페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

1943 in the amount of $6,108,181. At that time the committee was somewhat of the opinion that this estimate was too low, and subsequent events have proven this to be so. Actually, the unappropriated balance at the beginning of the fiscal year 1944 was $9,062,294. The difference between the estimated balance and the actual balance could have been caused by either an increase in revenues or a decrease in operating expenses. An analysis of the difference discloses that both of these factors enter into the picture. First, there was an increase in the revenues of $1,805,327, and secondly, there was a decrease in expenses of $2,578,514.

The Commissioners plan to use these savings to pay off all indebtedness of the District of Columbia by July 1, 1945, and still will have, as the result of the committee's action on the accompanying bill, an unappropriated balance of approximately $1,500,000: Thus it will be seen that the District of Columbia is not only operating within its income but is accumulating a surplus that will be available to finance future activities in the post-war period.

The committee has, at the suggestion of the Commissioners, increased the appropriation to be used for investment in United States Government securities from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000. The Commissioners and the District Budget Officer are to be commended in adhering to a sensible long-term viewpoint of the District's finances by placing in reserve during these prosperous times as much money as possible without jeopardizing or interfering with the operations of the District Government.

ORGANIZATIONAL SET-UP OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

GOVERNMENT

The committee has for the past several years expressed considerable interest in the organizational structure of the District government and it has noticed in particular the apparently independent status of some 26 departments, commissions, and boards, representing a total personnel of approximately. 7,000, or almost 50 percent of the total employees of the District government. The only qualification that might be injected into the foregoing statement is in connection with the Board of Public Welfare, wherein the Commissioners do appoint personnel, but only upon recommendation of the Board. While the committee has no intention of interfering with the operational (as distinguished from administrative) activities of these departments, commissions, and boards, it does feel that necessary steps should be taken by the Commissioners to strengthen the financial execution of the budget by the adoption of a comprehensive budgetary control under the Budget Officer, and in conformity with the intent of Congress in making appropriations.

It is reasonable to assume that fundamentally the responsibility for the financial condition of the District lies with the Commissioners and the Budget Officer, but while the laws governing revenues are to all intents and purposes clear and definitive, the laws or regulations gov. erning the application of appropriated funds appear indefinite and lack the necessary and desirable force. It would seem to the committee that the Budget Office should be strengthened in authority and should be staffed with a sufficient number of specialist employees for the purpose of assisting the Comr.issioners and the Budget Cilicer in a more ade

quate evaluation of the fiscal requirements of all of the units of organization of the District government before the estimates of appropria- . tion are prepared for the consideration of the Bureau of the Budget and the Congress.

MANPOWER DIFFICULTIES

The hearings have disclosed to the satisfaction of the committee that such operational problems as seem to have existed during the past year or two, or do exist at the present time, can, in the main, be traced to the manpower problem and not to the amounts appropriated. Information furnished the committee points to unexpended balances as of the end of the current fiscal year in nearly every department, and of the total of 12,893 permanent annual authorized positions for the current fiscal year there were 1,197 vacancies as of April 1, 1944.

With respect to the action taken on the accompanying bill, the committee feels that it has been liberal. It has exerted every effort to place a proper and just evaluation on every service and activity of the District government and to recommend in each instance an appropriation consistent with the best interests of all the taxpayers. Slight reductions were made in some items of appropriation on the basis of existing vacancies. However, in all these instances adequate margin was provided for possible increased activity in the event the manpower situation should be alleviated during the ensuing fiscal year.

EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA GOVERNMENT

The committee would feel remiss if it did not pay a much deserved tribute to the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Mr. John Russell Young, and to the two Commissioners, Mr. Guy Mason and Gen. Charles W. Kutz, for their untiring efforts to give the District a better government. Commendation should also go to the District budget officer, Mr. Walter L. Fowler, and his very able assistants, for their unusual grasp and understanding of the financial affairs of the District and for the cooperative attitude exhibited by them during the hearings. In brief, it is the feeling of the committee that the District may consider itself fortunate in having in its employ the caliber of individuals represented by those who appeared before the committee. They are doing a fine job under what may well be termed not the most favorable conditions.

In this connection the committee wishes to point out the existence of a number of apparently disproportionate salaries as reflected in the details of estimates. While it is not a proper function of this committee to attempt to place a dollar value on each position, it is satisfied that many salaries are not commensurate with the responsibilities of the respective positions and strongly recommends that the Commissioners make a study of the District salary structure and take such action as is within their power to adjust inequalities,

FILLING OF AUTHORIZED POSITIONS

Although the committee has in a number of instances recommended that money be appropriated in this bill for currently existing vacancies, it wishes to urge upon the officials of the District government the desirability of limiting recruitment, consistent, of course, with the

efficient operations of their departments. All possibilities for savings should be thoroughly explored and realignments and adjustments in both personnel and functions should be made whenever, in the interest of economy, they can be made. This procedure, while desirable under normal conditions, is especially important during this war emergency with its attendant shortage of manpower.

ESTIMATES AND APPROPRIATIONS

A detailed tabulation of estimates and appropriations is contained at the end of this report. However, there is given below, in summary and by funds, the total appropriations for the current fiscal year, the estimates for the ensuing fiscal year, and the action of the committee with respect to these estimates.

[blocks in formation]

It will be observed that the above tabulation shows an increase of about $1,104,000 over the Budget estimates This figure resulted froin the inclusion in the bill of an additional amount of $2,000,000 to be withdrawn from the District's funds for the purpose of investing this money in short-term United States Government securities and does not represent an actual expenditure of funds Aside from this increase the net result of the action of the committee is a decrease of approximately $900,000 in the Budget estimates as submitted.

