95thL~ Conres 7OX E PRINT
EXECUTIVE BRANCH REORGANIZATION: AN OVERVIEW
COMMITTEE.ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES SENATE
PREPARED BY THE
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
I va MARCH 1978
Printed for the use of the Committee on Governmental Affairs
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
23-M60 WASHINGTON :1978
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
ABRAHAM RIBICOFF, Connecticut, Chairman
HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois
EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Maine JACOB JAVITS, New York
THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri WILLIAM V. ROTH, JR., Delaware
LAWTON CHILES, Florida TED STEVENS, Alaska
SAM NUNN, Georgia CHARLES MCC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland
JOHN GLENN, Ohio H. JOHN HEINZ III, Pennsylvania
JIM SASSER, Tennessee
MURIEL HUMPHREY, Minnesota
RICHARD A. WEGMAN, Chief Counsel and Staff Director
PAUL HOFF, Counsel ELLEN S. MILLER, Professional Staff Member
ELI E. NOBLEMAN, Counsel THEODORE J. JACOBS, Counsel (Regulatory
PAUL C. ROSENTHAL, Counsel Reform)
CLAUDE E. BARFIELD, Professional Staff JAMES M. GRAHAM, Counsel (Regulatory
CLAUDIA T. INGRAM, Professional Staff ETHEL Z. GEISINGER, Special Assietant
Member (Regulatory Reform)
MARILYN A. HARRIS, Executive Administrator and Professional Staff Member ELIZABETH A. PREAST, Chief Clerk JOHN B. CHILDERS, Chief Counsel to the Minority BRIAN CONBOY, Special Counsel to the Minority
CONSTANCE B. EVANS, Counsel to the Minority HAROLD C. ANDERSON, Staff Editor
D (( 77-246 G
EXECUTIVE BRANCH C ~REORGANIZATION: AN OVERVIEW
RONALD C. MOE Specialist in American National Government D Government Division
S November 18, 1977
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
ABRAHAM rIUoor. COWN. CHAIMAN
HNRY M. JACKSON. WASI. CHARLES H. PERCY. ILL.
EDMUND S. MUSKIE. MAINE JACOM K. JAVITS. N.?.
THOMAS F. EA"LTON. MO. WILUAM V. ROTH. JR.. DEL.
LAWTON CHILLS. FLA. TEO STEVENS. ALASKA
SLAM M1004M. GA. CHARL.ES MCC. MA7HIAS. JR.*. ~' nife im.. 1_)nIB. JOHN 6LENNt OHIO JOHN C. DANPOWNT. MO,
JIM SABLSER. TEXNN H. JOHN HEINZ :11. PA.
MUIEL HUMHRY. MU" COMMITTEE ON
fICHAR A. WVEMAN GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
CHIEF COUHS. AND STAFF RETON WASHINGTON. D.C. Z0510
February 27, 1978
The Honorable Walter F. Mondale
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr. President:
Last year, in the Reorganization Act of 1977, Congress
renewed the authority for the President to undertake an extensive restructuring of Executive agencies in order to promote better execution of the laws of the land, and to provide
more effective management of Federal programs. President
Carter has made Federal Executive Reorganization a top priority of his administration. He sent the Congress two Reorganization
Plans in 1977, and will be submitting additional proposals in
this and subsequent years.
The Committee has received numerous inquiries about the
authority granted to the President under the Reorganization
Act and about the process for Presidential and Congressional
action prescribed under that Act. In November 1977, the
Congressional Reference Service of the Library of Congress completed a thorough analysis of the history of the Reorganization Act authority and of organizational theories that have governed
past and present Executive Reorganization plans. The study is
entitled, "Executive Branch Reorganization: An Overview."
The Committee feels that this document will be very useful
in aiding both congressional staff and the general public in
achieving an understanding of the current reorganization process and past reorganization authority accomplishments. Thus, we are
requesting that it be printed as a Committee document.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Enduring Issue I
Centralized Versus Decentralized Administration 6
Keep Commission 12
Committee on Economy and Efficiency 13
Joint Committee on Reorganization 13
Brownlow Committee 16
First Hoover Commission 18
Second Hoover Commission 23
Study C7,1missions on Executive Reorganization 1953-1968 26
Ash Council 32
METHODS OF CHANGE 37
How Reorganizations Happen 37
Presidential Directives 38
Internal Department Reorganizations 39
Reorganization Plan 40
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1949 41
Legislative Background 41
Provisions of the Act 43
Extensions and Amendments to the Act 46
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1977 49
Legislative Background 49
Senate Action 50
House Action 52
Presidential Signing 59
REORGANIZATION IN PERSPECTIVE 60
To Manage or Not to Manage? 60
Strategic Options for a New President 65
(A) Extending the Period Within Which the President May
Transmit to the Congress Plans for the Reorganization of Agencies of the Executive Branch of the Government
(S. Rept. No. 92-485; November 17, 1971) 74
(B) Extension of Reorganization Authority of the President
(H. Rept. No. 95-105; March 22, 1977) 95
(S. Rept. No. 95-32; March 1, 1977) 1'38
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 169
Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2013
Reorganization has become almost a religion in Washington. It has
its symbol in the organization chart, old testament in the Hoover
Commission reports, high priesthood in the Office of Management and
Budget, and society for the propagation of the faith in sundry groups
such as the Citizens Committee for Government Reorganization.
Reorganization is deemed synonymous with reform and reform with
progress. Periodic reorganizations areprescribed if for no other
purpose than to purify the bureaucratic blood and to pre-ent
An Enduring Issue
The subject of Executive Branch organization has an enduring quality.
This is true, in part, because there is no neutral model for Executive Branch organization to which the various protagonists can repair. To be sure, there is an "orthodox theory" of organization, as typified in the analyses and recommendations of the two Hoover Commissions (1949 and 1955), but there is also much opposition.to this "orthodoxy."
To understand why the subject of Executive Branch reorganization periodically surfaces as a political issue, it is necessary to briefly review some academic history. The story of the "orthodox theory" of organizations begins around the turn of the present century with the scientific management movement in business and the efforts of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research in government. These movements shared a vision that the problems of administering large organizations -- in this instance public organizations -- could be solved by the application of certain
l/ Seidman, Harold. Politics, Position and Power: The Dynamics of
Federal Organization, 2d ed. New York, Oxford University Press,
1975, p. 1.
scientific principles. 2/ The field of public administration, which was to emerge as a recognized academic discipline in the 1920s, was largely based on the promotion of these principles.
Some years ago, Wallace Sayre provided a list of the premises
undergirding the youthful public administration discipline. The major premises included the concept that administration and politics were separable and that administration could be improved through rigorous implementation of the principles of "scientific management." Proper organizational theory called for the separation of line and staff functions, limited span of control, and the subdivision of work according to such categories as process or clientele. An executive budget, based on the "purposes" of the organization, was a requirement. A "neutral civil service" was also necessary. And, finally, proper administration necessitated the development of an extended body of administrative regulations to assure due process. 3/
Every major study of the Executive Branch has reflected, to some degree, the influence of these administrative values. In the period both immediately preceding and following World War II, this orthodox view of public administration was particularly pervasive. it found expression in the work and reports of the two Hoover Commissions. However, during the very period (1947-1949) when the first Hoover
2/ Dwight Waldo provides an insightful review of the development of
$#administrative principles" within the new discipline of public administration and how these principles shaped the attitudes of'
scholars and practitioners towards Executive Branch organization.
The Administrative State. New York, The Ronald Press, 1948.
3/ Sayre, Wallace S. Premises of Public Administration: Past and Emerging.
Public Administration Review, v. 18, Spring 1958: 102-103.
Commission was deliberating and writing its reports, the orthodox theory came under attack. The principal dissenters were political scientists who had been administrators during World War II and who critiqued with this experience in mind. The thrust of their argument was that politics, or policy, and administration were not s parable. 4/ And, second, that there really were no "scientific principles" of administration. Rather, what was passed as principles were really, normative values. 5/
During the same years that an apolitical administrative theory
("orthodoxy") came to dominate the literature in public administration, another related movement emerged. The idea that the President should
actively "manage" the Executive Branch also became a theme in much public administration literature. 6/ Both strains of thought, apolitical administrative theory and the managerial Presidency, found expression in the broader mDvement to reorganize the Executive Branch.
The merging of the apolitical theory of administration with the
concept of the President as manager was most evident in the reports of the first Hoover Commission (1949). The Commission was committed to 'Ieconomy and efficiency" through "rational organizational structure." Overlapping and duplication were to be eliminated by grouping similar
4/ See, for example: Appleby, Paul. Policy and Administration.
University, Alabama, University of Alabama Press, 1949.
5/ Waldo, Dwight. The Administrative State. New York, The.Ronald
Press, 1948. Chapters 10 and 11.
6/ Arnold, Peri E.. Executive Reorganization and Administrative Theory:
The Origins of the Managerial P residency. Paper delivered at
the 1976 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Sept. 2-5, 1976.
functions of government into major departments and agencies. The Commission further sought to insure that the clear lines of authority and control were achieved and that adequate staff support was made available to the President and the department heads. Within departments,
bureaus were to be regrouped, budgets were to be made more flexible, and subject to greater control by department heads, and department-wide functions, such as procurement, were to be centralized. 7/
While a concentration on the reorganization of departments, agencies,
and certain functions may appear to be fulfilling the promise of the orthodox theory, it-may also obscure what, to some, was the principal achievement of the first Hoover Commission, namely the enhancement of the Presidential office as manager of the Executive Branch. 8/
While the quest for an apolitical theory of administration, at least within academic circles, lost much of'its appeal in the years following World War 11, strong support remained for the idea of the President as manager, even for a President "dominant" over Congress. Beginning in the late 1960s and accelerating in the 1970s, the concept of the President as manager of the Executive Branch also came under question. 9/ There remained, nonetheless, supporters of both the orthodox theory of organization
71 An excellent s-ummary of the purposes and accomplishments of the first
and second doover Commissions may be found in Emmerich, Herbert: federal Organization and Administrative Management. University,
Alabama, University of Alabama Press, 1971, Chapters 5 and 6. 6/ Arnold, Peri E. The First Hoover Commission and the Managerial
Presidency. Journal of Politics, v. 38, February 1976: 46-70.
9/ A recent exposition of the view that the President ought to forego
a managerial role is to be found in:. Hess, Stephen. Organizing
tne Presidency. Washington, The Brookings Institution, 1976.
("no one yet has come up with a better theory") and of the President as manager ("if he does not try to manage the bureaucracy, who will?"), but they no longer had the field to themselves.
Although no new comprehensive theories have replaced the two original sources of impetus for Executive Branch reorganization, there are currently a number of competing values systems seeking expression. For instance, there are arguments that "participation," not "efficiency," should lle the primary axiom of "good" administration. Others, however, suggest that the proper objective of administrative organization should be to be as "representative" of the people as possible. Still others assert that any Executive Branch reorganization should have as its purpose the specification of "targets" towards which the reorganized agencies will strive. In their journey towards these targets, the agencies should be periodically evaluated and as they reach their targets, the agencies should be subject to a Itsunset" clause. In short, agencies should be organized around problems rather than around function or clientele.
While there is no ideal Executive Branch organization by which to measure progress, certain values guidelines have emerged which prompt people to take sides on reorganization issues. Reorganization proposals are generally justified on rather formalistic grounds. Virtually all proposals will have enhanced "economy and efficiency" as one of their objectives. Improve-d "public responsiveness" is also a popular contemporary justification for reorganization. While suca formalistic objectives are often sincerely sought, it is generally true that reorganization proposals are motivated by a mixture of managerial and political goals.
A reorganization may be designed to upgrade or downgrade an agency or one of its programs, or even, on occasion, an individual associated with an agency. Frequently, it is easier to promote, diminish, or eliminate a program through reorganization than to try to act in a straightforward legislative manner. Sometimes reorganizations are a method of by-passing Congressional or interest group opposition. And, finally, reorganizations give the appearance, if not the reality, of "action," occasionally a worthwhile objective in itself.
Reorganization is probably best understood as a continuing process rather than a static objective to be achieved. It is unusual, although not unknown, for someone to propose a reorganization of structure for the sheer sake of reorganizing. As a rule, however, reorganization proposals have as their objective the furtherance of some public policy. Indeed, reorganization appears to be a basic political process through which individuals and groups gain power and influence over others in order to
achieve the social and political change they consider desirable.
Centralized Versus Decentralized Administration
The Framers of the Constitution, familiar with the administrative
difficulties of the Confederational period, were intent upon establishing centralized administrative leadership in the Executive Branch. 10/
10/ Snort, Lloyd M. The Development of National Administrative Organization
in the United States. Urbana, Illinois, Institute for government
Research, 1923, chapters 2 and 3 generally. An incisive discussion
of the early administrative history of the United States is to
be found in: White, Leonard D. The Federalists: A Study in
Administrative History. New York, Macmillan Company 119481.
While the Constitutioncreated a Presidency, it left to Congress the authority to create and abolish Executive Branch agencies and to pass the laws necessary to fund these agencies and their activities.
In the first session of Congress, "organic" statutes were passed establishing three great departments; Treasury, State, and War. 11/ All the particular functions of the Federal Government, except that of prosecuting the law and postal affairs, were entrusted to these departments. It was generally accepted throughout the first century of the Republic that all functions and agencies should be grouped under a single-headed department.
In the years prior to the Civil War, only four "detached agencies;" the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Botanic Garden, and the Government Printing Office, were created. 12/ Beginning in the 1860s, "independent departments" of a status inferior to Cabinet departments, e.g., Department of Education, were created as well as other "detached agencies." The major departure from departmentalism, however, occurred with the establishment of the Civil Service Commission in 1883 and the Interstate Commere Commission in 1887. 13/ The remaining restraints on the creation of independent agencies crumbled with World
ll/ Discussion of the Acts creating the three "great departments" may
be found in Hart, James. The American Presidency in Action,
1789: A Study in Constitutional History. New York, Macmillan
Company, 1948, chapter 7.
12/ Short. The Development of National Administrative Organization
in the United States. p. 417.
13/ Wallace, Schyler C. Federal Departmentalization: A Critique of
Theories of Organization. New York, Columbia University Press,
1941. p. 31.
War I and the emergence of the corporate form of organization. 14/ The corporate concept received added impetus during the Depression with the formation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Tennesse Valley Authority. Indeed, when the President's Committee on Administrative Management (Brownlow Committee) issued its clarion call against further fragmentation of the Executive Branch, they counted over 100 agencies outside the Executive departments. 15/
By the time the Brownlow Committee report was published in 1937,
the conflict between proponents of a more integrated, hierarchical Executive branch led by a strong, managerial President and those supporting the concept of a less integrated, less hierarchical Executive Branch administered jointly by the President and the Congress had been underway for over a quarter of a century.
It is not possible to assign conclusive winners and losers in this struggle over how best to organize and manage the Executive Branch. One side may dominate for a period, then the advantage will appear to shift to the opposition. Intellectually, the dominant group in this century regarding the organization of the Executive Branch may be described as the "Administrative Aanagement" school. One of the major goals of this school has been to reinforce the institutionalized Presidency as the manager of the Executive Branch. 16/
14/ Seidman. Politics, Position, and Power. pp. 224-225. 15/ U.S. President's Committee on Administrative Management. Administrative
Management in-the United States. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
1937. p. 29.
16/ Mansfield, Harvey. federal Executive Reorganization: Thirty Years
of Experience. Public Administration Review, v. 29, July/August
1969: 332-344. for a recent call to strengthen the President in
his managerial role over the bureaucracy, see: Nathan, Richard.
The 'Administrative Presidency.' The Public Interest, no. 44,
Summer 1976: 40-54.
A review of the results of reorganizations during this century
suggests that Congress has given the President and his department heads many new forms of authority and staff to discharge their managerial responsibilities. Foremost among these managerial tools has been the implementation of the executive budget, the creation of the Executive Office of the President, and providing the President with the power to initiate Reorganization Plans subject to a legislative veto. 17/
While it is true that these tools represent major innovative
steps contributing to cental administrative control by the President over the bureaucracy, it is also true that, in recent years, Congress has expanded its role in overseeing the administration of the Executive Branch. The combined practices of writing detailed specifications into legislation, extending the confirmation requirement to additional
administrative offices, expanding the use of the legislative veto over administrative decisions, and the increased use of annual authorizations for programs have resulted in the development of a new relationship between Congress on the one hand and the President and the executive agencies on the other. Congress is now a much more active competitor in exerting influence over executive agency organization and policy. 18/
17/ Kallenbach, Joseph E. The American Chief Exeuctive: The Presidency
and the Governorship. New York, Harper and Row. 1966. Chapters
12 and 13. Also; National Academy of Public Administration.
