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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

STATEMENT OF JOHN M. THOMAS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF

STATE FOR ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPANIED BY: SAMUEL W. LEWIS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR IN.

TERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS
DON C. ELLER, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF BUDGET
LOREN E. LAWRENCE, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, BUREAU OF

SECURITY AND CONSULAR AFFAIRS
MISS FRANCES G. KNIGHT, DIRECTOR, PASSPORT OFFICE

BUDGET REQUEST

Senator PASTORE. The next witness is Mr. John M. Thomas, Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, who will present testimony regarding the fiscal year 1977 State Department budget.

The total budget request considered by the House is $1,049,134,000. The House reduced this amount by $7 million. The Department of State is not appealing for restoration of any of the House reduction. However, the House report includes some restrictive language which would allow the State Department to fill only one out of every five American positions that become vacant because of retirement or resignation.

We understand that the State Department finds this language especially troublesome and is prepared to discuss this matter before the Senate committee.

In addition, the State Department also wishes to discuss two relatively minor budget amendments in the amount of $5.5 million which were received by the Congress too late for consideration by the House committee.

Mr. Thomas, you may proceed.

PREPARED STATEMENT

Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, I have a prepared statement. I will be very happy to submit it for the record.

Senator PASTORE. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The statement follows:]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE:

I APPRECIATE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR BEFORE YOU IN SUPPORT OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1977 BUDGET REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE;

The House APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE RECENTLY RECOMMENDED AN ALLOWANCE FOR 1977 OF $1.042 BILLION OR A REDUCTION OF ABOUT $7 MILLION BELOW THE DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET REQUEST. THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS FULL COMMITTEE IS NOT EXPECTED TO REVIEW THE SUBCOMMITTEE'S ACTION UNTIL LATER THIS MONTH. WE HAVE EVALUATED EACH APPROPRIATION REDUCTION BY THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE TO EXAMINE ITS EFFECT ON THE DEPARTMENT'S OPERATIONS AND HAVE DETERMINED NOT TO APPEAL THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDED APPROPRIATION LEVELS, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON THE HOUSE SUBCOM

MITTEE REPORT LANGUAGE BEARING ON THE REDUCTION OF BUDGET

AUTHORITY.

BUDGET AMENDMENI

THIS HOUSE ACTION, HOWEVER, DOES NOT INCLUDE A $5,5 MILLION BUDGET AMENDMENT TRANSMITTED TO THE CONGRESS ON APRIL 27. THE HOUSE DEFERRED, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, CONSIDERATION OF THE AMENDMENT BECAUSE OF ITS LATE ARRIVAL. MR. CHAIRMAN, WITH ME ARE MR. LOREN LAWRENCE, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BUREAU OF SECURITY AND CONSULAR AFFAIRS, AND MR. SAMUEL LEWIS, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS, TO PRESENT TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF THE AMENDMENT. THE AMENDMENT WOULD PROVIDE $2 MILLION FOR OUR SALARIES AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION AND $3.5 MILLION FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

UNITED STATES PASSPORT OFFICE

THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES PORTION OF OUR REQUEST IS COMPOSED OF $1 MILLION FOR DEVELOPMENTAL COSTS OF THE TRAVEL DOCUMENT AND ISSUANCE SYSTEM (TDIS) AND $1 MILLION FOR A FILES MINIATUR I ZATION PROJECT FOR THE UNITED STATES PASSPORT OFFICE. THE TDIS SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MORE EFFICIENT AND CONVENIENT SERVICE TO THE AMERICAN TRAVELLING PUBLIC. THE FILES MINIATUR I ZATION PROJECT IS TO ESTA ISH

A MODERN, EFFICIENT FILES STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM

ESSENTIAL FOR EFFECTIVE PASSPORT AND RELATED OPERATIONS.

UNESCO ARREARAGES

ALSO INCLUDED IN THE AMENDMENT IS A REQUEST FOR $3,5 MILLION FOR A CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO). THIS WOULD PARTIALLY OFFSET UNITED STATES ARREARAGES TO

UNESCO AND PERMIT US TO REGAIN OUR VOTE AT THE UPCOMING
GENERAL CONFERENCE. THIS FALL. BY HAVING A VOTING PRE-
SENCE, THE UNITED STATES WILL BE IN A BETTER POSITION TO
PRESS FOR NEEDED CHANGES SO THE PRESIDENT CAN MAKE THE
REQUISITE CERTIFICATION TO CONGRESS THAT UNESCO HAS

CHANGED ITS POLICIES OF A POLITICAL NATURE.

OPPOSITION TO HOUSE PERSONNEL REDUCTION LANGUAGE

MR. CHAIRMAN, WHILE WE ARE NOT APPEALING THE DOLLAR REDUCTION PROPOSED BY THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE IN OUR SALARIES AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION, I DO WANT TO EXPRESS THE DEPART

MENT'S STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE METHOD OF ACHIEVING THE

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REDUCTION WHICH WE UNDERSTAND WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE HOUSE
APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT. THE DEPARTMENT WILL BE

FORCED TO OPERATE UNDER A RESTRICTION WHICH WILL ALLOW THE

FILLING OF ONLY ONE OUT OF FIVE AMERICAN VACANCIES ABOVE
THE GS-6 OR EQUIVALENT FOREIGN SERVICE LEVEL RESULTING FROM

VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT OR RESIGNATION ON A WORLD-WIDE BASIS. THIS LANGUAGE LEAVES THE DEPARTMENT NO MANAGEMENT FLEXIBILITY

TO PROGRAM RESOURCES TO MEET NEW OR CHANGING PRIORITY NEEDS. THEREFORE, IT WILL HAVE A SERIOUS ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE DEPARTMENT'S ABILITY TO MEET INCREASING WORKLOADS, SPECIFICALLY IN

THE IMPORTANT AREAS OF TERRORIST PREVENTION, COMMUNICATIONS AND CONSULAR SERVICES, RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE THIS COM

MITTEE PLACES ON INTERNAL MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS, THE DEPARTMENT IN PREPARING ITS FY 1977 BUDGET:

REQUESTED NO NEW POSITIONS AND NO DISCRE-
TIONARY INCREASES FOR FISCAL YEAR 1977.

INDICATED ITS COMMITMENT TO MEET THE NEED
FOR NEW POSITIONS IN FY 1977 THROUGH

IMPROVED MANAGEMENT OF EXISTING RESOURCES.

IN ADDITION MR. CHAIRMAN, I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT

THAT:

-- DURING THE PAST DECADE, DESPITE WORKLOAD

INCREASES, THE DEPARTMENT HAS HAD AN OVERALL
NET DECREASE OF 340 POSITIONS IN THE SALARIES
AND EXPENSES APPROPRIATION. THE HOUSE SUB-

COMMITTEE LANGUAGE

WOULD REQUIRE AN ESTIMATED

REDUCTION OF 376 POSITIONS AND $2,672,000.

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