, not only makes for this poor morale, but that it creates and continues to create an administrative problem that renders good management impossible.
The present method of appointing postmasters is cumbersome, complicated and confusing, whether by promotion or by open competitive examination. The wheels do not begin to turn until a postmastership is already vacant. Then it takes a long time to conduct an examination, obtain a Presidential appointment, and finally get the Senate to confirm. Meantime it is usual to appoint an acting postmaster,
THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE The public views this process of appointing as being completely political. Yet, since the public hears of it as “civil service," it becomes su picious and distrustful of all civil service. Sensitive as our league is to the inadequacies of our present Federal civil-service system, we do believe this public attitude is unfair and unjustified.
SENATE HELD RESPONSIBLE
We believe that there is another aspect that should give the Senate great concern. As the public becomes more and more aware of the defects inherent in this system, they tend to blame the Senate. They fail to understand, however, that the Senate is trying to perform a duty that up to now it has not had the facilities necessary to enable it to perform.
We, naturally, have not been able to follow the details of the confirming of all these appointments. We are reasonably certain, however, that most of it is based first on the approval or recommending by a political organization that is not able to review a person's ability to perform an administrative duty.
Secondly, adverse opinions arise primarily out of personal attitudes and hearsay and seldom on careful and detailed investigating.
Investigating an individual's suitability for public office requires special facili, ties that the Senate does not possess. To require it to obtain and use facilities of that kind would deprive the Senate of time already inadequate for its legislative duties.
Besides its responsibility for the quality of personnel that it confirms, the Senate faces responsibility for delay in filling these places. Once rid of this burden the Senate would find the ending of these responsibilities a pleasant relief.
TIE REORGANIZATION PLANS
I wish to state at once that merely eliminating appointing by the President and confirming by the Senate will not make the service perfect. It will definitely be an improvement, however. We, like others here, believe that efficiency comes through the proper methods with people. We are convinced that almost immediately it would make it possible to bring into these services practices that would provide the incentive of careers and the opportunity to use existing career personnel machinery that at the present time cannot be used. At once the possibilities of recruiting should improve. There undoubtedly are thousands of capable people in the United States who would be glad to serve the public in the postal service, the Customs Bureau, and in the Department of Justice, who will not run the political gamut, but would apply on the basis of merit and ability. They believe, as we do, that the choice should be made only on the basis of merit and ability. Once these places come under full civil service, an important new source of talent for the public service will become available.
We believe that better morale and improved efficiency will appear among the lower ranks of civil servants. First, because they would have supervisors and leaders chosen on merit rather than through politics. Second, because the roof over their possibilities for a career would have lifted.
Further improvement could be expected through the developing and use of training. We are certain that postmasters today have had little training compared to the training that could be available for them, part of which could result from their rise through the service. Business is learning more and more that investing money for training personnel-especially administrative people and supervisors-pays dividends. This is an important development in the career system that Government also should seriously consider.
Finally, one of the most important improvements that could be expected would be greater public respect and prestige for these services, especially the Post Office. The public needs reassuring about the postal service and postal personnel. These affect the everyday life of every citizen. The citizen has a right to know that his service is being provided on the basis of sound public policy and is not being influenced by special political advisers. A full career system in the postal service should have a great effect in improving the prestige of the publie service as a whole.
With your kind permission I should like to add a very few words to analyze from the league's point of view certain claims that have been made in opposing these plans. • Opponents of plan No. 2 are contradicting each other about the present state of things in the Post Office Department. Senator Olin D. Johnston, for whom I have great personal respect, contends that the present system is working well. On the other hand, the organized employees, as stated above, while joining Senator Johnston in opposing the plan claim that morale and efficiency in the postal service were never lower.
For reasons I have stated, we cannot agree that the present system is working as well as the public good requires that it should work. We insist vigorously that those who believe that morale and efficiency in the Department need to be improved ought to recognize how much harm the present political system of appointing postmasters is doing.
The opponents say that this plan will not remove politics from these three services. We know that there is no magic in the plan. On the other hand, nothing so certainly brings in politics as the requiring of political clearance from a local group. We are confident that once this is taken out the influence of politics in these appointments will decline rapidly and that if these services are opened to career people, as they ought to be, the political elements will show themselves to be improper and will disappear.
Opponents also charge that the Postmaster General will develop a tremendous patronage machine. Taking political elements out of the post office can hardly increase the political elements there now. All experience shows that it should reduce them. If the Postmaster General abuses his office for politics, he will be breaking the spirit and probably the letter of the law, and the scandal will be open and notorious, so that he would be injuring his party and not helping it. It is true that the Post Office Department is the largest civilian agency. However, the defense agencies have more civilian employees than the Post Office. I have never heard it contended that the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of the Army were developing patronage machines. We believe that this argument is an improper and unnecessary exaggeration. In the first place, the Civil Service Commission has adequate authority to prevent any abuse. In the second, the Senate has the facilities for thoroughly investigating any goings on that look wrong. Senator Johnston's own committee now is commendably investigating problems of using manpower in the Federal service. No individual in any department.can do the things that opponents of the plans suggest unless the Congress in effect silently approves.
Opponents of the plans may urge that the various places that the plans propose to bring under civil service are policy making places in the filling of which the elective officials should bear full responsibility. I wish to make it clear that our league does not consider the places that these plans deal with to be policy forming in the sense of requiring political responsibility to the Congress and to the people. They are important, every one of them. Since they involve administrative skill and therefore administrative responsibility for performing important public services, they belong in the career merit system.