The President and Executive Management: Summary of a Symposium.
Washington, National Academy of Public Administration. October 1976. 18/ Schick, Allen. Congress and the 'Details' of Administration. Public
Administration Review, v. 36, September/October 1976: 516-528.
Watson, H. Lee. Congress Steps Out: A Look at Congressional
Control of the Executive. California Law Review, v. 61, July 1975:
23-836 0 78 2
Reorganization, in the broad sense of the word, is a continuing
process in the Executive Branch. Whenever there is a change in the size, distribution, and nature of executive functions, a reorganization has occurred. For the most part, these reorganizations are incremental and of low visibility. Congress also involves itself in this continuing process through its oversight and appropriations responsibilities. Most changes in structure, however, are marginal and therefore go relatively unnoticed.
During the 94th Congress, there were no efforts to effect a major
reorganization of the Executive Branch, although a number of incremental changes did take place. The relative absence of activity in this field was attributable, in part, to the fact that the President's authority to submit Keorganization Plans to Congress expired on April 1, 1973, and was not renewed.
Interest in Executive Branch reorganization was rekindled during the 1976 Presidential campaign when candidate Jimmy Carter complained that the structure of the Executive Branch was a major contributor to the "ineffectiveness" of government service. He promised to make the reorganization of tne Executive Branch a primary emphasis of his Administration. On February 4, 1977, the new President sent a message to Congress requesting that the President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans be reactivated. The bill, modified by amendments in both tne House and Senate, passed, and was signed by the President on April 6, 1977. 19/
19/ P.L. 95-17; 91 Stat. 29; 5 U.S.C. 901-912.
Executive reorganization can be considered from either a comprehensive or a partial perspective. There have been several comprehensive reviews of Executive Branch structure and operations in the past, most notably the Brownlow Committee, the first and second Hoover Commissions, and the Ash Council. For the most part, however, the subject of executive reorganization has been studied on a more limited scale, principally in terms of a particular agency or policy field.
The two Hoover Commissions were unusual among the studies of the
Executive Branch in that they were congressionally inspired -- although with Presidential cooperation -- comprehensive in coverage, bipartisan, and guided by a certain philosophical consensus as to the proper role of the President in the administrative structure of the Federal Government. 20/ The members were disposed towards strengthening the President and departmental secretaries as administrative managers of the Executive Branch. It is also noteworthy that during the period of the first Hoover Commission, 1947-49, the Executive Branch still had
a number of agencies originally created during the depression and World War II. The Executive Branch, in a word, was considerably more fragmented tnan it is today.
20/ Arnold, Peri E. The first Hoover Commission and the Managerial
Presidency. Journal of Politics, v. 38, February 1976: 46-70.
There have been a number of studies of the Executive Branch, both in whole and in its parts, during the twentieth century. What follows is a brief description of those studies which have attained the status of landmarks in Federal administrative development. Both the President and Congress have exhibited initiative in the field of executive reorganization. These studies, reflecting the dominant administrative theories of the moment, have frequently resulted in structural and programmatic reorganizations.
While there were several studies of various aspects of the Federal bureaucracy in the late 19th century, 21/ the first overall effort to review the workings of the Executive agencies was undertaken by the Commission on Department Methods (1905-1909), otherwise known as the Keep Commission, after its chairman, Charles Hallin Keep, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Although the Commission did not publish a complete report on its activities, a number of its studies did find their way into Congressional documents. The findings of the Commission stimulated management improvements in many bureaus and in such fields
21/ from 1789 to 1905 there were a number of Congressional inquiries into
the conduct of activities of the Executive departments. Two major Congressional efforts of the late 19th century deserve
special notice. A Select Committee of the Senate of which Senator Francis Cockrell of Missouri was chairman, conducted an investigation of Executive agencies to determine why they were so slow
in acting and apparently cost so much. (50th Congress, Ist session.
S. Rept. 507, 1888). With a similar objective, a Joint Commission
of both Houses was established in 1893 (Dockery-Cockrell Commission),
jointly chaired by Senator Cockrell and Representative Alexander
Dockery, which issued a report on the laws establishing each department (53d Congress, Ist session. H. Rept. 49, 1893). A number
of laws altering the "business methods" of agencies were enacted
as a direct result of the Commissinn'c
as accounting and costing, archives and records administration, simplification of paperwork and improvements in personnel administration, procurement, and supply, and contracting procedures. 22/ Committee on Economy and Efficiency
President William Howard Taft appointed a Committee on Economy and
Efficiency in 1910 which worked through the remainder of his Administration. During this period the Committee, under the leadership of Frederick A.
Cleveland, then Director of the Bureau of Municipal Research of New York City, issued a number of extensive reports including the first detailed account of how the Executive Branch was organized for the performance of its work and a report advocating a "national budget" and the establishment of a Bureau of the Budget. The latter recommendation languished for some years finding fruition in the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. 23/ Joint Committee on Reorganization
Through much of the 1920s there were Congressional efforts, with Presidential assistance, to review the organization of the Executive Branch. Most notable was the establishment of a Joint Committee on the Reorganization of the Administrative Branch of the Government. Originally, the Joint Committee consisted of three members of the Senate and three
members of the House, but this membership was later altered to permit
22/ Kraines, Oscar. The President Versus Congress: The Keep Commission,
1905-1909, First Comprehensive Presidential Inquiry in Administration. Western Political Quarterly, v. 23, March 1970: 5-54. 23/ For a discussion of the work and publications of the Committee on
Economy and Efficiency, see: Weber, Gustavus. Organized Efforts
for the Improvement of Methods of Administration in the United
States. Washington, The Brookings Institution, 1919, 84-103.
the President to designate a personal representative to the Committee. President Harding appointed Walter F. Brown as his personal representative and Congressional members promptly elected Mr. Brown as their Chairman.
The values to be promoted through reorganization were decidedly at variance between Congress on the one hand and the President and the bulk of the academic community on the.other. To Congress, Executive Branch reorganization was desirable if it could result in "economy." The President and the emerging discipline of public administration, however, were together in the promotion of reorganization as a method to achieve sound principles of administrative management irrespective of whether ##economies" could be reasonably expected.
The Joint Committee did not conduct an independent study of the
organization of the Executive Branch. Instead, it relied on the President, who submitted his ideas in the form of an address to a Joint Session of Congress. Presentations were also forthcoming from outside groups and individuals, most notably the Institute for Governmental Research (later to be known as the Brookings Institution) and the National Budget Committee. Although Congress had for all intents and purposes turned over the initiative to the President, the Chief Executive did not have the institutional resources to conduct a major study of his own. He, therefore, had to rely on Walter Brown and whatever support he might find from the Cabinet. And in this regard the President was most fortunate to have a Secretary of Commerce whose judgment he trusted.
The major intellectual thrust in this reorganization effort came
not from the President or Brown, but from the Secretary of Commerce,
Herbert Hoover. Hoover was vitally interested in reorganization,
and to this day stands out as perhaps the most prominent theoreticianpractitioner in American public administration. Beyond this, Hoover
was the pillar of the Harding cabinet. The President trusted his Secretary of Commerce and tended to rely on Hoover for advice on a wide range of policy matters. While President Harding used his
position to support the reorganization planning effort, and Walter
Brown offered the legitimizing aegis of the Joint Committee and served as coordinator, Herbert Hoover provided the intellectual
thrust for the endeavor. 24/
After much jurisdictional strife within the Cabinet over what organizational recommendations ought to be included in the President's report, the
report was forwarded to the Joint Committee in June 1924. 25/ The
Committee held hearings 26/ and then made its own report to Congress. 27/
In its report, the Joint Committee largely adopted the President's recommendations. The leaders of Congress were not persuaded, however, by the Joint
Committee's report and no action was forthcoming.
24/ Arnold, Peri E. Executive Reorganization and Administrative Theory:
The Origins of the Managerial Presidency. Paper delivered at the 1976 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association.
25/ Congressional Record, 67th Congress, 4th session, 1923, LXIV, Part 4,
26/ U.S. Congress. Joint Committee on the Reorganization of the Administrative
Branch of the Government. Reorganization of Executive Departments.
Hearings on S.J. Res. 282. 68th Congress, lst session. January
7 to 31, 1924. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1924.
27/ Congressional Record, 68th Congress, lst session, 1924, LXV,
Part 10, 10252.
The experience of the Joint Committee, while not productive of orgaalzational change, was important in that it tended to galvanize support for the concept of the President as manager of the Executive Branch, and in this sense was a precursor of the Brownlow Committee of 1936. 28/ The Brownlow Committee
President Franklin Roosevelt made Executive Branch reorganization a major item on his agenda for his second term. In January 1937, the President submitted to Congress the Report of his Committee on Administrative Management (Brownlow, Committee). 29/ This report proposed, among other things, that some 100 independent agencies, administrations, boards, and commissions be placed within 12 executive departments. Of these departments, two -- Public Works and Social Welfare -- would be new additions to the Cabinet. The report was particularly harsh on the independent regulatory commissions, referring to them as the "headless fourth branch of government."
The independent commissions present a serious immediate problem.
No administrative reorganization worthy of the name can leave hanging in the air more than a dozen powerful, irresponsible agencies free to
determine policy and administer law. Any program to restore our
constitutional ideal of a fully coordinated Executive Branch
responsible to the President must bring within the reach of the that
responsible control all work done by these independent commissions
which is not judicial in nature. That challenge cannot be ignored. 30/
28/ rhe view that the Joint Committee was a worthy precursor of the Brownlow
Committee is ably argued by Peri Arnold in a paper delivered at
the 1976 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science
Association, cited above.
29/ U.S. President's Committee on Administrative Management. Report with
Special Studies. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1937. 3U/ Ibid. p. 37.
The principal thesis of the report was that the Executive Branch
ought to be reorganized to create an integrated, hierarchical structure with the President as an active manager. The original Executive Reorganization bill of 1938, which contained many of the specific recommendations of the Brownlow Committee, was defeated in Congress, in part over concern that it would give too much power to the President and abet what many saw that year as a trend towards "Presidential dictatorship." 31/
In February 1939, still smarting from the defeat suffered the previous year, the President sent forward another Reorganization Act. This bill, however, was noteworthy for its apparent modest scope. It contained only two of the major proposals recommended by the Brownlow Committee. The bill authorized the President to appoint six administrative assistants and to submit Reorganization Plans to alter Executive Branch organization, such Plans being subject to a veto by a concurrent resolution. 32/ While there was considerable concern expressed regarding the constitutionality of the procedures outlined for approving Reorganization Plans, the House and Senate passed the bill. 33/
31/ For an excellent account of New Deal reorganization efforts generally,
and of the Executive Reorganization bill of 1938 in particular,
consult: Polenberg, Richard. Reorganizing Roosevelt's Government:
The Controversy Over Executive Reorganization, 1936-1939.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1966.
Also; Karl, Barry Dean. Executive Reorganization and Reform in
the New Deal: The Genesis of Administrative Management, 1900-1939.
Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1963.
32/ Millett, John D. and Rogers, Lindsay. The Legislative Veto and the
Reorganization Act of 1939. Public Administration Review, v. 1,
Winter 1941: 176-189.
33/ 53 Stat. 561.
Soon after the Act passed Congress, Louis Brownlov and his two
associates, Charles E. Merriam and Luther Gulick, were called back to Washington and together drafted two Reorganization Plans for the President to submit to Congress. Reorganization Plan No. 1 was broad in its coverage, creating a Federal Security Agency, a Federal Works Agency, and a Federal Loan Agency. Of more importance, it established the Executive Office of the President (EOP) which would include the White House Office, the Bureau of the Budget, and the National Resources Planning Board. 34/ There was surprisingly little opposition in Congress to this rather expansive application of the Reorganization Plan authority. 35/
First Hoover Commission
The Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (1947-1949), popularly known as the first Hoover Commission, was established in part, to bring into an integrated organizational structure the numerous
34/ Graham, George A. The Presidency and the Executive Office of the
President. Journal of Politics, v. 12, November 1950: 599-621.
Several months after Reorganization Plan No. I of 1939 establishing the Executive Office of the President (EOP) had been in effect President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8248 which reorganized
the new EOP. There was established within the EOP the following six divisions: (1) The White House Office, (2) the Bureau of the Budget,
(3) the National Resources Planning Board, (4) the Liaison Office
for Personnel Management, (5) the Office of Government Reports, and
(6) an "office for emergency management as the President shall
determine." The President indicated that the Executive Order was
"designed to implement" Reorganization Plans I and 2 of 1939. The
question raised at the time was whether or not Executive Orders were the proper method to "implement" or "fill out" Reorganization Plans.
In this instance, the issue was not joined because of Congress'
traditional willingness to let the President organize his own office. 35/ An insightful review of the legacy of the Brownlow Committee is provided
by one of its former staff members, see: Mansfield, Harvey. Federal
Executive Reorganization: Thirty Years of Experience. Public
Administration Review, v. 29, July/August 1969: 332-345.
agencies left in the wake of the depression, the war, and demobilization. Although created by Congress, it had the active cooperation of President Truman throughout its existence. The enabling statute of the first Hoover Commission required the Commission to be bipartisan and it was composed of six Democrats and six Republican members. 36/ Former President Herbert Hoover was selected as Chairman, a post from which he exerted considerable leadership. 37/
rhe original intellectual impetus for the Commission stemmed from a rather "moralistic" view of administration and politics, a view characteristic of the earlier Progressive era. 38/ The organization of the Federal Government was widely regarded as unnecessarily confused and costly with overlapping and duplicating programs and agencies. In the opinion of critics, tnis situation could be remedied by the application of "sound business practices" which would, in turn, result in more economy and efficiency, and less government.
At least publicly, the Commission was chiefly concerned with structural
reorganization of the departments and agencies and with interagency relations. Some 24 task forces were assembled and each given a field of inquiry. 6acn
36/ 61 Stat. 246.
37/ Emmerich, Herbert. Federal Organization and Administrative Management.
University, Alabama, University of Alabama Press, 1971, pp. 85-87. 38/ Arnold, Peri E. Executive Reorganization and Administrative Theory:
The Origin of the Managerial Presidency. Paper delivered at tne
Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association,
task force submitted findings and recommendations to the Commission. Eighteen of the task force reports were published separately. The Commission itself issued 18 concluding reports and one additional report as a summary. 39/
In the summary report, the Commission stated that "...we must reorganize the Executive Branch to give it simplicity of structure, the unity of purpose, and the clear line of executive authority that was originally intended under the Constitution." 40/ Its recommendations, therefore, were for a more orderly grouping of the functions of government into major departments and agencies. The Commission sought to insure clear lines of authority and control, and the provision of staff assistance for both the President and department heads.
Recommendations were made to regroup departments and agencies by
major purpose and reduce their number. Within departments, bureaus were regrouped. Budgets were to be made more flexible and subject to greater control by department heads and department-wide functions, such as procurement, were to be centralized. The field structure of the departments and agencies was also subjected to study and recommendations
were made by tne Commission.
39/ For a listingpf the reports by the full Hoover Commission and its task
forces, see: U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government
Operations. Summary of the Objectives, Operations, and Results of of the Commissions on organization of the Executive Branch of the
Government (First and Second Hoover Commissions). Appendix H.
(Committee print), 88th Congress, lst session, 1963. (Hereafter this Committee print will be referred to as: Summary of Results,
40/ U.S. Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.
General Management of the Executive Branch. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1949, p. viii.