CONSOLIDATION OF ITEMS OF APPROPRIATION

The District Budget estimates for the fiscal year 1945 were submitted in consolidated form as a result of extensive studies by the District officials of the organizational structure of the District government. This completes the consolidation begun in the 1944 Appropriation Act in connection with the public-school items. The consolidation made in that act contributed very largely to a reduction in the number of appropriation items from 288 in the 1943 act to 215 in the 1944 act. This final revision permits a reduction in the number of appropriation items from 215 in the 1944 act to 89 in the 1945 Budget, and a reduction in the number of general provisions from 41 to 25, of which 14 will become permanent legislation and will hereafter be omitted. While the total number of appropriation items is greatly reduced by the current revision, there will be no lessening in the degree of detailed control by Congress over the hundreds of objects of expenditure comprising the District budget. Each office, agency, or institution, and each service or function performed by said organization units of the District government, previously appropriated for

-

separately, will continue to be justified in detail with appropriate schedules and break-downs of actual and estimated obligations as heretofore.

Some of the advantages of this budgetary revision may be summarized as follows:

1. It directly reflects the present organization of the District of Columbia government and groups together those functions which are more or less closely related.

2. It combines office administration with operations.

3. It standardizes appropriation and provisory language wherever possible.

4. It separates operations from capital outlays to facilitate the prompt determination of the total sums allocated to each.

5. It consolidates a number of general provisions carried in the present act controlling the advancement of funds by the disbursing officer.

REGULATORY AGENCIES

This item encompasses 11 agencies or commissions for which the amount of $706,216 is recommended, an increase of $78,508 over the appropriation for 1944 and a decrease of $11,852 under the Budget estimates. The principal increases over the current year's appropriations are $23,317 for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to cover in the main the employment of 7 additional inspectors and $34,080 for the Department of Weights, Measures, and Markets, most of which is to be used for repairing and renovating the Eastern Market, a revenue-producing establishment.

With reference to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the committee is not at all satisfied with the manner in which this activity has been administered, especially in that the Board does not seem to be using the authority of law with which it is vested at the present time. The entire request of $66,945 is being allowed by the committee in the hope that the liquor situation in the District may be somewhat clarified and the citizens and minors of the District given the consideration and protection to which they are entitled.

The request of the Minimum Wage and Industrial Safety Board for one additional industrial safety inspector is not allowed by the committee on the premise that the economic conditions of the District are such perhaps as to require less rather than more inspectors.

With respect to the Recorder of Deeds, the committee is recommending the amount of $157,730 which is the same amount as was made available for the current fiscal year but a decrease of $8,592 under the Budget estimates. The reduction was made on basis of the reduced work load of this office as presented to the committee in the written justifications and as contained in the printed hearings.

The amount of $900 requested in the way of an increase to enable the Zoning Commission to raise the compensation of each of the three compensated members of the Board of Zoning Adjustment is denied. While the committee appreciates the services that are being rendered by the individual members of the Board, it does not feel that the extent of work involved justifies a rate of compensation in excess of the present $500 per annum.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The amount of $14,346,365 is recommended for the school system. Of this amount, $13,472,191 is for operating expenses and $874,174 for capital outlay. The principal increases included under operating expenses are $190,400 for general supervision and instruction and $119,070 for the operation of buildings and maintenance of equipment. Within the item for general supervision and instruction is an amount of $1,044,050 for additional compensation and overtime pay. During the current fiscal year there was appropriated for this purpose $723,600, the balance of the cost of overtime pay for 1944 having been absorbed through savings accrued as a result of vacancies.

An over-all reduction of $180,000 in the item for general supervision and instruction was made on the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools. In addition, the committee has disallowed 8 of the 16 CAF-3 clerks requested for the elementary schools With respect to the operation of buildings and maintenance of equipment the committee feels that adequate justification was not presented for the item of $12,000 to cover the cost of salaries of 10 additional laborers and accordingly this item was eliminated.

In the item of general administration the committee reduced the original request of $352,890 by $14,890. The reduction effected includes the salaries and overtime of 7 new positions of a total of 14 requested and the purchase and maintenance cost of an automobile for the use of the members of the Board of Education. It is the further intent of the committee that 1 position at $1,320 indicated in the written justifications to be filled by a chauffeur for the contemplated automobile should be eliminated The committee however has no objection to the use by Board members of privately owned automobiles on a reimbursable basis. if such arrangement can be effected by the District Commissioners. The allocation of the red uction in positions made by the committee is left to the discretion of the superintendent.

The committee discussed at considerable length the situation with respect to the granting of free tuition to pupils residing outside of the District of Columbia. However, it would seem that this is purely a matter for the legislative committees of Congress, and insofar as appropriations are concerned this committee can do little or nothing until such time as the school authorities supply the committee with information and statistics detailing the cost to the District government of the free service being rendered residents outside of the District of Columbia.

PUBLIC LIBRARY

The amount of $795,000 is recommended both for operating expenses and capital outlay for the Public Library, an increase of $88,239 over the current year's appropriation and an increase of $7,533 over the Budget estimates. The latter increase is a net amount resulting from reductions effected by the committee on the basis of vacancies and an increase of $30,000 in capital outlay which has been approved to defray in part the cost of a new library site for the Cleveland Park area. It was testified that the cost of the new site would approximate $60,000 but citizens of the community were

« 이전계속 »