Opponents of the plans may raise other arguments against them. The plans as they stand propose important improvements in the services. They are not open to sound criticism of enough substance to warrant defeating them. The Senate ought not to defeat any one of them.
Both efficiency and integrity in Government require proper supervising of personnel and proper incentives. The present method of appointing postmasters, United States marshals, and collectors of customs makes it impossible to provide either of these requirements. A good personnel system, providing good arrangements for hiring, supervising, leading, and rewarding servants of the Government is fundamental.
Today our great democratic Government is blotted with some examples of corrupt acts and of waste. The system of political appointments has, in some instancés, helped make these possible, It always tends to do so.
We believe that the opportunity and responsibility now before the Senate to approve the plans and thereby improve the civil service is of high importance.
Defeat of these plans will mean that the Congress must at once take responsibility for correcting the inadequacies that presently exist in these services. We believe that the Congress will do better to adopt the plans. The National Civil Service League as a citizens' organization strongly recommends that the Senate not disapprove Reorganization Plans Nos. 2, 3, and 4.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as the Chair knows, this concludes the hearing on these three plans. I shall not irrevocably close the hearings, because some Senator or Congressman might want to file a resolution of disapproval and be heard on it.
But so far as the tentative plans are concerned, the staff will consider the hearings closed and make their preparations accordingly.
Thank you, folks, very much, for your attendance. (Whereupon at 12:35 p. m., a recess was taken.)
(Subsequently S. Res. 330, and S. Res. 331, disapproving Reorganization Plans No. 4 and 3 of 1952 were introduced and follow :)
(S. Res. 330, 828 Cong., 2d sess.)
RESOLUTION Resolved, That the Senate does not favor the Reorganization Plan Numbered 4 transmitted to Congress by the President on April 10, 1952.
[S. Res. 331, 820 Cong., 2d sess.)
RESOLUTION Resolved, That the Senate does not favor Reorganization Plan Numbered 3: of 1952 transmitted to Congress by the President on April 10, 1952,
[PUBLIC LAW 109—81st CONGRESS]
[H. R. 2361] AN ACT To provide for the reorganization of Government agencies, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. This Act may be cited as the “Reorganization Act of 1949”.
NEED FOR REORGANIZATIONS
SEC. 2. (a) The President shall examine and from time to time reexamine the organization of all agencies of the Government and shall determine what changes therein are necessary to accomplish the following purposes :
(1) to promote the better execution of the laws, the more effective management of the executive branch of the Government and of its agencies and functions, and the expeditious administration of the public business;
(2) to reduce expenditures and promote economy, to the fullest extent consistent with the efficient operation of the Government ;
(3) to increase the efficiency of the operations of the Government to the fullest extent practicable;
(4) to group, coordinate, and consolidate agencies and functions of the Government, as nearly as may be, according to major purposes ;
(5) to reduce the number of agencies by consolidating those having similar functions under a single head, and to abolish such agencies or functions thereof as may not be necessary for the efficient conduct of the Government; and
(6) to eliminate overlapping and duplication of effort. (b) The Congress declares that the public interest demands the carrying out of the purposes specified in subsection (a) and that such purposes may be accomplished in great measure by proceeding under the provisions of this Act, and can be accomplished more speedily thereby than by the enactment of specific legislation.
(1) the transfer of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, to the jurisdiction and control of any other agency; or
(2) the abolition of all or any part of the functions of any agency; or
(3) the consolidation or coordination of the whole or any part of any agency, or of the whole or any part of the functions thereof, with the whole or any part of any other agency or the functions thereof; or
(4) the consolidation or coordination of any part of any agency or the functions thereof with any other part of the same agency or the functions thereof; or
(5) the authorization of any officer to delegate any of his functions; or
(6) the abolition of the whole or any part of any agency which agency or part does not have, or upon the taking effect of the reorganization plan
will not have any functions, is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a), he shall prepare a reorganization plan for the making of the reorganizations as to which he has made findings and which he includes in the plan, and transmit such plan (bearing an identifying number) to the Congress, together with a declaration that, with respect to each reorganization included in the plan, he has found that such reorganization is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 2 (a). The delivery to both Houses shall be on the same day and shall be made to each House while it is in session. The President, in his massage 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 function, 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.
OTHER CONTENTS OF PLANS SEC. 4. Any reorganization plan transmitted by the President under section 3—
(1) shall change, in such cases as he deems necessary, the name of any agency affected by a reorganization, and the title of its head; and shall designate the name of any agency resulting from a reorganization and the title of its head;
(2) may include provisions for the appointment and compensation of the head and one or more other officers of any agency (including an agency resulting from a consolidation or other type of reorganization) if the President finds, and in his message transmitting the plan declares, that by reason of a reorganization made by the plan such provisions are necessary. The head so provided for may be an individual or may be a commission or board with two or more members. In the case of any such appointment the term of office shall not be fixed at more than four years, the compensation shall not be at a rate in excess of that found by the President to prevail in respect of comparable officers in the executive branch, and, if the appointment is not under the classified civil service, it shall be by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, except that, in the case of any officer of the municipal government of the District of Columbia, it may be by the Board of Commissioners or other body or officer in such government designated in the plan;
(3) shall make provision for the transfer or other disposition of the records, property, and personnel affected by any reorganization;
(4) shall make provision for the transfer of such unexpended balances of appropriations, and of other funds, available for use in connection with any