While the reshuffling of agencies to make them more "rationally"
located in the Federal structure has a certain obvious appeal, there are critics. Harold Seidman, writing in the 1970s of the first Hoover Commission, asserts:
The organizational commandments laid down by the first Hoover
Commission constitute the hard core of the fundamentalist dogma. The
devils to be exorcised are overlapping and duplication, and confused
or broken lines of authority and responsibility. Entry into the Nirvana of Economy and Efficiency can be obtained only by strict
adherence to sound principles of executive branch organization. Of
these the most essential are the groupings of executive branch
agencies as nearly as possible by major purposes so that 'by placing
related functions cheek-by-jowl the overlaps can be eliminated,
and of even greater importance coordinated policies can be- developed'; and the establishment of a clear line of command and supervision from
the President down through his department heads to every employee with no subordinate possessing authority independent from that of
his superior. 41/
Irrespective of the validity of the principles of administration
Professor Seidman finds so intellectually stifling, their use resulted in an extraordinary numbers of changes in the Executive Branch. Congress
substantially followed the recommendations of the Commission when it passed the National Security Act Amendments of 1949, the Reorganization of the Department of State Act, the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950, and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 which resulted in the establishment of the General Services Administration. Possibly of greatest importance was the passage of the Reorganization Act of 1949
41/ Seidman. Politics, Position,-and Power: The Dynamics of Federal
Organization, 2d ed. p. 4.
which renewed the President's authority to submit Reorguanization Plans to Congress. 42/ President Truman, under authority of this Act, was subsequently to effect many of the Commission proposals through Reorganization Plan. 43/
There was an effort, mostly for media purposes in generating public
support, to keep track of the number of recommendations which were affected oy Congressional or Presidential action. While the utility of such a listing is open to question, the Citizens' Committee for the Hoover Report, in its final Report, stated that the Commission had made some 273 recommendations, Of Which 196, or 72 percent, had been adopted. The total number of legislative enactments, including Reorganization Plans, attributable to the first Hoover CommissionS was seventy seven. 44/
A concentration on the reorganization of departments, agencies, and certain functions, while important, tends to obscure what to many was the principal achievement of the first Hoover Commission, namely the enhancement of the the Presidential office as manager of the government. Peri Arnold, in a recent essay, observed: "It was the supreme political accomplishment of the first Hoover Commission that it masked the managerial Presidency with the older values of administrative orthodoxy and, to a significant degree, undercut the
42/ Heady, Ferrel. The Reorganization Act of 1949. Public Administration
Review, v.' 9, Summer 1949: 165-174.
43/ The literature on the first Hoover Commission is substantial. In addition
to the sources cited herein, several essays are particularly helpful.
Mansfield, Harvey. Reorganizing the Federal Executive Branch: The
Limits of Institutionalization. Law and Contemporary Problems, v. 25,
Summer 1970: 461-495. Heady, Ferrel. The Operation of a Mixed
Commission. American Political Science Review, v. 43, October 1949:
44/ Summary of Results, Hoover Commission, p. 6.
conservative and congressional opposition to the expansive executive .... In the end, Hoover and his Commission provided the bridge over which the congressional opponents of the Brownlow Committee recommendations and the old political enemies of Franklin Roosevelt could embrace the managerial Presidency." 45/ Second Hoover Commission
In 1953, Congress established by statute a second Commission on
organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, otherwise known as the second Hoover Commission. 46/ The Commission was organized as a mixed commission, much like its predecessor, with four members appointed by the President, four appointed by the President of the Senate, and four appointed by the Speaker of the House. Six members were to be from private life, two from the Executive Branch, two from the House and two from the Senate. While the enabling statute of the first Hoover Commission had required that the membership be divided equally between the two major parties, this requirement was absent from the statute creating the Seocnd Hoover Commission. When the Commission first met, former President Hoover was again selected as Chairman. The second Commission operated in a manner similar to that of the first Commission in that task forces were established and most published
45/ Arnold, Peri. The First Hoover Commission and the Managerial Presidency.
Journal of Politics, v. 38, February 1976: 48, 49-50. 46/ 67 Stat. 184.
separate reports of their own with recommendations to the full Commission. The Commission, in turn, published its own final report with recommendations. 47/
While the first Hoover Commission was principally interested in improving the administrative management of the Executive Branch, the second Hoover Commission was primarily concerned with issues of policy and function. The underlying premise of the Commission's work was that the Federal Government ought to reduce its functions and "retrench," not only to save money but as a means to eliminate competition with private enterprise.
The very nature of the Commission's task and philosophy insured
that its results would not receive as favorable a reception as had those of the first Commission. Its terms of reference were too broad and ill-defined and the timing of its reports was miscalculated. Indeed, the mood of the country appeared to have shifted away from retrenchment and towards greater Government involvement in the economic sphere. 48/
Herbert Emmerich summarized the objectives of the second Commission:
'The philosophy of the commission' was a phrase frequently
used by Mr. Hoover, never with great precision, but it referred
to the ultimate major premises of Hoover II. These were concerned
with the reduction of governmental functions, not only to save
47/ U.S. Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the
Government. Final Report to the Congress, June 30, 1955.
Printed as House Doc. 209. 84th Congress, Ist session.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1955. See: Divine,
William R. The Second Hoover Commission: An Analysis.
Public Administration Review, v. 15, Fall 1955: 263-269.
48/ Fesler, James W. Administrative Literature and the Second Hoover
Commission Reports. American Political Science Review,
v. 51, March 1957: 135-157.
money and to reduce taxes, but primarily to eliminate competition
with private enterprise -- to restrict and abolish many of the
programs which had been adopted to regulate, stabilize, supplement,
and assist the private sector during World War II and when the
years of the great depression of the 1930's had revealed its
deficiencies. The enormous scope of Hoover II and the remarkable
labors of Mr. Hoover in his eightieth year, in once more personally supervising every detail of so large an effort, were predominantly
concerned with what the government should not do rather than how
it should be organized and managed. 49/
Possibly, the most important of the Commission reports was that of the Task Force on Personnel and Civil Service. This panel, and subsequently the full Commission, recommended that a "Senior Civil Service "be established to consist "...of a group of career administrators carefully selected from all parts of the civil service and from all departments and agencies solely on the basis of demonstrated competence." 50/ They would have status, rank, and salary as individual civil servants and could be employed in positions throughout the Government. "They should keep clear of all political activity, preserve their neutrality in matters of politics, and serve each Chief Executive and his subordinates faithfully." 51/
Initially, the Senior Civil Service was planned to consist of some
1500 persons to be expanded to 3000 at a later date. The supporLers of this proposal, including Mr. Hoover, cited what they considered to be precedents
49/ Emmerich, Federal Organiz-ation and Administrative Management p. 103. 50/ U.S. Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of
the Government. Report on Personnel and Civil Service.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1955. p. 38.
51/ Ibid. p. 39. For a discussion of the career executive and
political involvement which questions some of the assumptions of the second Hoover Commission, consult: Bernstein, Marver.
The Job of the Political Executive. Washington, The Brookings
Institution,, 1958, chapter 3.
23-836 0 78 3
in the Armed Forces where promotions above a certain rank were based on competence and leadership and where a pool of generalists could be called upon for assignments to difficult positions. 52/
This proposal received a mixed response from scholars and political leaders. The principal criticisms were that it would tend to create an elitee corps" of administrators, a concept repugnant to many Americans, and that it ran counter to the thrust of specialization characteristic of
the functions of agencies as well as their relationships with clientele groups. The career executives were, by and large, opposed to the idea. 53/
Although the proposal for a Senior Civil Service was never adopted, a number of subsidiary concepts have been accepted in recent years. Study Commissions on Executive Reorganization: 1953-1968
In addition to the work undertaken by the second Hoover Commission (1953-1955), another group was established by President Eisenhower to review on a continuing basis the organization of the Executive Branch.
52/ MacNeil, Neil and Metz, Harold W. The Hoover Report, 1953-1955:
What It Means to You as Citizen and Taxpayer. New York,
Macmillan Company, 1956, p. 38.
53/ An explanation and defense of the Second Hoover Commission's
proposal for a "senior civil service" may be found in:
White, Leonard D. The Senior Civil Service. Public
Administration Review, v. 15, Autumn 1955: 237-243. For a
critique of the Commission's proposal, see: Reimer, Everett.
The Case Against the Senior Civil Service. Personnel Administration, v. 19, March/April 1956: 31-40. The concept of a Federal
Executive Service has continued to enjoy popularity and in 1971
President Nixon proposed the establishment of a Federal Executive
Service with not less than 75 percent of the executives to be career executives. U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Post
Office and Civil Service. Federal Executive Service. (S. Rept.
no. 92-864) 92d Congress, 2d session. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1972.
This group, known as the President's Advisory Committee on Government
Organization (PACGO), was chaired by Nelson Rockefeller in the years
1953 through 1958. 54/ During these years 14 Reorganization Plan were
drafted by this Committee, presented by the President and accepted by
Congress. Although the Cmmittee functioned with little publicity, its
work and results have generally been accorded high marks. 55/
Other commissions, committees, and task forces would be established
over the years and in many instances their recommendations carried
organizational impact. Some of the reports of these bodies would be made
public, others were never published. Some of the groups had broad mandates
while others were directed towards rather narrow subject fields.
One area of particular interest in the 1950s was intergovernmental
relations, or federalism. In 1953, Congress established the Commission
on Intergovernmental Relations chaired by Meyer Kestnbaum. The objectives
54/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary Analysis of the
Philosophy and Public Record of Nelson A. Rockefeller, Nominee
for Vice President of the United States. 93rd Congress, 2d
session. (Committee print) Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
Off., 1974. pp. 173-174.
When Mr. Rockefeller resigned in 1958 to assume the
Governorship of New York, he was succeeded by Don K. Price,
Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration at
Harvard, and the group continued in existence until 1961.
55/ Herbert Emmerich concluded:
"When the full record of PACGO becomes available to
administrative analysts and historians, I predict that this
small, close-knit, knowledgeable, continuous, diligent
presidential commission will prove to have made more constructive and durable contributions to federal organization
and administrative management than was produced by all the
massive forays of the task force and flying squadrons of the second Hoover Commission put together." In, Federal
Organization and Administrative Management, p. 176.
of this Commission were both general and specific. The Commission was charged "...to study the power role of the Federal government in relation to the States and their political subdivisions ... to the end that these relations may be clearly defined and the functions concerned may be allocated to their proper jurisdiction...." Where functions performed by
the Federal Government were to be transferred to the States, it was the responsibility of the Commission to recommend how tax revenue adjustments could be made to insure that States were able to fund their new functions. The assumptions behind the Commission's mandate were that most functions of
government could be separated among jurisdictions and that a serious imbalance in favor of the Federal Government had occurred requiring a reassignment of some functions to the States. While the Report of this Commission in 1955
received wide publicity, tangible organizational and program changes were to be few in number. 56/
In a further effort to "sort out functions," President Eisenhower established in 1957 the Joint Federal-State Action Committee (JFSAC). Like its predecessor group, the Kestnbaum. Commission, the JFSAC was supposed to begin its deliberations witn the presumption that administra56/ U.S. Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. A Report to the
President For Transmittal to the Congress. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1955.
tive decision-making and implementation should be distributed between the Federal Government, the States, and the locatities with the emphasis being on separateness. 57/
Morton Grodzins, in evaluating the work of the JFSAC, commented that the "..committee initially devoted little attention to this problem [identifying functions to be 'returned' to the States). Upon discovering the difficulty of making separatist recommendations, i.e., for turning over Federal functions and taxes to the States, it developed a series of proposals looking to greater effectiveness in intergovernmental collaboration." 58/
One important result of the work and reports of the Kestnbaum
Commission and the JFSAC was the establishment by Congress in 1959 of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR). 59/ The purpose of the 26 member, bipartisan permanent body of representatives of the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal, State and local governments, and representatives of the general public, is to maintain a continuing review of the operation of the Federal system and make recommendations for improvements. To this end, the Commission con57/ U.S. Joint Federal-State Action Committee. Final Report to the
President of the United States and to the Chairman of the
Governor's Conference. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
1960. This document contains the working papers of the JFSAC.
58/ Grodzins, Morton. The Federal System. In U.S. President's Commission
on National Goals. Goals For Americans. Englewood Cliffs,
New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1960. p. 267. 59/ 80 Stat. 915, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 470-470m.
ducts studies and investigations of specific intergovernmental conflict points and suggests legislation and administrative orders to carry out its recommendations. 60/
There were no major "mixed commissions" to review the organization of the Executive Branch established during the Kennedy and Johnson years. There were, however, numerous policy oriented task forces appointed. 61/ Before he was inaugurated, Kennedy had commissioned some 29 task forces
in various foreign and domestic policy fields. 62/ Their reports were to be used to set policy directions and provide a legislative program. Johnson was to rely even more heavily on the task force approach to develop policy positions. 63/ Some of the task forces were directed
at immediate legislative needs while others were given a longer range perspective.
60/ Wright, Deil S. The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations:
Unique Features and Policy Orientation. Public Administration
Review, v. 25, September 1965: 193-202.
61/ The most complete discussion of recent Presidential advisory
commissions is to be found in: Wolanin, Thomas R. Presidential Advisory Commissions: Truman to Nixon. Madison, University of
Wisconsin Press, 1975.
62/ Schlesinger, Arthur Jr. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the
White House. New York, Fawcett World Library, 1967. pp. 148-155. 63/ In 1967, there were a total of 50 separate task forces operating in
various domestic policy areas. Thomas, Norman C. and Harold L.
Woman. Policy Formulation In the Institutionalized Presidency:
The Johnson Task Force. In, Cronin, Thomas E. and Sanford D.
Greenberg, eds. The PresTd-ential Advisory System. New York,
Harper and Row, 1969. p. 129.
In the field of Executive reorganization, two such task forces, to use the generic name popular at the time, were created during the Kennedy-Johnson Administration. The first was named by Kennedy and chaired by Don K. Price. It submitted its report privately to President Johnson in 1964. It recommended, among other things, the creation of five new executive departments: Transportation; Education; Natural Resources; Economic Development; and Housing and Community development. 64/ The second, the President's Task force on Government Organization, was an eleven member group chaired by Ben Heineman. The report of this Task force like the earlier Price Committee report, was not made public at the time. In testimony before a House Committee in 1971, Mr. Heineman stated that there has been three reports submitted to the President. The first was on the organization of the Executive Office of the President. The other two were on the organization of various segments of the
organization of the Great Society programs and a long-range look at what the organization of the Executive Branch might be like in the future. 65/
64/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Executive
Reorganization: A Summary Analysis. (H. Report no. 92-922)
92d Congress, 2d session. Washington, U.S. %'ovt. Print. Off.,
1972. p. 16.
65/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Subcommittee on Legislation and Military Operations. Reorganization
of Executive Departments (Part I-Overview). Hearings, 92d
Congress, Ist session on H.R. 6959, H.R. 6960, H.R. 6961, afid
H.R. 6962. June 2, 3, 7, 8, 14, 16; July 7, 8, 11, and 27, 1971.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1971. pp. 233-257. In
1976, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library made available to the public the final report of the Task Force on the Organization
and Management of Great Society Programs (June 15, 1967).
During the years 1953 through 1968, there were a number of bills
introduced in Congress to establish a major commission patterned after the Hoover Commissions. The closest such legislation came to enactment was in 1968 when the Senate passed a bill to establish an eight member commission with a two-year mandate to study the organization and operations of the
Executive Branch. 66/
Soon after taking office in 1969, President Nixon announced the
appointment of a President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization to be chaired by Roy L. Ash, President of Litton Industries. The Council consisted of six private citizens, met monthly over a 14 month period, and eventually submitted some 13 memorandums to the President. 67/ Tnese memorandums served as the basis for the legislative proposals to reorganize MUCh of the Executive Branch which the President submitted to Congress on March 15, 1971. 68/
66/ U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization. Establish a Commission
on the Organization and Management of the Executive Branch.
Hearings, 90th Congress, 2d session. January 22, 23, 24, and
31; February 1; April 4; and May 15, 1968. Washington, U.S.
Govt. Print. Off., 1968.
67/ Of the thirteen memorandums submitted by the Council to the
President in 1970, three would be made public. The Council
printed the memorandums titled: Establishment of a Department of Natural Resources; and Organization for Social and Economic
Programs. Later the Council published: A New Regulatory
Framework: Report on Selected Independent Regulatory Agency.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1971.
68/ U.S. Executive Office of the President. Office of Management and
Budget. Papers Relating to the President's Departmental
Reorganization Program. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
The Council concluded that the Executive Branch was too fragmented, resulting in a lack of effective coordination in meeting public problems. The attempts to overcome this fragmentation through the creation of interagency committees -- they counted some 850 -- were judged a failure. 69/ Not only did these interagency committees tend to establish another layer of decision-making, and hence more confusion and delay, but it tended to further undermine the already tenuous authority of elected officials.
