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a day. They would have to pick that man's stencil out in order to do the mailing by machinery. Mr. BURLEsoN. Would it not be a saving to have the letter sent over there rather than have the document sent to the department? It seems to me that it would be easier to send a letter than a document. Mr. ARNOLD. It would be easier, but there is an element of selection that enters in there very largely. Discretion must be exercised with regard to the publication sent. Up to the present time we have not been able to devise an accurate system for keeping our office advised with regard to the supply of publications at the Printing Office, so we are apt to order out documents that are not available for distribution at the Printing Office. The person requesting the document may be notified that the publication has been sent to him, and then we may find that it is not available for distribution at the Printing Office. Mr. BURLEsoN. What did you do with your force when you transferred these documents over to the Public Printer? Mr. ARNOLD. The services of 38 people who were engaged wholly in that work, according to the terms of the act, of mailing publications for public distribution, were terminated at the close of business on September 30. Mr. BURLEsoN. Did you transfer any of them over to the Public Printer 2 Mr. ARNOLD. I recommended all of them to the Public Printer, and I think he sent for all of them and selected those he thought would be most suitable to carry on the work in that office. Mr. Johnson. How many did he select? Mr. ARNOLD. I am not advised as to that. I am not positive as to that, but my impression is that he has taken perhaps 12 or 13 of them. Mr. Johnson. What became of the others? Mr. ARNOLD. Some secured employment in other bureaus. By the direction of the Secretary I went through the department, through all the bureaus and offices, to see if there were any vacancies to which they could be appointed, and in that way, I think, we found 7 or 8 places that could be filled by them, and they are now occupying those positions. There are still some who have not yet been able to get work in the Printing Office, and some of them are in straitened circumstances and not able to get any work. However, I recommended all of them to the Public Printer. Nobody was dropped out of the Division of Publications who was not doing some work in connection with the distribution of public documents. Mr. BURLEsoN. How many of your force did you retain? You say you dispensed with the services of 38 persons on the 30th of September? Mr. ARNOLD. Yes, sir. Mr. BURLEsoN. How many did you retain? Mr. ARNOLD. You mean of those who had been actually engaged in that work? Mr. BURLESON. You had nothing to distribute but public documents in your division, did you? Mr. ARNOLD. Yes, sir; we distribute a great many of these circulars of information, orders, and letters of inquiry—thousands of them and millions of them in the course of the year. We keep a force for that work and we probably have left 111 people. Secretary WILSON. I think I can give o committee an illustration of that work. I like to have in my report every year something new pertaining to agriculture. For instance, this year we took up the question of farm credits, and you will find it in my report for this year. Mr. Arnold sent out the letters of inquiry to farmers everywhere throughout the country. That is what he means by the mass of circulars, etc., that he is sending out, and that is one phase of the work. Everything that goes from the department along that line goes through his office. Mr. GILLETT. You sent out letters to farmers throughout the country seeking their opinion on the subject? Secretary WILSON. Yes, sir; asking them for the facts. We asked them what interest they were paying and what interest the renters paid, and everything pertaining to the use of money on the farm. Mr. ARNOLD. We send out thousands and thousands of circular letters of inquiry for the Bureau of Statistics upon which they gather the information for the Crop Report which is issued by that bureau, and we have undertaken the distribution of an enormous number of circulars in connection with the farm demonstration work, which, as you know, was very much enlarged by a recent act of Congress. We are doing all that work, and we have 111 people left. This force is still very busy with the work to be done, and, as you know, we keep some copies of publications in stock so that when a man comes in the department asking for a publication we can give it to him. We can not send to the Government Printing Office for a copy of a publication that is requested verbally and keep a distinguished man waiting for it. We do a great deal of work in connection with the printing of these circular letters of inquiry. They look like typewritten letters, but we produce them by mimeographing and other processes. We have a force to do that work. Secretary WILSON. As you know, gentlemen, we have