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EXTENDING THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1949
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 1957
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:30 a. m., in room 1501-B, House Office Building, Hon. John W. McCormack presiding.
Present: Representatives McCormack, Brooks of Texes, Kilgore, Fascell, Hoffman, Harden, Brown, and Michel.
Also present: Orville S. Poland, general counsel of the full committee, and Elmer W. Henderson, counsel of the subcommittee.
Mr. McCORMACK. The subcommittee will be in order.
Under the rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Government Operations has been given jurisdiction over matters involving "reorganizations in the executive branch of the Government." Accordingly, this committee reported to the House legislation which subsequently became the Reorganization Act of 1949, and since then has considered and favorably reported on various extensions of the authority given the President to submit reorganization plans to the Congress. The last extension was granted by the 84th Congress, and the present authority expires on June 1, 1957.
On April 1, 1957, the President sent a message to the Congress recommending an extension of this authority. At the request of the Director of the Bureau of the Budget, Chairman Dawson introduced H. R. 6711, to extend the authority until June 1, 1961, a period of 4 years.
This hearing by the Subcommittee on Executive and Legislative Reorganization is called to obtain the views of the executive branch and any other witnesses who care to testify on this legislation.
Briefly, the Reorganization Act of 1949 gives the President power to transmit to Congress plans for the reorganization of agencies and functions of the executive branch which become effective after 60 days unless a resolution of disapproval is acted upon favorably by a majority of either the House or Senate.
A copy of the President's message, H. R. 6711, and the Reorganization Act of 1949 will be entered into the record at this point, also the report from the Director of the Budget, and also the report from the Comptroller General of the United States, Mr. Campbell. (The documents referred to follow :)
[H. R. 6711, 85th Cong., 1st sess.)
A BILL To amend the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subsection (b) of section 5 of the Reorganization Act of 1949 (63 Stat. 205), as last amended by the Act of March 25, 1955 (69 Stat. 14), is hereby further amended by striking out "June 1, 1957" and inserting in lieu thereof "June 1, 1961."
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1949
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,
NEED FOR REORGANIZATION 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 message 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) 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 of 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 function or agency affected by a reorganization, as he deems necessary by reason of the oreorganization for use in connection with the functions affected by the reorganization, or for the use of the agency which shall have such functions after the reorganization plan is effective, but such unexpended balances so transferred shall be used only for the purposes for which such appropriation was originally made; (5) shall make provision for terminating the affairs of any agency abolished,
LIMITATIONS ON POWERS WITH RESPECT TO REORGANIZATIONS Sec. 5. (a) No reorganization plan shall provide for, and no reorganization under this Act shall have the effect of
(1) abolishing or transferring an executive department or all the functions thereof or consolidating any two or more executive departments or all the functions thereof; or
(2) continuing any agency beyond the period authorized by law for its existence or beyond the time when it would have terminated if the reorganization had not been made; or
(3) continuing any function beyond the period authorized by law for its exercise, or beyond the time when it would have terminated if the reorganization had not been made; or
(4) authorizing any agency to exercise any function which is not expressly authorized by law at the time the plan is transmitted to the Congress; or
(5) increasing the term of any office beyond that provided by law for such office; or
(6) transferring to or consolidating with any other agency the municipal government of the District of Columbia or all those functions thereof which
are subject to this Act, or abolishing said government or all said functions. (b) No provision contained in a reorganization plan shall take effect unless the plan is transmitted to the Congress before April 1, 1953.