The concept underlying the Ash Council report to the President was that the achievement of more effective policy-making and administration would depend on the establishment of more centralized and politically responsible lines of authority within the Executive Branch. The Council advocated a "package" approach combining the various elements of the '$New Federalism," e.g., revenue sharing, with Executive Branch reorganization. As to restructuring the Executive Branch, the objective was to move away from the rather narrow, constituency oriented traditional departments towards broader, functional departments. 70/
In his legislative proposals to Congress, the President sought to
abolish seven existing departments (i.e., Agriculture; Interior; Commerce; Health, Education and Welfare; Housing and Urban Development; Labor; and Transportation) and create four new departments (i.e., Human Resources;
69/ Ibid., p. 8
70/ Dean, Alan. The Goals of Departmental Reorganization. The
Bureaucrat, v. 1, Spring 1972: 23-30.
Community Development; Natural Resources; and Economic Affairs). Additionally, the functions of a number of independent agencies were t-' be absorbed within the new departments.
A "model" department would be one where the Secretary would be assisted
by a small number of staff officers having department-wide responsibilities. Specifically provided were a Deputy Secretary who would serve as an alterego and principal overseer of internal management for the Secretary, two Under Secretaries, a number of Assistant Secretaries, and a General Counsel.
To provide means for a rational grouping of the large bureaus and
programs to be inherited by the proposed new departments, the concept of the "Administration" was introduced as a first tier device for program direction. These organizations, patterned after the operating administrations in the Department of Transportation, were provided as management provided as management centers -- each with a major segment of the department's administrative program. These Administrations would be headed by Administrators with a grade higher than the Assistant Secretaries.
The combined use of cross-cutting staff officers concerned with functions affecting all elements of the department, and program administrators charged with directing important segments of the department's operating responsibilities, were expected to facilitate decentralized management while simultaneously providing for more effective secretarial control and department cohesion. The above changes, to be made in the
central office, would be accompanied by significant alteration in the
field structure of the agencies. In most instances, it was anticipated
that the regional directors would be comprehensive supervisors.
Overview hearings of a general scope were held on those proposals
as well as hearings on the specific proposal for the Departments of
Community Development and Natural Resources. 71/ No legislation was
passed during the 92d and 93rd Congresses. The Ash Council was more
successful, however, in promoting a plan to reorganize the Executive Office
of the President. Specifically, they recommended to the President that he
establish a Domestic Council to provide White House coordination of major
policy initiatives and to reconstitute the Bureau of the Budget into the
71/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Governmental Operations. Subcommittee on Legislation and Military Operations. Reorganization of Executive Departments (Part I -- Overview).
Hearings, 92d Congress, Ist session on H.R. 6959, H.R. 6960, H.R. 6961, and H.R. 6962. June 2, 3, 7, 8, 14, 16; July 7,
8, 22, and 27, 1971. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
1971. Also; U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government
Operations. Subcommittee on Legislation and Military
Operations. Reorganization of Executive Departments (Part
2 -- Department of Community Development). Hearings.
92d Congress, Ist and 2d sessions on H.R. 6962. November 3,
9, 11, 1971; January 25, 27; February 7, 8, 29; March 1, 2,
9, 13, 14, 27; and April 11, 1972. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1972. Also; U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Establish a Department of
Natural Resources. Hearings, pursuant to S. Res. 45. 92d Congress, 2d session. January 28, 1972. Washington, U.S.
Govt. Print. Off., 1972.
Office of Management and Budget. The President proposed both these
recommendations by way of Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1970; which Congress
accepted after considerable debate. 72/
72/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Subcommittee on Legislation and Military Operations. Reorganization
Plan No. 2 of 1970 (Office of Management and Budget; Domestic Council). Hearings. 91st Congress, 2d session. April 28, 30,
and May 5, 1970. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1970.
Also; U.S. Congress. House. Disapproving Reorganization Plan
No. 2 of 1970. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1970.
(91st Congress, 2d session. House Report no. 91-1066).
For a discussion of the objectives and accomplishments of
the Ash Council V~ they affected the Executive Office of the President, see: Schick,, Allen. The Budget Bureau That Was: Thoughts on the Rise, Decline, and Future of a Presidential Agency. La6 and Contemporary Problems, v. 35, Summer 1970:
519-539. %HecLQ,_Hgh. 0MB and the Presidency -- The Problem
of 'Neutral Competence.' Public Interest, Winter 1975: 80-98.
Moe, Ronald C. The Domestic Council in Perspective. The
Bureaucrat, v. 5, October 1976: 251-272. /Berman,_Larry. The
The Office of Management and Budget That Almost Wasn't.
Political Science Quarterly, v. 92, Summer 1977: 281-304.
METHODS OF CHANGE
How Reorganizations Happen
There are four methods available for organizing and reorganizing the
Executive Branch. The passage of the Reorganization Act of 1977 alters only one of these methods and should be considered within the limited context of its actual impact. There are some legal ground rules that limit the reorganization options available to the President and Congress. Probably the most important ground rule to recognize is that the President is limited as to the reorganizations he can effect. To fully understand the President's role, it is necessary to survey the several methods used for organizing and reorganizing the units of the Executive Branch. Statutes
Congress has the constitutional power to establish, reorganize, or
abolish virtually any agency of Government by statute. The President may propose, of course, but it is the Congress that may or may not give its attention to tkClPresident's proposal. New executive departments have traditionAlly, with one exception, been established through the legislative process. N is common for agencies to be created as part-of more general programmatic legislation. This is true even of agencies within the Executive Office of the President, as occurred when the Council of Economic Advisors was established under provisions of the Employment Act of 1946.
When President Nixon fowarded his comprehensive proposal in 1971 to reorganize and consolidate most domestic agencies and programs into four departments, he submitted four separate bills to Congress. More recently, President Carter fowarded his proposal to establish a Department of Energy in the form of a bill, thereby permitting Congressional amendments and requiring Congressional approval.
In his constitutional capacity as Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief, or by delegation of discretion by Congress, the President has exercised authority to create or abolish agencies, or to delegate functions.
Presidential actions on organizational matters are greatest, as might be expected, during periods of war and national emergencies. 73/ His normal method of action is by Executive Order although other procedures, to include Presidential Annoucement, Presidential Memorandum, and military orders, are often used. The President may, using his "Unanticipated Needs" budgetary account, fund small units, such as the Presidential Clemency Board, until such time as Congress is willing and able to pass authorization and appropriations bills. The President also may establish commissions and task forces using Presidential directives. 74/
73/ A general history of the development of the President's emergency
powers may be found in: U.S. Congress. Senate. Special Committee on National Emergencies and Delegated Emergency
Powers. A brief history of emergency powers in the United States. [Harold C. Relyeal Committee print. 93rd Congress,
2d session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1974.
74/ WJolanin, Thomas. Presidential Advisory Commissions: Truman to
Nixon. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1975, Chapter 4.
Internal Department Reorganization
The Congress may vest discretion to realign units and functions within departments and agencies to the heads of those departments and agencies. The concept of giving considerable discretion to the department head for organizing the department or agency was championed by the reports of the first Hoover co mission (1947-1949), and is reflected in much of the legislation of the period. While the degree of discretion permitted department heads varies considerably, in recent years Congress has been inclined to impose increasing restraints upon the ability of department heads to reorganize their units.
A recent example of the extent to which reorganization authority
is available to department heads may be found in a Reorganization Order issued by the Secretary of Health, Education and*Welfare, Joseph Califano. On March 18, 1977, 75/ he issued a Reorganization Order realigning a substantial number of agencies and functions within the Department, especially in the health and income maintenance fields. While there were major shifts in the lines of authority, no new functions were created nor were any statutory functions eliminated. The authority for the Secretary to issue this Reorganization Order is to be found in Section 0' of Reorganization Plan No. I of 1953 which established the Department. The pertinent section reads: "The Secretary may from time to time make
75/ 42 Fed. Reg. March 9, 1977. pp. 13262-13263.
such provisions as the Secretary deems appropriate authorizing the performance of any of the functions of the Secretary by any other officer, or by any agency or employees, of the Department." Reorganization Plan
The President may, under authority of the Reorganization Act of 1977, and previously under the Reorganization Act of 1949, submit Reorganization Plans for realigning agencies or agency authority, transferring administrative units or functions from one department or agency to another, or abolishing old agencies and creating new ones to administer the transferred functions. Congress has imposed limitations on the types of reorganization that can occur and the procedures that must be followed. The critical aspect of the Reorganization Plan method remains, however, as it is the President who initiates a proposal and the Congress which reacts. This method of reorganizing existing departments and agencies is useful under certain conditions as it permits direct
action without the delays and compromises generally present in the legislative process.
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1949
The genesis of the President's reorganization authority is to be found in the economy measures of 1932 and 1933 when the concept of Presidential initiative and Congressional review of reorganization proposals was first written into law. 76/ The Reorganization Act of 1939 limited the authority of the President to submit Reorganization Plans to a period of
2 years and provided for Congressional rejection by the adoption of a concurrent resolution. 77/ The Act also contained a number of limitations in that it prohibited Reorganization Plans from being a vehicle for the abolition of departments or for the transfer of all functions thereof, and it exempted 11 agencies from the scope of the Act. 78/
During World War II, the President was given authority under Title I of the War Powers Act to make temporary, emergency wartime reorganizations for the duration of the war plus 6 months. 79/
76/ Technically, the so-called Economy Act of 1932 (47 Stat. 413) was
actually Part II of the Legislative Appropriations Act for Fiscal
Year 1933. Similarly, the so-called Economy Act of 1933 was a
rider to the Treasury-Post Office Appropriations Act of March 3,
1933 (47 Stat. 1517).
77/ 53 Stat. 561
78/ Millett and Rogers. The Legislative Veto and the 1939 Reorganization
Act. pp. 176-189.
79/ Gulick, Luther. War Organization of the Federal Government. American
Political Science Review, v. 38, December 1944: 1166-1179.
23-836 0 78 4
In 1945, Congress again granted the President authority for 2 years
to submit Reorganizations Plans. 80/ This Act was similar in most respects to the 1939 Act in that it provided for Congressional rejection of a Plan by a concurrent resolution and that abolishment or transfer of all functions of executive departments and enumerated agencies was expressly forbidden.
While the Reorganization Act of 1949 was basically patterned after the Reorganization Acts of 1939 and 1945, there were several important differences. In both the 1939 and 1945 Reorganization Acts, certain stipulated agencies had been exempt from the provisions of the Act. The Hoover Commission had indicated its strong disapproval of agency exemptions. 81/ Both Chairman Hoover and President Truman issued statements supporting the view that no agencies ought to be exempted for the reorganization authority. The protection against unwise Plans, in their view, was the simple expedient of Congressional rejection.
The Senate, particularly, was concerned about the fate of certain favored agencies e.g., the Army Corps of Engineers. It agreed to the elimination of the category of exempted agencies only if the procedure for disapproval or Reorganization Plans was amended to provide that a simple
80/ 59 Stat. 613
81/ "The Commission recommends that such authority should be given the
President and that the power of the President to prepare and
transmit plans of reorganization to the Congress should not
be restricted by limitations or exemptions. Once the limiting
and exempting process is begun it will end the possibility of
achieving really substantial results." U.S. Commission on
organization of the Executive Branch of the Government. The
Hoover Commission Report, New York, McGraw-Hill Company, 1949,
resolution of disapproval by either the House or Senate would be sufficient to reject any Reorganization Plan. The House bill had passed with the twohouse veto provision intact. Negotiations between the two bodies were extended with the Senate conferees holding firm. The House conferees finally had to recede from their position as the price for the passage of any bill. The only concession the House could extract from the Senate was that the resolution of disapproval would have to be approved in either house by a majority of the authorized membership rather than a simple majority of those
Provisions of the Act
The 1949 Reorganization Act (Section 901) charged the President with examining the organization of all agencies from time to time ". 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;
82/ Heady. Reorganization Act of 1949. pp. 170-174.
(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;
(6) to eliminate overlapping and duplication of effort.
Under Section 903 of the Act, the President could submit to Congress a Reorganization Plan which would transfer, abolish, or consolidate all or a part of an agency, or its functions. And such Plan could abolish the whole or part of any agency whose functions had been transferred, abolished, or consolidated with another agency. "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."
A Reorganization Plan transmitted under Section 903 could have certain enumerated provisions in addition to authority previously noted. For instance, Section 9040) stated that a Reorganization Plan "...may change, in such cases as the President considers necessary, the name of an agency affected by a reorganization and the title of its head, and shall designate the name of an agency resulting from a reorganization and the title of its head."
The legislation also contained limitations regarding what a Reorganization Plan might include:
Sec. 905 (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 it 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
The authority for submitting Reorganization Plans was limited to
approximately four years, until April 1, 1953. The Hoover Commission had
favored a permanent Reorganization Plan authority, although in committee testimony, former President Hoover had indicated that he could support a time limit if it coincided with a Presidential term.
Title II of the Act outlined the procedures to be followed in both
houses when reviewing a Reorganization Plan. A Reorganization Plan submitted to Congress by the President would become effective at the end of the first period of 60 calendar days of continuous session of Congress after the date
on which the Plan was submitted unless, between the date of transmittal and the end of the 60 day period, either chamber passed a resolution stating in substance that the house did not favor the Reorganization Plan. The 1949 Act made no provision for amendments to a Plan once it was submitted by the President. The only affirmative action permitted was for either house to vote on a resolution of disapproval.
Under the original 1949 Act, the President submitted 41
Reorganization Plans, of which 29 became effective, 11 were rejected, and the substance of one Plan was incorporated in a statute which provided for the nullification of the Plan, prior to its effective date. 83/ Extensions and Amendments to the Act
In the years following the passage of the Reorganization Act of 1949, Congress would renew this authority eight times, the last renewal being in 1971. The length of time extending Presidential reorganization authority varied. The original grant in the 1949 Act was for 4 years while in 7 of the 8 renewals the extension of the authority was for 2 years and 3 months or less. The only instances of a grant of authority extending beyond this length was the 1965 renewal for President Johnson which was for three and
83/ A concise history of the authority of the President to submit
Reorganization Plans is to be found in: U.S. Congress.
Senate. Committee on Government Operations. Extending the
Period Within Which the President May Transmit to the
Congress Plans for the Reorganization of Agencies of the
Executive Branch of the Government. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1971. (92d Congress, Ist session. S. Report
No. 92-485). Included in this Senate Report is the text
of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended through 1971.
See Appendix A.
a half years. On a number of occasions the reorganization authority was allowed to lapse. As a recent House Committee report noted: "The authority has not been continuous during this period [1949-19731, but has been dormant approximately 7 years of its 27 year existence." 84/
As renewals were sought and debated, there were amendments adopted
altering the original Act. The thrust of these amendments were generally in the direction o f limiting the President's discretion.
In the 1957 extension (71 Stat. 611), the method'of rejecting Reorganization Plans was altered to provide that a simple majority of those Members present and voting in either chamber, rather than a majority of the authorized membership, was sufficient to reject a Plan.
In 1964, after extended debate, Congress amended the Act (78 Stat. 240) to specifically deny the President authority to submit a Reorganization Plan which proposed creating a new department.
Section 903(b) of the Reorganization Act was amended in 1971 (85 Stat. 574) to limit the President to submitting not more than one Reorganization Plan within a 30 day period. Further, Section 905(a) was amended to require that the President, in submitting a Reorganization Plan, limit its "effect" to dealing with not more than "one logically consistent subject matter."
84/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Extension of Reorganization Authority of the President. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1977. (95th Congress, lst session.
House Report no. 95-105). p. 5.
For the period 1953 through 1973, that is through subsequent extensions of the 1949 Reorganization Act, some 52 Reorganization Plans were submitted, of which 44 became effective and 8 were rejected. Thus, the totals from 1949 through 1973 were 93 Plans submitted, 73 accepted, 19 rejected, and one nullified.