been doing a great deal of demonstration work in the Southern States. We have been trying to carry the farmers down there from step to step, and that is an important side of our work. For instance, some information came to me this morning with regard to pastures, hay lots, etc., in the South. That came from down in South Carolina, and it was a matter in which one of your Members, Mr. Lever, is interested. I ordered that that be made the subject of a press notice or a circular. possibly. Now, Mr. Arnold would handle that. Mr. ARNOED. Let me say that the persons whose services were terminated on the 30th of September were persons employed wholly in the mailing of publications under the terms of the law. Now, as I have said, we have found it necessary to keep some force to perform the work already mentioned. For one thing, the correspondence of our office has been greatly increased. Mr. JoHNSON. How has the correspondence increased ? Mr. ARNOLD. Well, we have the extra work of making orders upon the Public Printer. That is an increase. Mr. JoHNSON. You do not write the Public Printer a letter, do ou? y Mr. ARNOLD. No, sir; but the increased correspondence comes about in this way, and I ought to explain that: When we transferred the regular stenciled list to the Public Printer we found it necessary to keep, and we do keep, a duplicate card index of those lists. Now, they are continually changing—several hundred every day. Mr. GILLETT. Why do they change? Mr. ARNOLD. Well, men die and move away, and new names are added to the list, and that means a great deal of correspondence with the Public Printer in connection with them. So that the people who were let out of the division were only those who, under the terms of the law, were engaged wholly in the work of mailing publications. Mr. JoHNSON. Did you give up any quarters in that building of the Department of Agriculture when you turned over these 5,000,000 documents? Mr. ARNOLD. I do not remember any statement of that kind, although I saw that statement in the paper Mr. JoHNSON (interposing). You misunderstood me. Is there any property that you had rented before this law went into effect that you have not rented now ! Did you give up any rented quarters over there? Mr. ARNOLD. No, sir; we have not. Mr. JoHNSON. When you transferred these 5,000,000 documents didn't you give up any quarters? Mr. ARNOLD. No, sir; we have not given up the building, but we have given up one floor of the building, which is to be used by another branch of the department. Secretary WILSON. We are very much pressed for room down there, and are obliged to work too many people in a room. Every time Congress enacts a law, it puts more work on our force down there. Mr. GILLETT. Could you use the room in which these documents were stored as a working room for the clerks? Secretary WILSON. Yes, sir. Mr. ARNOLD. I will add also that in addition to vacating the third floor of that building we have practically vacated the basement of the building, and it can be used by another bureau. Mr. Johnson. So the money that was appropriated for 38 people whom you gave up on the 1st day of October will be turned back into the Treasury' Mr. ARNOLD. It is being turned in from time to time; that is to say, no money is being spent for these positions. Mr. Johnson. And these people that have been placed in other positions are being paid out of funds that were appropriated for other purposes? Mr. ARNOLD. Yes, sir; for other bureaus, with two exceptions, and those two exceptions are that two of these people are on detail to the Secretary’s office. They will be taken off, however, and carried on that roll next year in the appropriation bill. Mr. BURLEsoN. Mr. Secretary, you spoke of the necessity for more room in your department. When this new building is completed, will you still have to keep any rented quarters for your department? Secretary WILSON. Yes, sir. Mr. BURLEsoN. Will not this new building, as originally planned, house the entire department? Secretary WILSON. No, sir. I did not urge Congress to complete that main administration building because it would take all the department in.
Mr. BURLESON. Ought not the plans to be altered, then, so that it could house the entiredepartment?
Secretary WILSON. Of course, if Congress is ready to do that, we can give them plans that would be sufficient to house the department, but you know how fast that department is growing.
Mr. Johnson. There is one other matter that I wanted to ask about. The last legislative bill provided that the executive departments of the Government should live up to the Dockery law in the matter of auditing accounts. Has your department lived up to that law?
Secretary WILSON. We are living up to it as closely as we can. I have brought with me the disbursing officer who handles all those matters. I want to give you the best knowledge we have, and Mr. Zappone is thoroughly informed on that subject.
Mr. Johnson. We will hear from the disbursing officer in regard to the matter.