The President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans under the
Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, expired on April 1, 1973. Senator Charles Percy introduced S. 2003 on June 14, 1973, which would have extended the President's authority to submit Plans until April 1, 1977. No action was forthcoming on this bill. In April 1975, President Ford submitted a draft of proposed legislation to reinstitute for a four year period the authority of the President to submit Reorganization Plans. No bills, however, were introduced to this effect. In both instances, the proposals were for simple renewals of authority without'amending the basic 1949 Act. When the authority expired in April 1973, the 1949 Act remained on the statute books, only the activating clause was inoperative.
The expiration of the Reorganization Plan authority, however, did not end reorganizations within the Executive Branch. Reorganizations continued after 1973, but they were limited to reorganizations internal to departments and agencies authorized under procedures outlined in their enabling laws and reorganizations approved by Congress through the normal legislative process. The Energy Research.and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were examples of new organizations established after 1973 by statute.
REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1977
As a Presidential candidate and as President-elect, Jimmy Carter repeatedly pledged that a major emphasis of his Administration would be to reorganize the Executive Branch. He would seek to impose "sound principles of organization and management" upon the Federal bureaucracy. Following in the so-called "orthodox tradition" of public administration, the reorganizations to be submitted would be designed to reduce the number of organizational units, eliminate overlapping, duplication, and fragmented programs, and increase the efficiency, economy, and accountability of governmental services. What Washington needed, in his view, was "tight, businesslike management and planning techniques" to bring the "horrible bureaucratic mess" under control. 85/
One of the new President's first legislative proposals was a request that Congress renew the President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans. 86/ The proposal (S. 626), introduced on February 4, 1977, by Senator Abraham Ribicoff provided that the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, be reactivated with five modifications as suggested in the President's message.
85/ Marshall, Eliot. The Efficiency Expert: Carter's Plan to
Shake Up the Bureaucracy. New Republic. August 21 and
28, 1976: 15-17.
86/ U.S. Executive Office of the President. Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents, v. 13, February 7, 1977: 147-149.
1. The President would be allowed to amend a Plan within
30 days after sending it to Congress, unless a Resolution of Disapproval had been ordered reported in either House or the appropriate committee in either
House had otherwise reported its recommendations.
2. The requirement that only one Plan be submitted within
a 30 day period would be eliminated.
3. The requirement that each Reorganization Plan deal with
a single logically consistent subject matter would be
4. The requirement that when a Plan is submitted it have
attached a statement as to the amount of money to be
saved would be eliminated. in its place would be
included information on the improvements in management,
efficiency, and the delivery of Federal services that
the Plan would produce.
5. A four year extension of the authority would be authorized in place of the customary two year extension.
The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs held hearings on S. 626 on
February 8, 1977. 87/ The reception was generally favorable although at least
one Senator expressed serious misgivings regarding the constitutionality of the
disapproval process and the delegation of authority given the President by the
Congress in the bill.
87/ U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs.
Reorganization Authority. Hearings on S. 626. 95th
Congress, Ist session. February 8, 1977. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1977.
In its report to the Senate, 88/ the Committee recommended that the
reorganization authority be extended for three years from the date of enactment. The three year limit was a compromise between those seeking only a two year extension and those seeking a four year extension. The provision in the 1949 Act, as amended in 1971, limiting the number of Reorganization Plans that could be submitted within a 30 day period to one, was eliminated. The Committee retained the provision that each Plan deal with no more than one logically consistent subject matter. The Committee approved the provision which would permit the President to submit amendments to his Plans up to 30 days after the Plan was originally submitted. The provision prohibiting the establishment of departments by Reorganization Plan was retained and expanded to also prohibit the elimination or merging of independent regulatory agencies. Furthermore, the abolition of substantive programs mandated by statute was prohibited. The Committee retained the requirement that the President estimate the savings in expenditures expected from the reorganization although the wording was altered so as to require an estimation of the Plan's impact on expenditures generally and on anticipated improvements in Executive Branch management and the delivery of services.
88/ U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs.
Reorganization Act of 1977. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
Off., 1977. (95th Congress, lst session. S. Report no.
The Senate considered S.-626, as amended, on March 3, 1977. One amendment, introduced by Senator Ribicoff, was approved on the floor. This amendment permitted the President to submit Reorganization Plans abolishing all or a part of the functions of an agency, "except that no enforcement function,, and no function conferring a substantial programmatic benefit on the public, shall be abolished by the plan." 89/ This amendment was approved by the Senate and was followed by a vote in the Senate approving S. 626, as amended, by a margin of 94 to 0. House Action
Three bills were introduced in the House to reestablish the President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans. The bills were H.R. 3131,.introduced by Representative Jack Brooks, Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee, and provided, among other things, for an affirmative vote by Congress on resolutions approving Reorganization Plans. The bill representing the President's position (H.R. 3401) was introduced by Representative Dante Fascell and others. In addition, the House Minority Leader, Representative John Rhodes, introduced H.R. 3442 with language identical to H.R. 3401.
89/ The wording i f this provision was subsequently altered to
read: Any plan may provide for -- "...the abolition of all or a part of the functions of an agency, except that
no enforcement function or statutory program shall be
abolished by the plan." Section 903(a)(2).
Hearings on these three bills were held by the Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security on March 1, and March 8, 1977. 90/
The critical difference between the bill introduced by Representative Brooks (H.R. 3131) and the Administration's bill (H.R. 3407) lay in the method by which Reorganization Plans were approved by Congress. Under provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended, a Reorganization Plan became effective at the end of the first period of 60 calendar days of continuous session of Congress unless either House passed a resolution stating in substance that it did not favor the Reorganization Plan. Representative Brooks, in his bill, provided that a Reorganization Plan would become effective only upon the approval by the President of a joint resolution of Congress which had been adopted within the first period of 60 calendar days of continuous session of Congress after the date on which the Plan was submitted. In short, under Brool-3' bill, Congress would be required to act in an affirmative manner before a Reorganization Plan could go into effect.
Legislation with similar provisions had been proposed in the past by
Representative Brooks. In 1971, during consideration of legislation to extend the President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans, he had stated:
90/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Subcommittee
on Legislation and National Security. Providing Reorganization Authority to the President. Hearings on H.R. 3131, H.R. 3407, and
H.R. 3442. March 1 and March 8, 1977. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
as in the case of most Members of Congress who share
a very deep concern over maintaining a proper balance between
the legislative and executive branches of the Government, I
have never been a strong supporter of this legislation.
By the very concept of the statue, there is an abdication
of legislative authority. Even if we assume that the act has
some beneficial and affirmative value, I believe we can all
agree that Congress, on a periodic basis, should examine its terms to assure that the reorganizations of the Federal Government under the statute give Congress a meaningful opportunity to exercise a legislative mandate. 91/
The Brooks' bill also contained a provision for the President to introduce amendments to Reorganization Plans already submitted to Congress. It was similar, in this regard, to the Senate passed measure.
The basic concern of Representative Brooks, and others, was that the procedure provided in the 1949 Reorganization Act, which was also to be found in the President's proposal, was, in their opinion, unconstitutional. it was an improper delegation of authority from Congress to the President and the process by which Congress approved a Reorganization Plan, which was to not act in an affirmative manner, is to legislate by default. Furthermore, the general practice of providing a legislative veto for Executive
91/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations.
Subcommittee on Legislation and Military Operations.
Extending the President's Reorganization Authority.
Hearings on H.R. 6283. March 25 and March 29, 1971.
Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1971. p. 28.
Branch decisions is constitutionally questionable, most particularly as
it applies to a one house veto or a committee veto. 92/
92/ In recent years, statutory provisions giving Congress the power
to "veto" certain administrative proposals and regulations have not only increased in number but also have engendered considerable constitutional controversy. Arguing in support of the constitutionality of this procedure is:
Stewart, Geoffrey. Constitutionality of the Legislative Veto. Harvard Journal on Legislation, v. 13, April D76:
593-619. Arguing against the constitutionality of the legislative veto is: Bolton, John R. The Legislative
Veto: Unseparating the Powers. Washington, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1977.
In response to an inquiry from President Carter regarding the constitutionality of the legislative veto
provided for in what was to be S. 626, the Attorney General replied by letter on January 31, 1977, that in his opinion
... the procedures... are constitutionally valid." He
went on further to co ent: "I should emphasize at the
outset that my opinion is limited to this particular statute, as explained below, and is to be taken in no manner
as appr -ving the constitutionality of congressional approval ol executive action by resolution in other statutes."
Letter to be found in: U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee
on Governmental Affairs. To Renew the Reorganization
Authority. pp. 11-12.
Antonin Scalia, Assistant Attorney General, Office of
Legal Counsel, during the Ford Administration, appeared
before the House and Senate committees and challenged the
interpretation offered by the Attorney General. In his
opinion, the procedures outlined in the legislation under consideration, and in the Reorganization Act of 1949, did
not meet the requirements of Article 1, Section 7 of the
Constitution and further that all forms of "legislative veto" were unconstitutional. Attempts by the Attorney
General to distinguish between forms of legislative veto he approved and forms of which he disapproved were sophistry. Ibid. pp. 47-52.
A full Committee on Government Operations markup session was held on March 17 from which emerged a "clean bill" (H.R. 5045) which represented a compromise between the supporters of the President's bill and supporters of the Brooks' bill. H.R. 5045 was titled the Reorganization Act of 1977 and constituted a replacement to the Reorganization Act of 1949 and did not merely amend this previous Act. 93/
The new bill, H.R. 5045, reflected the views of the President and the Senate regarding the procedural method for approving Reorganization Plans. As in the Reorganization Act of 1949, a Plan would become effective after 60 days unless either House passed a resolution disapproving the Plan. The majority of the Committee, as with the majority of the Senate, accepted the constitutionality of the process. There was an amendment to this process, however, which provided that when the President submitted a Plan to Congress, a resolution of disapproval be required to be introduced at the same time by the chairmen of the House Government Operations Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. The two committees would be required to make recommendations to the House or the Senate respectively within 45 days or such committee shall be deemed as having discharged the resolution which shall be placed on the appropriate calendar. Since any Member can move for its consideration, it would be unlikely than any future Plan could go into effect without the Congress having had a chance to vote on it. 93/ U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations.
Extension of Reorganization Authority of the President.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1977. (95th Congress,
Ist session. H. Report. no. 95-105.) See An-andix B.
There were several differences between the Senate bill and the bill as it emerged from the House Committee on Government Operations. As indicated above, the House Committee bill required that a resolution of disapproval be introduced at the same time a Reorganization Plan was introduced while the Senate bill required only that each committee make a recommendation on each Plan within 45 days, but report a resolution of disapproval if they recommended against the Plan. The House Committee bill provided that no more than three Reorganization Plans could be under consideration at one time while the Senate bill placed no restriction as to the number of Plans which could be introduced.
The House Committee bill was similar to the Senate bill regarding the three year extension of authority, retention of the limitation that each Plan cover only one "logically consistent subject matter," and that no Plan could establish abolish or merge a department or independent regulatory agency nor eliminate any function of an agency mandated by statute. The House Committee heard Chairman Brooks announce: "This is the best unconstitutional bill you could draw up" and then approved the bill by a vote of 40-3.
On March 29, 1977, H.R. 5045 was considered on the floor with Representative Brooks as bill manager. In his opening remarks, Mr. Brooks stated both his reservations regarding the premise and procedures contained in the Reorganization Act and his reasons for supporting the Act as amended by the Committee.
23-836 0 78 5
It is a matter of concern, to me personally, that the
vote will not be an affirmative one. The legislative veto
provision of this bill presents a serious constitutional
question as a number of witnesses at our hearings testified.
I firmly believe it is possible to grant reorganization
authority to a President that gives all the benefits of certain and expedious congressional action, while at the same
time preserving the legislative process prescribed by the
Constitution. To allow a President to propose and, in
effect, pass a law unless Congress vetoes it is to reverse that process and trample on the doctrine of separation of
I introduced a reorganization bill that would have
met both the objectives of the President and the requirements of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the bill before
us today takes a slightly different approach. I have
chosen to support it, however, because I believe the new voting procedures -- which was taken from my bill -- and
the limitations on the use of reorganization authority
to which the committee agreed, will provide Congress with far more control over reorganization than would have been
the case if the President's proposals had gone through
There was an attempt to reintroduce the original Brooks' bill by way
of an amendment in the form of a substitute to H.R. 5045, but this was
defeated by a 329-87 vote. Two other amendments were defeated followed by
the defeat of a motion to recommit. The House then substituted the provissions of H.R. 5045 for those of S. 626 while retaining the latter designation
and passed the bill. The bill, now S. 626, completed the legislative process
when on March 31, the Senate accepted the House version by voice vote without
94/ U.S. Congressional Record (daily edition). March 29, 1977.
pp. H 2667-H 2668.
President Carter signed the bill (P.L. 95-17) restoring the President's authority to submit Reorganization Plans on April 6, 1977, and the new law went into effect immediately. 95/ At the same time he signed the legislation, the President announced the establishment of a President's Reorganization Project to be located within the Office of Management and Budget. 96/ The Reorganization Project would consist of various Groups to study policy fields and related institutions with the intention of submitting proposals for reorganization to the President. The President further indicated that the Project was not to produce a "comprehensive" reorganization proposal, such as that which emerged from the Ash Council efforts, but rather would provide "incremental" proposals over a four year period.
The first Reorganization Group scheduled to report and the one with the most visibility concerned itself with reorganizing the Executive Office of the President. 97/ The report of this Group, along with options and recommendations, was forwarded to the President in late June, 1977. The President, in turn','--transmitted to the Congress his proposal for reorganizing the Executive Office by way of Reorganization Plan No. 1 on July 15, 1977. 95/ 91 Stat. 29; 5 U.S.C. 901-912.
96/ U.S. Executive Office of the President. Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, v. 13, April 11, 1977: 493-495.
97/ The President sought to make the reorganization of the Executive Office
a 11model" for other departments and agencies to follow. Although
the Executive office is the President's "home territory" and was given high priority, the press was able to chronicle substantial problems encountered by the EOP Reorganization Group. See, for example: Farney, Dennis. Making Government Simpler Is Complex,
Carter's Aides Find. Wall Street Journal, June 6, 1977. p. A-1.
REORGANIZATION IN PERSPECTIVE
To Manage or Not to Manage?
Much of the literature on the Presidency discusses the institution in terms of the roles the President must play. Some of these roles are explicitly required by the Constitution, e.g., Commanderin-Chief, while others are implicit to the office, e.g., ceremonial leader. The managerial responsibilities of the President, however, must be inferred from Article II, Sections I and 3 which state, in part, that "...the executive power shall be vested in a President..." who "...shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.0001' Other provisions of the Constitution require that the President be responsible for specific functions of government, e.g., appointments to office, which, in sum, constitute much of the President's administrative authority.
In the broad sense of the term, all Presidents have performed managerial functions. It was not until the advent of the present century, however, that the concept of organizational management came to be associated with the Presidential office. There have been extensive, and often successful, efforts to enhance the President's managerial powers. Yet, it is fair to say that few Presidents in this century have been comfortable in the role of manager of the Executive Branch. None have directly abjured their responsibilities, but few have consistently relished the challenge of administrative leadership.
While there is wide agreement that most Presidents have been less than
outstanding managers of the Executive Branch, there is disagreement as to the cause for this situation. Some suggest that the principal cause for the disappointing results is to be found in the sheer size and complexity of the task. Others believe that Congress, the bureaucracy, and the interest groups, are more persistent in their efforts to fragment the Executive Branch than is the President in his efforts to provide a unifying force. Still others believe that the qualities of an effective manager are not likely to be found in the personality of someone driven to be President. Whether any or all of these factors have influenced the President's managerial performance is beyond the scope of this study to determine. What is certain, however, is that Presidents rarely enter office with a well developed theory of how best to organize their own White House Office, much less the Executive Branch generally.
Richard Nixon, like his predecessors, entered office without a clear understanding of the relationship between policy and operations. He assumed that if policies were announced, his appointees and the agencies they headed would carry out those policies. The President was soon disabused of this view. His initial experience with Cabinet members as program managers was disappointing. The subsequent decision to rely on the White House and the Domestic Council staffs as a necessary "counter-bureaucracy" also proved to be costly in terms or resources expended because administrators were bringing more and more of their problems to the White House for resolution. The result was confirmation of the administrative dictum that operations tend to drive out
policy. Thus, the President concluded that during his second term he would actively seek to manage the Executive Branch through a different strategy.
In planning for his second term, Nixon reassessed the
utility of his executive office structure and found it wanting.
He had sought more presidential direction over the bureaucracy,
to advance his New Federalism, and the results had been disappointing. The conclusion he reached was that he should
attempt to achieve the organizational goals set out by the Ash Council and presented in his 1971 executive branch reorganization proposals, but largely ignored by Congress,
through administrative means rather than by legislation. 98/
The management strategy for the second administration called for, among other things, a small, integrated "Super Cabinet," a reduced Executive Office operation, and the careful placement of White House oriented individuals in. agency policy positions. Whether President Nixon could have made this, strategy work to the managerial advantage of the White House will not1be known since the exercise was doomed by Watergate.
In his assessment of this "Administrative Presidency" strategy, Richard Nathan notes that one of the consequences of Watergate is that', today,. th I e notion of a politically responsible, integrated Executive Branch being 4uperior to a less politically responsible, less integrated Executive Branch, long a basic tenet of most literature on the Presidency, is presently out of favor. In Nathan's opinion:
98/ Moe, Ronald C. The Domestic Council in Perspective. The
Bureaucrat, v. 5, October 1976: 261.
Another view of the President's relationship to the
bureaucracy that has gained momentum since Watergate embodies the concept of 'participatory bureaucracy,' a sort
of 'moveable feast' of power rather than the traditional
hierarchical model. This is what might be called the
'democracy-inside-of-technocracy' theory, or the 'blowthe-whistle' code of bureaucracy behavior, in which the
President's role is commensurately down-graded. According
to this view, the career official should provide not just
competent staff work, but also his judgments concerning the right decisions and proper course of action for his
agency and program area, about which he presumably has
much more expertise than his political superiors. 99/
The general thrust of much of the recent literature has been that the
President himself ought to be less concerned with managing and more concerned
that his key appointed officers manage better. In a 1976 report by the National Academy of Public Administration to both Presidential candidates, the
theme was expressed that if the President was going to be an effective manager
of the Executive Branch, he should rely more on his department and agency
chiefs. "Lack of Presidential reliance on department and agency heads can
lead to an overconcentration of power in the White House staff, which in turn
weakens the capacity of agencies, leads to escalation of marginal issues to
the White House, and makes the President more vulnerable to pressure from special interest groups." 100/
99/ Nathan, Richard P. The Administrative Presidency. Public Interest,
Summer 1976. p. 46. By the same author, see: The Plot That
Failed: Nixon and the Administrative Presidency. New York,
John Wiley and Sons, 1975.
100/ National Academy of Public Administration. The President and Executive
Management: Summary of a Symposium. Washington, October 1976. p.
President-elect, Jimy Carter indicated that he had been influenced in his thinking by a recent book, Organizing the Presidency, by Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution. 101/ It is Hess' thesis that the President ought to give up his pretensions towards being the chief manager of the Exec utive Branch and concentrate instead on being the "chief political officer of the United States." Further, his best interests would be served if he created a "more collegial administration" in which he relied on his Cabinet officers as the principal sources for advice and management. 102/
Richard Nathan, also preferring advice for the President to be elected in 1976, took a directly opposing position to that argued by Mr. Hess, To Nathan, management is policy. If a President turns over management of the Executive Branch to his natural bureaucratic enemies, a category which includes his Cabinet officers, he will be locked into a defensive posture.
There were many who believed that when Nixon resigned
in 1974 that his plan for a managerial takeover of domestic government in his second term constituted a threat to
our political system. Maybe so; but, as often happens
after periods of great emotion, there is likely yet to be
a revision of attitudes. When this happens, I predict
that Nixon's strategy for his second term not necessarily for the 'Administrative Presidency,' but for a more administrative Presidency in domestic affairs -will be seen to have raised basic questions for our political system. In more immediate terms, whoever is elected
President in 1976, and whatever his major objectives for
domestic affairs (decentralization, reduction of the
101/ Hess, Stephen. Organizing the Presidency. Washington,
The Brookings Institution. 1976. 102/ Ibid., p. 154.
bureaucracy, fiscal responsibility, full employment, equal opportunity), he would do well, at the outset of his term,
to study carefully, the President's role as Chief Executive. 103/
Each President has managerial responsibilities he cannot avoid But
beyond the minimal responsibilities, a President has some discretion regarding how aggressive he wants to be in managing the Executive Branch. If he decides to lead through administrative management, and it should be recognized that there is a substantial body of opinion which argues that management is routine and should be minimized if a President is to be 'i "leader," 104/ then the strategies used to manage become crucial. Executive Branch reorganization is just one of several strategies available to a President to enhance his managerial capacities. Strategic Options For A New President
In the twentieth century, the President has come to be expected to take
the lead in most Executive Branch reorganization efforts, which is not to suggest that Congress is a passive partner. Given this expectation, however, a new President must decide whether reorganizing the Executive Branch, in whole or in parts, will be a major commitment of his Administration. Reorganizing, after all, can be a politically expensive activity. Before a decision is made to propose the creation, transfer, of abolition of a department or
103/ Nathan, Richard P. The Administrative Presidency. pp. 52-53. 104/ See, for example: Burns, James MacGregor. Presidential
Leadership. Boston, Houghton-Mifflin, 1966. pp. 194-195.
agency it is prudent to calculate the potential costs involved as well as the potential benefits. Reorganizations are upsetting. Both interests and people are forced to adjust, move, and to establish new relationships. Program administration generally suffers during the reorganization process.
Assuming that a new President has considered the costs involved in making Executive Branch reorganization a major ci itment of his Administration, there appear to be four general strategic options available to achieve his objectives.
INCREMENTAL STRATEGY: The usual strategy a President adopts towards Executive Branch reorganization is to try to make changes that further his policy objectives and enhance his position as manager of the Executive Branch. This strategy may involve realigning functions.among agencies, changing the relative organizational standing among its units within a department, creating a new agency (with Congressional approval), and in some instances he may even propose the establishment of a new department. There is usually a conscious effort to seek the achievable, to be satisfied with successful compromises. There is little desire to "stir up a hornet's nest" over a proposal to make changes which are not likely to be acceptable by Congress. By selecting the incremental strategy, the president seeks to achieve his political and managerial objectives without expending too much of his political capital.
BACKDOOR STRATEGY: A President may decide to seek new or expanded programs. If he is successful in his efforts, reorganization often follows as a natural consequence. The public debate will tend to focus, however, on the
policy issues rather than on the structural results. Potential interest group
opposition to changes in the status of an agency can often be avoided or blunted if certain favorable policy objectives are sought simultaneously. More
recently, a new variation on the "backdoor strategy" has emerged, namely, in
the introduction of "sunset legislation."105/ Some of the supporters of the
105/ Reorganization, as a concept, is generally associated with organizational
change. It is difficult, however, to draw a line between organizations, programs, and procedures. If major changes are made in programs, this usually has an impact on the organization's structure.
The same may be said of procedures.
One approach to the problem of proliferating organizations,
programs and regulations has become known as "sunset laws." This term originated in Colorado where the State legislature, in 1976, passed a law whereby the State's 43 boards and commissions having
regulatory authority would be terminated at the end of 7 years unless the legislature voted to continue them. This particular law,
since it provided termination dates for agencies, is clearly a method with the potential for reorganizing government.
A less direct means of reorganizing the Executive Branch of the
Federal Government may be found in a number of bills introduced in
the 94th and 95th Congresses. Some bills have called for "self
destruct" clauses in agency enabling statutes; others would
provide for systematic review of legislation authorizing programs over a five year period with reauthorization required for program
continuance; while still other bills are interested in providing
termination dates for economic regulations which would also require
reauthorization if such regulations are to continue in force.
What is particularly important about the "sunset" approach is
that it appears to be aimed directly at regaining Congressional initiative over budget priorities and the hundreds of on-going programs.
Proponents of "sunset" legislation believe that any Executive Branch reorganization which ignores the twin problems of grant and entitlement programs and budget uncontrollablee" will become merely an
exercise in "shuffling boxes" on an organization chart.
The most complete discussion of the implications of the sunset
concept may be found in: U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on
Governmental Affairs. Program Evaluation Act of 1977. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1977. (95th Congress, lst session. S. Report no. 95-326.)
sunset concept believe that a major objective of reorganization ought to be to enhance the role of politically responsible officials over programs and budget priorities. When this occurs, in their opinion, the operations of Government will tend to bring about organizational change rather than having organizational structure superimposed over existing programs.
ARCHITECTONIC STRATEGY: A President may reject the "incremental" or "backdoor" strategies and seek instead to attack the problem of Executive Branch organization straightaway. The two Presidents who have opted for this strategy, Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, both prepared for battle by creating a Presidentially oriented study group (the Brownlow Committee and the Ash Council, respectively) which published major studies and recommended that the President be made chief administrator of the Executive Branch in fact as well as in theory. Franklin Roosevelt was constrained by political circumstances from making a comprehensive reorganization proposal so that his principal organizational legacy is the Executive Office of the President. Richard Nixon submitted a complete reorganization proposal to Congress which was studied to some degree by several committees, but generally rejected. In both instances, the reports of the Presidential study groups have come to constitute major contributions to the literature on public organizations and will be the starting point for future comprehensive studies of the Executive Branch.
STUDY COMMISSION STRATEGY: Support is periodically voiced from various sources, especially among Members of Congress, for establishing a new Hoover Commission to study the organization of the Executive Branch. Proponents of the idea argue that while studies of parts of the system are fine, what is needed now is a comprehensive review of the whole system. instead of having this study made by individuals selected by a President with his own interests in mind, why not have a mixed, national commission consisting of members appointed by both the President and Congress and staffed by "outsiders."
While there is a certain innate attraction to the idea of a "neutral"
study commission, there are also several problems which confront any proposal for a new Hoover Commission. For one thing, there is no longer any working consensus as to the direction such a Commission ought to follow. Should it seek to make the President more,, or less, a manager of the Executive Branch? Should the Commission seek to involve the Congress more, or less, in active oversight and administration of the Executive Branch? How would such a Commission avoid duplicating or overlapping the work of other more narrowly focused study commissions and the ongoing administrative oversight activities of Congressional committees?
The major argument in favor of establishing such a Commission, and it may ultimately prove persuasive, is that notwithstanding the absence of a consensus over philosophical direction and the possible duplication of effort, such a Commission would focus public attention on the issues. This result in itself, according to proponents, is worth the efforts as it will assist the
President and Congress in making changes in the Executive Branch structure which both can agree upon as desirable. An additional attraction of this strategy is that it takes some of the immediate pressure off the President and Congress and "buys time" as the studying and subsequent reports may be expected to take one or two years to complete,
The subject of Executive Branch reorganization has fascinated academicians and political reformers since the beginning of the century, It is seen by some as an answer to many of the social and political problems which face our society. Yet, insofar as there is a theory of public organizations, it tends to be an apolitical theory resting on "orthodox" values and the politics-administration dichotomy. Politics is rejected as a justification for choosing a particular type of organizational structure to administer a program, or as a justification for reorganizing an agency. The orthodox theory requires that a reorganization be defended on.the grounds that it will increase efficiency or result in economies. Even those who have academically challenged the orthodox theory, however, have failed to offer an alternative which incorporates both political and administrative elements into a reasonably coherent whule. 106/
From the President's perspective, Executive Branch reorganizations have been a mixed blessing. While the majority of organizational changes in this century have tended to enhance his managerial capacities over the bureaucracy, this majority of instances is only slight and in recent years, since 1970, the President's managerial capacities have actually undergone some erosion. The causes for this erosion are numerous, but two deserve mention at this
106/ Arnold, Peri E. Reorganization and Politics: A Reflection
on the Adequacy of Administrative Theory. Public Administration Review, v. 34, may/June 1974: 205-211.
point. First, there is today no single administrative theory which unites administration and politics. Organizational theory tends to speak in a language which distorts rather than illuminates the problems inherent in administering an operation as vast as the Federal Government. And second, there is no longer a consensus that the President ought to be an active manager of the Executive Branch. Thus, proposals for change in the structure of the Executive Branch tend to encourage fragmentation rather than integration. There is less concern evident today as to the impact of these changes on the institutional Presidency than was true in the past.
For the moment, President Carter has indicated both in words and deeds that he wants to reorganize the Executive Branch. What is not clear at this point, however, is how this desire to reorganize the Executive Branch fits in with any comprehensive theory he may have on how the Executive Branch as a whole ought to be organized, or to what degree the President ought to be an active manager of the Executive Branch.
Reorganization cannot itself be a "value." It receives its normative content by absorption. A reorganization is "good" or "bad" depending upon the purposes the reorganization is designed to achieve. Presumably, in the hierarchy of purposes, a reorganization should be justified on the grounds that it is facilitating the achievement of a "higher purpose" than that which is the purpose of the current organizational structure. It is the task of President Carter, as it was of his predecessors and will be of his
successors, to develop a hierarchy of values so that the process of reorganization will be neither random nor counterproductive, but will serve a purpose which is both consistent and visible.
23-836 0 78 6
Calendar No. 472
92D CONGRESS SENATE BzvOrr
1st Se**ion I No. 92-485
EXTENDING THE PERIOD WITHIN WHICH THE PRESIDENT MAY TRANSMIT TO THE CONGRESS PLANS FOR THE REORGANIZATION OF AGENCIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT
No Mnam 17, 1971.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. M mAu.L N, front the Committee on Government Operations,
submitted the following
To accompany H.R. 6=3J
The Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 6283) to extend the period within which the President may transmit to the Congress plans for the reorganization of agencies of the executive branch of the Government, and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is in the nature of a substitute.
H.R. 6283, as amended, would (1) extend vtil April 1, 1973, the authority of the President, under chapter 9 f title 5, United States Code (executive reorganization ), to submit reorganization plans to the Congre%. proposing reorganizations in the executive branch; (2) limit the number of plans which the Ptesident may submit to the Congress to not more than one within any one period of 30 consecutive lays: (3' prohibit tbo submission of a plan which deals with more than one lopicaily consistent subject master: (4) authorize the filing of a pe-ition to discharge a committee to which a resolution of disapproval has lwen referred front ftirther consideration thereof, if such commit tee has not reported it by the end of 20 calenditr days, following
its introduction, instead of 10 calendar days as provided by existing law; (5) e-vise language in the reorganization statute so as to simplify and clarify its provisions without effecting substantive changes; and
(6) amend certain language in the statute to conform to changes previously made.
Chapter 9 of title 5, United States Code, contains the codification and reenactment as positive law of the Reorgaitization Act of 1949, aa amended. It authorizes the President to submit reorganization plans to accomplish certain stated purposes, subject to limitations specified therein.Such plans become effective at the end of 60 days of continuous session following their submission, unless disapproved prior thereto by either House of the Congress by a majority of those present and voting.
The authority of the President to submit reorganization plans expired on April 1, 1971. H.R. 62S3, as amended, would extend this authority until April 1, 1973, in response to a request for such extension transmitted by the Director. Office of Management and Budget, to the President of the Senate, dated February 1, 1971, a copy of which is set forth in appendix 1. The bill, as amended, would also amend and revise certain provisions of the reorganization statute, as summarized above and detailed in a later section of this report.
SUMMARY OF PRINCIPAL PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE
The reorganization statute requires the President to examine, on a continuing basis, the organization of all agencies of the executive branch and to determine what changes therein are necesary to accomr'ish the purposes of the statute, and authorizes the President to subn.t reorganization plans to the Congress in order to accomplish those purposes, which include (1) promoting better execution of the laws and more effective management of the executive branch; (2) reducing expenditures and increasing efficiency and economy; (3) consolidating and coordinating agencies and functions according to major purposes; (4) reducing the number of agencies by consolidating under A single head those having similar functions and abolishing those which are unnecessary; and (5) eliminating duplication and overlapping. These stated purposes are also the standards which guide the President in making his determinations as to what reorganizaions he will set forth in any plans which he transmits to the Congress.
Reorganizations proposed by the President may include (1) transfers or consolidations of agencies and the functions thereof within agencies or to other agencies; (2) abolition of all or part of agencies and functions; and (3) authorizations to executive branch officers to delegate functions. Each such reorganization must be based upon a Presidential finding that the proposed action is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of the statute and a statement to that effect must be included in his message transmitting the plan to the Congress. The message must also specify, with respect to each abolition of a function included in a plan, the statutory authority for the exercise of such function and the reduction of expenditures (itemized so far as practicable) which is likely to result.