Mr. ZAPPONE. I have been a little in doubt as to just how to interpret that provision of the law. I visited the comptroller's office on two occasions and I consulted the disbursing clerks in other departments, and there seems to be some doubt in the minds of the various officials as to just what is contemplated. Personally I believe that the Department of Agriculture is carrying out that provision of law perhaps just as you intended. Now, I can either ask for information on that subject of you or somebody else, or submit to you a statement of what we are doing in our efforts to comply with the law, and let you decide as to whether we are doing what was contemplated. While we do very earnestly wish to carry out this law and every other law you pass, I would like to say that we are now in what you might term the transitional period, and we are trying to ascertain just what is desired.
Mr. Johnson. You are the purchasing agent of the department, are
Mr. ZAPPONE. Well, I will take both ends of that question. The different bureaus of the department give the accounts what I call an administrative audit, and when the accounts reach my office I give them what I call a technical audit, or a legal examination, as you gentlemen call it.
Mr. Johnson. How far does this legal or technical audit go?
Mr. ZAPPONE. It does not duplicate in any way what is done in the different bureaus. We went through that matter very carefully in the department; a committee was appointed to give it careful consideration, and we cut out all duplication of work. In making the technical audit in my office, we go over the computations in the voucher, and we also check that voucher against any existing contract or whatever other authority is given. We check it against the purchasing order or letter of authorization, and check it to see whether the provisions of section 3509 with regard to inviting competition in
securing bids have been lived up to. We check it against the appropriation to see whether the appropriation applies to the voucher submitted by the bureau and whether it is the proper appropriation from which to pay the expense. Now, in my opinion, all of those things enter into a proper legal examination of the voucher—at least, that is my interpretation of the provision. Mr. JoHNSON. You do not in any case consider the question of the discretion of any officer' Mr. ZAPPONE. Absolutely not, sir. Mr. JoHNSON. You do not consider whether he ought or ought not to have bought a typewriter, for instance? Mr. ZAProNE. That is entirely out of my province. The Secretary, in accordance with the law, allots the appropriations made by Congress to the different bureaus on the first day of the fiscal year— that is, the 1st day of July—and he charges them with the expenditure of that money. That discretion is never questioned by the disbursing officer in any way. The chief of the bureau is responsible to the Secretary for the expenditure of that money and for what he buys with that money. Mr. JoHNSON. Since you have gone over the matter and tried to cut out all duplication, what savings have you been able to make? I presume you went over the work and cut out all duplications. Mr. ZAPPONE. That was done two years ago, and the only saving was in this way: That we made a transfer of four or five clerks from the bureaus to my office. In other words, the bureaus were making this close technical examination, which appeared to be unnecessary to be made there and then again in my office. I have to make such an examination for my own protection. It is also required, as I understand it, by law, and the disbursing officer is responsible. He is responsible for any disallowances or suspensions that may be made; and, as I have said, for his own protection he must give these accounts such an examination as he thinks absolutely necessary. Now, I do not refer to what you term the administrative audit. I am a seeker after knowledge, and I must confess that I do not know just what you gentlemen mean by an administrative examination. I have been engaged on this work for many years, and I have never seen two men hold the same view yet as to what constituted an administrative examination. Under the Dockery Act, to which you refer, and which no doubt was passed upon by this committee, and your very able clerk will probably remember the testimony given at that time, it was contemplated that an administrative examination referred to vouchers paid by fiscal agents in the field—that is, when these vouchers were sent to the department under the Dockery Act the head of the department was charged by that law with an administrative examination of those accounts before sending them to the Treasury. I believe if you will examine the terms of that law, which you no doubt have done, and the record that was made at that time, you will find that that was in the minds of you gentlemen then. Others hold that an administrative examination is a legal or technical examination made in the bureau, or which should be made in the bureau, before the account is certified and approved by the chief of that bureau and sent to the disbursing officer for payment, and I think that is the generally accepted interpretation of that law. You, gentlemen, will know whether I am right or not. Now, if that be