Under the provisions of the reorganization statute, reorganization plans cannot (1) create a new executive department, abolish or transfer an executive department or all of its functions, or consolidate two
or more executive departments or all of their functions; (2) continue an agency or function thereof beyond the period of time authorized by law for its existence or beyond the time when it would have termint d in the absence of the p lan; (3) authorize any agency to exercise new functions not expressly authorized by law when the plan is transmitted; (4) increase the term of an office beyond that provided by law for that office; or (5) transfer or consolidate with any other agency the municipal government of the District of Columbia or its functions or abolish said government or its functions. Further, if a plan provides for the appointment and compensation of the head or other officers of any agency, the term of office may not be fixed at more than 4 years, the compensation may not exceed that applicable to comparable executive branch offices and, if the appointment is not in the competitive service, it must be made by the President, subject to Senate confirmation.
Reorganization plans, submitted in accordance with the requirements of the statute, become effective as law at the end of the first period of 60 calendar days of continuous session of the Congress after the date on which the plan is transmitted to it, unless, between the date of transmittal and the end of the 60-day period, either House, by a majority of those present and voting, adopts a resolution of disapproval. For the purpose of determining whether there has been a 60-day period of continuous session, continuity is considered broken by an adjournment of the Congress sine die. However, if either House is not in session because of an adjournment to a day certain of more than 3 days, such period is excluded in the computation of the 60-day period.
The reorganization statute provides further that a reorganization plan may provide for an effective date at a time later than the date on which the plan would otherwise become effective; and a plan which is effective must be printed in the Statutes at Large in the same volume as the public laws, and in the Federal Register..
The reorganization statute makes no provision for the amendment of a plan, and the only affirmative action authorized is the adoption of a resolution of disapproval. Members of either House who desire to file a resolution of disapproval must use a prescribed form and, following introduction, the resolution is referred to the appropriate committee in each House, which, under their respective standing rules, is the Committee on Government Operations.
In order to prevent a -reorganization plan from becoming effective because the committee to which a disapproval resolution has been referred failed to act upon it within the 60-day period, and to insure expeditious consideration of such resolutions, the statute provides special rules of procedure for their processing. Thus, if the committee to which such resolution has been referred has not reported it after 10 calendar days following its introduction, any Member favoring the resolution may move to discharge the committee from further consideration. Debate on a motion to discharcro is limited to 1 hour, the time) being divided equally between proponents and opponents of the resolution, and such motion may not be renewed with respect to any other resolution (Nrncerning thie same reorganization plan. It may 6e not ed that this provisions does not mean that the committee Mms act within the 10-day period; it merely authorizes the filing of a discharge motion at any time after the lapse of the 10-day period.
When a committee has reported, or has been discharged from further consideration of, a resolution of disapproval, at any time thereafter it is in order to move to proceed to the consideration of the resolution, and such motion is not debatable. Both the motion to dishage anad the motion to proceed to the consideration of the reolton are highly privileged, not subject to amendment, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which such motions are agreed to or disagreed to.
Debate on a resolution of disapproval is limited to no mor3* than 10 hours, equally divided between those favoring and those opposing the resolution, and a motion further to limit debate is not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to recommit, the resolution is not in order; ncr is it in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to or disagreed to.
Motions to postpone, made with respect to the discharge from committee, or the consideration of, a -resolution of disapproval, motions to prceed to the consideration of other business, and a ppeals from decisions, of the Chair relative to the application of the rules of the Senate or the House to the procedure relating to a disapproval resolution are decided without debate.
H.R. 6283, as amended by the committee, incorporates the provisions of that bill, as passe by the House of Representatives on May 3, 1971,9 with the provisions of a companion bill, S. 878, as amended by the Subc-,mmittee, on Executive Reorganization and Government Research, which held hearings on S. 878 on March 24, 1971. As introduced, both bills provided only for a 2-year extension of the President's authority to submit reorganization plans. The committee amendment retains this provision and incorporates certain revisions, substantive, and technical conforming amendments, which are explained below.
REVISION AND CLARIFICATION
Portions of the reorganization statute have been revised and restructured in an effort to clarify and simplify its language without, effecting any changes in the procedures or the substantive lawv provided for therein (sections 901, 903, and 904).
Section 901 purports to set forth the congressional policy and to define, in part, the subject, extent, and objectives of the delegation by the Congress of its authority to prescribe the organization and structure of executive branch departments and agencies. However, its provisions do not state clearl that they are an expression of congressional, policy. Accordingly, section 901'(a) has been revised so as to eliminate any ambiguity.
Section 903 states the types of reorganizations which are authorized and provides for the required finding of facts and certification thereof by the President to the Congress before the delegated authority can become operative. However, in its p resent form, the language is cumbersome and unnecessarily complex. Accordingly, this section has been restructured so as to clarify the requirements to be met.
Section 904 specifies certain provisions which a reorganization plan may, or must, contain, as well as certain limitations. However, it is
somewhat confusing and difficult to understand and interpret. Accordingly, this section has been revised so as to present its contents in an orderly, more concise manner.
As originally introduced, H.R. 6283 and S. 878 provided only for a simple two-year extension of the President's authority to submit reorganization plans.
The House of Representatives added the following amendments: (1) a pro-vision, contained in section 2 of the committee amendment, which would amend section 903(b) of the statute by providing that the President shall not transmit more than one reorganization plan to the Congress within any period of 30 consecutive days; and (2) a provision, contained in section 3 of the committee amendment, which would amend section 905(a) of the statute by providing that a plan may not provide for, nor have the effect of, dealin with more than one logically consistent subject matter. In support of te first amendment, the House Committee on Government Operations stated that its purpose was "to assure that the committee would not be overburdened with a superabundance of plans at any one time." (H. Rept. 92-146, p. 3.). In support of the second amendment, the House committee stated that, on occasion, a plan has been submitted which contained a variety of miscellaneous actions, completely unrelated to one another, and that the submission of such plans is not believed to be within the intent of the Congress. (H. Rept. 92-146, p. 3).
The Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization and Government Research approved an amendment to section 911(a) of the statute, contained in section 5 of the committee amendment, relative to procedures to discharge a committee to which a resolution of disapproval has been referred from further consideration thereof. Under existing law, if-.such committee has not reported it. after the passage of ten calendar days following its introduction, any Member favoring the resolution may move to discharge the committee. It should be noted that this provision does not reqpi.re the committee to report such resolution fo.lowming 10 days of consideration; it merely authorizes a motion to discharge.
Experience has demonstrated that the period provided for--10 calendar days following the introduction of a resolution of disapproval-is not adequate to enable the committee to process the resolution, and the plan properly. If a reorganization plan is complexani many of them have been-a reasonable time must be allowed for staff analysis, hearings, committee consideration and the preparation of a report. Accordingly, the committee amendment would amend section 911 (a) to provide that a motion to discharge the committee will be in order after the passage of 20 calendar days following its introduction.
The Office of Management and Budget has advised that although the administration would not oppose the House amendments, -it preferred that they not be adopted since they were believed unnecesarv.
Section 904(2) of the statute contains a reference to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia. Reorganization Plan No.
3 of 1967 abolished the Board of Commissioners and transferred the Board's executive powers and functions to the Commissioner. However, since a reorganization plan does not amend substantive law, specifically, legislation is required to eliminate the obsolete reference. Accordingly, section 3 of the committee amendment would amend section 904 of the statute by deleting the reference therein to the Board of Commissioners and substituting therefor the Commissioner of the District of Columbia.
A hearing on S. 878, a companion bill, was held by the Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization and Government Research, to which tie bill had been referred, on March 24, 1971. The only witness was Dwight A. Ink, Assistant Director, Office of Management and Budget, accompanied by Howard Schnoor, Special Consultant, who testified in support of the bill.
During the hearing, in response to an inquiry by Senator Abraham Ribicoff, chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Ink assured the subcommittee that the Office of Management and Budget, which was afforded an opportunity.to examine thecommittee amendment, had no objection to its provisions. In view of the pending submission of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1971, Senators Ribicoff and Javits raised a question concerning the validity of transmitting a reorgan ation plan to the Congress when the reorganization authority was likely to expire prior to the effective date of the plan, and suggested that, the Department of Justice should be requested to respond to this question. Thereafter, ,the subcommittee received a letter from the Department, which has been inserted in the.hearing record, advising that based upon the languag, of the reorganization statute and the precedents, there was no reason to doubt the validity of such submission. In further explanation, the letter noted that the statute imposed limitations only upon the date of submission, but imposed no requirement that reorgaization authority remain in effect during the entire period that a plan is pending before the Congress. In addition, the letter cited a number of instances in which plans were permitted to become effective under' identical circumstances.
PRIOR TO 1949
Reorganization authority was first given to the President in the Executive Reorganization Act of 1932 (title IV of the act of June 30, 1932, 47 Stat. 413). As oiginally enacted, it authorized the President, by Executive order, to consolidate, redistribute, and transfer various agencies and functions, but did not permit him to abolish any executive department& or agncy created by statute, or to transfer or eliminate its functions. The 1932 act vested permanent authority in the President and authorized congressional rejection of reorganization proposals by either House of the Congress by majority of those present and voting. This was the only Reorgamzation Act which granted permanent authority, although President Truman requested it twice and Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson stated' that it should be granted.
The permanent authority, granted in 1932, was limited to a 2-year period less than a year later, by an amendment in an appropriation measure (act of Mfar. 3, 1933, 47 Stat. 1517). Wile limiting the President's authority to a specified period, the 1933 act broadened the scope of that authority and made no provision for congressional disapproval.
The Reorganization Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 561) limited the authority to submit reorganization plans, as they are known today, to a period of 2 years (until January 2, 1941), and provided for congressional rejection by the adoption of a concurrent resolution. The 1939 act contained numerous limitations, and only five plans were submitted under its authority, all of which became effective.
Title I of the NVar Powers Act of 1941 (55 Stat. 838) authorized the President to make temporary, emergency wartime reorganizations for the duration -of the war plus 6 months.
The Reorganization Act of 1945 (59 Stat. 613) again granted the President reorganization authority for a period of approximately 2 years (until April 1, 1948), despite at request for permanent authority, and provided for congressional rejectiQn by concurrent resolution. It w~as substantially similar to the 1939 act in that it prohibited the abolishment or transfer of an executive department or all of the functions thereof, and it exempted I1I agencies from the operation of the act. Under this act, seven plans were submitted, of which four became effective and three were rejected.
THE 1949 ACT
The Reorganization Act of 1949 (Public Law 109, 81st Cong., 63 Stat. 203), was enacted originally as a means of expediting reorganizations in the executive branch, flowing submission of its reports and recommendations bv the first Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch o? the Government (Hoover Commission). Since it was designed primarily as a means of enabling the implementation of these recommendations, it gave the President much greater latitude than the 1939 or 1945 acts, by eliminating exemptions of specified agencies and authorizing him to submit reorganization plans providing for the creation of new departments at the Cabinet level.
The committee rejected the President's request for permanent authority, approving, instead, a 4-year period (terminating on Aptril 1, 1953), rather than the 2-year period granted in the earlier acts. Underlying this determination was the view that, although the President should be afforded a reasonable period of time to study the extensive work and the numerous recommendations of the Hoover Commission, and to prepare and submit reorganization plans based thereon, the Congress should retain sufficient control to enable periodic review of the use of the reorganization authority.
The method of congressional rejection was also modified by providing for such action by the adoption of a resolution of disapproval by a majority of the authorized membership of either House of the Congress, rather than by the earlier requirement of a concurrent resolution which necessitated action by both Houses. Under the original 1949 act, the President submitted 41 plans, of which 29 became effective, 11 were re. ctedt and the substance of one plan was incorporated in a statute w ich provided for the nullification of the p)lan, prior to its effective date.
EXTENSIONS AND AMENDMENTS OF 1949 ACT
The President's authority to submit reorganization plans was subsequently extended for 2-year periods in 1953, 1955 1957, 1961, and 1969. In 1959 this committee reported a bill extending the reorganization authority for 2 additional years, or to June 1, 1961. The House of Representatives approved an identical bill, but both measures died on the Senate calendar at the end of the 86th Congress. The 1949 act was extended again for 1 year in 1964, for approximately 3 years and 7 months in 1965 (until December 31, 1968) and for 2 years in 1969. Thus, the President has had continuous authority under the 1949 act, as amended, except for lapses from June 1, 1959, to April 7, 1961, from June 1, 1963, to July 2, 1964, from December 31, 1968, to April 1, 1969, and since April 1, 1971.
In the 1957 extension, the method of congressional rejection was amended to provide for disapproval of reorganization plans by either House of the Congress by a simple majority of those present and voting, and the 1964 extension eliminated the authority of the President to submit plans proposing the creation of new Cabinet departments.
Under the subsequent extensions, 49 plans were submitted, of which 41 became effective and eight were rejected. Thus between the effective date of the 1949 act and the effective date of the last plan submitted in the 91st Congress, 90 reorganization plans have been submitted, of which 70 became effective, 19 were rejected, and one was nulified. Between the effective date of the Reorganization Act of 1939 and January 2, 1971, a total of 102 plans have been submitted, of which 79 became effective, 22 were rejected, and one was nullified.
Set for, -' appendix 2 are: table I, listing the statutes which provided tWe President with reorganization authority since the enactment of the Executive Reorganization Act of 1932, indicating the duration of such authority and the methods provided for congressional disapproval; table 11, containing a summary of actions on reorganization plans submitted between 1939 and 1970, pursuant to authority granted by the 1939, 1945 and 1949 acts, and subsequent extensions; and table iII, showing the number of reorganization plans which have been submitted by each of the Presidents who have been granted reorganization authority since the Reorganization Act of 1939. An analysis of actions taken on all reorganization plans submitted Under the authority of reorganization statutes, from the 81st through the 1st Congresses appears in appendix 3 of this report.
The committee recognizes the President's need for fleibility in ,organizing the executive branch to achieve the level of efficie-ncv necessary to meet present and future requirements. The creation if sound machinery to administer our laws and programs is a difficult task which is never fully completed. The committee firmly believes that the ever-increasing -complexity of our society, coupledwith the expenditure of vast amounts of taxpayers) money on numerous programs and activities undertaken by the Federal Government in recent years, make efficient governmental organization and administration absolutely essential.
The reorganization statute provides the necessary authority to enable the President, as Chief Executive and "general manager" of the executive branch, to engage in continuing studies of the organizational and structural requirements of the Federal Government and to submit proposals for improvements. In recognizing the value of Presidential reorganization authority, however, the Committee on Government Operations is ever mindful of the fact that responsibility for the organization and structure of the executive branch is vested by the Constitution in the Congress, and care must always be exercised to make certain that the Congress does not surrender its constitutional responsibilities.
By providing legislative standards in the statute and by limiting the duration of the reorganization authority, the Congress-is afforded the opportunity periodically to assess and evaluate its use. Without these safeguards, the delegations provided for might well constitute an abdication of the authority and responsibility of the Congress in derogation of constitutional requirements.
Experience over the years has demonstrated that the President's authority to submit reorganization proposals, designed to improve the organization and modernize the structure of the Government, is a valuable and effective device in the-achievement of these objectives. This commit tee has long recognized that the President should have this authority and the record demonstrates that. this position has been fully supported by the Congress during a period o almost 40 years.
The revisions and amendments contained in the committee amendment should serve to clarify and strengthen the reorganization statute so that all .Members of the Congress will have a clear understanding of the objectivess of the statute and the procedures provided for thereund1iler.
ESTIMATED COST OF THE LEwGISLATION
In response to a request. by the committee, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget advised that* * carrying out the bill to extend the reorganization
authority of the President will not require the direct expendilure of funds even though the preparation of plans may require the investment of some time and effort in affected agencies and in OMB. On the other hand, extension of the authority will afford the President the opportunity to take actions that will result in increasing the effectiveness of Executive departments and agencies which may result in savings
in the cost of government.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with subsection 4 of rule XXIX of the Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
Chapter 9. EXECUTIVE REORGANIZATION
[(a) The President shall from time to time examine the organiation of all agencies and shall determine what changes therein are necesary to accomplish the following purposes;]
(a) The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States(1) to promote better execution of the laws, more effective
management of the executive branch and of it6 agencies and functions, and 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
(5) to reduce the number of agencies by consolidating those
having similar functions under a single head, and to abolish such agencies functions as may not be necessary for the efficient
conduct of the Government;. and
(6) to eliminate overlapping and duplication of effort.
(b) Congress declares that the public interest demands the carrying out of the purposes of subsection (a) of this section and that the purposes mayb accomplished in great measure by proceeding under this chapter, and can be accomplished more speediy thereby than by the enactment of specific legislation.
(c) The President shall from time to tim examine the organization of all agencies and shall determine what changes in such organization are necessary to carry out any Policy set forth in S8b8ection (a) of this section.
1 902. Definitions
For the purpose of this chapter(1 agency" means(A) an executive agency or part thereof;
(B) an office or officer in the executive branch; and
(C) an and all parts of the government of the District
of Columia other than the courts thereof;
but does not include the General Accounting Office or the Comptroller General of the United States;
(2) reorganizationo" means a transfer, consolidation, coordination, authorization, or abolition, referred to in section 903 of this
(3) "officer" is not limited by section 2104 of this title. 1903. Reorganization plans
[(a) When the President, after investigation, finds that-]
(a) Whenever the President, after investtiation, finds tha~t changes in the organization of agencies are necessary to carry out any policy set forth in section 901 (a) of this title, he sghall prepare a reorganization plan
8pec ingthereorganizations he finds are necessary. Any plan may
(1) the transfer of the whole or a part of any agency, or of the
whole or a part of the functions thereof, to the jurisdiction and
control of another agency;
(2) the abolition of all or a part of the functions of an agency (3) the consolidation or coordination of the whole or a part oi
an agency, or of the whole or a part of the functions thereof, with
the whole or a part of another agency or the functions thereof;
(4) the consolidation or coordination of a part of an agency or
the functions thereof with another part, of the same agency or
the functions thereof;
(5) the authorization of an officer to delegate any of his functions; or
(6) the abolition of the whole or a part of an agency which
agency or part does not have, or on the taking effect of the reorganization plan will not have, any functionsi[; is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes of section 901 (a) of this title, 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 the plan (bearing an identification number) to Congress, t6gether with a declaration that, with respect to each reorganization included ini the plan, he has found that the reorganization is necessary to accomplish one or
more of the purposes of section .901 (a) of this title].
The President slaUz transmit the plan (bearing an identification number) to the Con gress together with a declaration that, vt ith respect to each r"organizat ion included in dAe plan, he has found that the reorganization is necessary to carry out ant policy set forth* in section 901 (a) of th is title.
(b) The President shal have a reorganization plan delivered to both Houses on the same day and to each House while it is in session, an~d furthermore shall not transmit more than one such plan to Congress within any period of thirty consecutive days. In his message transmitting a reorganization plan, the President shall specify with respect to each abolition of a function included in the plan the statutory authority for the exei cise of the function and the reduction of expenditures (itemized so far as practicable) that it is probable will be brought about by the taking effect of the reorganization included in the plan.
*904. Additional contents of reriatiw pl4a A reorganization plan transmitted by the President under section 903 of this title(1) may change, in such cases as the President considers
necessary, the name of an agency affected by a reorganization and the title of its head [j],and shall designate the name of an agency
resulting from a reorganization and the title of its head;
(2) may provide for the appointment and pay of the head and
one or more officers of an agency (including an agency resulting from a consolidation or other type of reorganization) if the President finds, and in his message transmitting the p an declares, that by reason of a reraiaio aebttepa provisions
are necessary [. The head so provided may be an individual or may be a comm-ission or board with more than one member. In case of such an appointment, the termn of office may not be fixed at more than 4 years, the pymay not be at at rate in excess of that found by the President to be applicable to comparable officers. in the executive branch, and, if the appointment is not to a position in the competitive service, it shall be by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, except that,
except that, in the case of an officer of the government of the District, of Columbia, it may be by the Board of Commissioners or other body or officer of that government designated in the
(3) shall provide for the transfer or other disposition of the
records, property, and personnel affected by a reorganization;
(4) shall provide for the transfer of such unexpended balances
of appropriations, and of other funds, available for use in connection with a function or agency affected by a reorganization, as the President considers necessary by reason of the reorganization for use in connection with the functions affected by the reorganization, or for the use of the agency which shall have the functions after the reorganization plan is effective f. However, the unexpended balances so transferred may be used only for the purposes for which the appropriation was originally made]; and
(5) shall provide for terminating the affairs of an agency
A reorganization plan tra-nsiiiitted by the President containing provinonw authorized by paragraph. (2) of this section may provide that the head of an agency be an individual or a commission or board with more than one member. In the case of an appointment of the head of such agency, the termn of office may not be fxe at more than 4 years, the pay may not be at a rate in excess of tht found by the President to be applicable to comparable officers in the executive branch, and if the appointment is not to a position in the competitive 8ervwce, it shall be by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, except that, in the- ca-ve of an officer of the government oJ the District of Columbia, it may be by the Commissioner or other body or officer of that government designated in the plan. Any reorganization plan transmitted by the President containing provisions required by paragraph (4) of this section, shall provide for the transfer qf unexpend ed balances only if such balances are used for the purposes for which the appropriation was originally made.
J 905. Limitation on powers
(a) A reorganization plan may not provide for, and a reorganization under this chapter may not have the effect of(1) creating a new executive department, abolishing or transferring an executive department or all the functions thereof, or consolidating two or more executive departments or all the functions thereof :
(2) continuing an 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;
(3) continuing a 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;
(4) authorizing an agency to exercise a function which is not
expressly authorized by law at the time the plan is transmitted
(5) increasing the term of an office beyond that provided by
law for the office; [or]
(6) transferring to or consolidating with another agency the
government of the District of Columbia or all the functions thereof which are subject to this chapter, or abolishing that
government or all those functions[.]; or
(7) dealing with more than one logically consistent 8ubject matter.
(b) A provision contained in a reorganization plan may take effect only if the plan is transmitted to the Congress before [April 1, 1971] April 1, 1973.
5906. Effective date and publication of reorganization plans
(a) Except as otherwise provided under subsection (c) of this section, a reorganization plan is effective at the end of the first period of 60 calendar days of continuous session of Congress after the date on which the plan is transmitted to it unless, between the date of transmittal and the end of the 60-day period, either House passes a resolution stating in substance that the Hos does not favor the reorganization plan.
(b) For the purpose of subsection (a) of this section(1) continuity of session is broken only by on adjournment of
Congress sine die; and
(2) the days on which either House is not in session because of
an adjournment of more than 3 days to a day certain are excluded
in the computation of the 60-day period.
(c) Under provisions contained in a reorganization plan, a provision of the plan may be effective at a time later than the date on which the plan otherwise is effective.
(d) A reorganization plan which is effective shall be printed (1) in the Statutes at Large in the same volume as the public laws, and (2) in the Federal Register.
1907. Effect on other laws pending legal proceedings, and unexpended appropriations
(a) A statute enacted, and a regulation or other action made, prescribed, issued, granted, or performed in respect of or by an agency or function affected by a reorganization under this chapter, before the effective date of the reorganization, has, except to the extent rescinded, modified, superseded, or made inapplicable by or under authority of law or by the abolition of a function, the same effect as if the reorgamtzation had not been made. However, if the statute, regulation or other action has vested the functions in the agency from which it is removed under the reorganization plan, the function, insofar as it is to be exercised after the plan becomes effective, shall be deemed as vested in the agency under which the function is placed by the plan.
(b) For the purpose of subsection (a) of this section, "regulation or other action" means a regulation, rule, order, policy, determination, directive, authorization, permit, privilege, requirement, designation or other action.
(c) A suit, action, or other proceeding lawfully commenced by or against the head of an agency or other officer of the United States, in his official capacity or in relation to the discharge of his official duties, does not abate by reason of the taking effect of a reorganization plan under this chapter. On motion or supplemental petition filed at any time within 12 months after the reorganization plan takes effect, showing a necessity for a survival of the suit, action, or other proceeding to obtain a settlement of the questions involved, the court may allow the suit, action, or other proceeding to be maintained by or against the successor of the head or officer under the reorganization effected by the la or, if there is no successor, against such agency or officer as the e Presidefnt designates.
(d) The appropriations or portions of appropriations unexpended by reason of the operation of this chapter may not be used for any purpose, but shall revert to the Treasury. 908. Rules of Senate and House of Representatives on reorganization plans
Sections 909-913 of this title are enacted by Congress(1) as an exercise of the rule-making power of the Senate and
the House of Representatives, respectives, and as such they are deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of resolutions described by section 909 of this title; and they supersede other rules only to the extent that they
are inconsistent therewith; and
(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either
House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner and to the same
extent as in the case of any other rules of that House. 909. Terms of resolution
For the purpose of sections 908-913 of this title, "resolution" means only a resolution of either House of Congress, the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: "That the -does not favor the reorganization plan numbered -transmitted to Congssby the President on ------, 19-.", the first blank space therein bigfLed with the name of the resolving House and the other blank spaces therein being appropriately filled; but does not include a resolution which specifies more than one reorganization plan. j910. Reference of resolution to committee A resolution with respect to a reorganization plan shall be referred to a committee (and all resolutions with respect to the same plan shall be referred to the same committee) by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be. 5911. Discharge of committee considering resolution
(a) If the committee to which a resolution with respect to a reorganization plan has been referred has not reported it at the end of [10 calendar days] 20 ~eenar days after its introduction, it is in order to move either to discharge the committee from further consideration of the resolution or to discharge the committee from further consideration of any other resolution with respect to the reorganization plan which has been referred to the committee.
(b) A motion to discharge may be made only by an individual favoring the resolution, is highly privileged (except that it may not be made after the committee has reported a resolution with respect to the same reorganization plan), and debate thereon shall be limited to not more than 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. An amendment to the motion is not in order, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.
(c) If the motion to discharge is agreed to or disagreed to, the motion may not be renewed, nor may another motion to discharge the committee be made with respect to any other resolution with respect to the some reorganization plan.
912. Procedure after report or discharge of committee; debate
(a) When the committee has reported, or has been discharged from further consideration of, a resolution with respect to a reorganization plan, it is at any time thereafter in order (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) to move to p to the consideration of the resolution. The motion is highly privileged and is not debatable. An amendment to the motion is not in order, and it is not in ordex to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to.
(b) Debate on the resolution shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the resolution. A motion further to limit debate is not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to recommit, the resolution is not in order, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution is agreed to or disagreed to.
913. Decisions witbout debate on motion to postpone or proceed
(a) Motions to postpone, made with respect to the discharge from committee, or the consideration of, a resolution with respect to a retion plan, and motions to proceed to the consideration of other Ongsat', shall be decided without debate.
(b) Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the applies,tion of the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives as the case may be to the procedure relating to a resolution with respect to a reorganization plan shall be decided without debate
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, H~n. PIROT. ANEWWashington, D.C., February 1, 1971.
President of the Senate,
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: On Janua.ry 30, 1969, the President sent a special message to the Congress requesting an extension of his reorganization authority. At that time he said:
"New times call for new ideas and fresh approaches. To meet the needs of today and tomorrow, and to achieve a new level of efficiency, the Executive Branch requires flexibility in its organization. Government organization is created to serve, no~t to exist; as functions change, the organization must be ready to adapt itself to those changes."
That need continues todav.
In one of its first actions, the 91st Congress did extend the President's authority until April 1, 1971. The President has made significant use of the power granted:
-In 1969, he proposed a reorganization plan to strengthen the
executive powers of the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission, thus improvin g the day-to-day operations of that
-In 1970. he proposed the creation of a new Office of Telecommunications Policy in the Executive Office of the President through the transfer of certain functions from the Office of Emergency Preparedness, thus enhancing our ability to deal with
problems in this vital area.
-To further strengthen the Exceutive Office, he moved to create
the Domestic Council to deal with the overall question of what we do, and the Office of Management and Budget to better deal
with the question of how we do it.
-He also used his authority to create the new separate Environmental Protection Agency bringing together key programs for
setting environmental standards and abating pollution.
-Finally, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Was established in the Department of Commerce assembling major programs for measuring and dealing with important aspects of our environment.
The Congress allowed all of these measures to become effective.
This cooperative and time-tested executive-legislative approach to reorganization has shown itself to be sensible and effective, regardless of party alignments. It works to curtail ineffective organizational arrangemrents and to enable good managers to manage well.
The reorganization authority expires on April 1, 19-71. We urge that it be extended for two years to help the President. continue with a neverending task of providing sound machinery to administer our laws.
SinceelyGEORGE P. SHrLTZ,
23-836 0 78 7
A BILL To extend the period within which the President may transmit to the
Congress plans for reorganization of agencies of the Executive Branch of the
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatioes of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That section 905(b), title 5,
United States Code, is amended by striking out "April 1, 1971", and
inserting in lieu thereof "April 1, 1973".
TABLE I.-STATUTES PROVIDING REORGANIZATION AUTHORITY
Duration of ahority
Reorganization authority I and termination date Method of disapproval
Reorganization Act of 1932: Title IV of the Legisla- Permanent ------------------ Simple resolumon of eithe
tive Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1933. Public House.
Law 212. 72d Cong.
Acts of Mar. 3 ad Mar. 20. 1933: Amending and 2 years (Mar. 20, 1935) --------- No provision (enactment of
superseding the act of June 20, 1932. law required).
Reorganization Act of 1939: Public Law 19. 76th 2 years (Jan. 21, 1941) --------- Concurrent resolution.
Cong. (act of Apr. 3. 1939).
Title I of War Powers Act of 1941 (act of Dec. 18, Duration of war. plus 6 months, or Ne provision.
1941). such earlier time as designated
Reorganization Act of 1945: Public Law 263, 79th 2 years and 3 months (Apr. 1. Concurrent resolution
Con. (act of Dec. 20. 1945). 1948).
Reorganization Act of 1949: Public Law 109, 81st 4 years (Apr. 1. 1953) --------a Ma*t of authorized memeCong. (act of June 20. 1949). bership of either house:
Sate, 49; House, 218.
1953 amendment: Public Law 3. 33 Cong. (act of 2 years (Apr. 1, 1955) ............ Same as 1949 act.
Feb. 11. 1953).
1955 amendment: Public Law 16, 84th Con. (act 2 years (June 1, 1957) ----------- Do.
of Mar. 25. 1955).
1957 amendment: Public Law 86-286 (act of Sept. 2 years (June 1. 1959) --------- Simple resolution of either
4. 1957). House.
1961 amendment: Public Law 87-18 (act of Apr. 7, 2 yars (June 1. 1963) ----------- Do.
1964 amendment: Public Law W351 (act of July 2. 1 year (June 1. 1965) ------------ o.
1964) (no authority to create new executive
1965 amendment: Public Law 89.43 (act of June 18. 3 years. 6 months, and 13 days Do.
1965) (no authority to crest new executive (Dec. 31. 1968).
1969 amendment: Public Law 91-S (act of Mar. 27. 2 yeers (Apr. 1, 1971) ............ DI.
1969) (no authority to caet new executive
IThe Reorgnizabon Act of 1949. as amended, was codified and reenacted as pefiwe law by Public Law 1-454. Sept. 6. 1966, as amended by Public Law 043, Sept. 11, 1967. It is now referred to as ch. 9 of title 5. Ueoted Sltats Code (eecubve reorganization).
TABLE If.-SUMMARY OF ACTION ON REORGANIZATION PLANS SUBMITTED BETWEEN 139 AND 1t70
Plans 9 F I
RhorpnLza-on acts. extoenos and amendments submitted e tabe
1939 ............................................................. 5 5 0
1945 ........................................................... 7 4 3
1949 ...........-............................................... 41 29 11
1953 ............................................................ 12 12 0
1 55 ............................................................3 1 2
1957 ... ... ................................................. 2 1 1
1961 ............................................................ 10 6 4
1964............................................................ 5 5 0
1965 ........ .................................................... 12 11 1
1969 .................................................. 5 5 0
Total ..................................................... 102 '79 22
I The substance of Plan No. I of 1949 was incorporated in Public Law 216, 81s Cong (Au& 10. 1949), which provided that the plan %hall not take effect
TABLE Ill.-NUMBER Of REORGANIZATION PLANS SUBMITTED BY EACM PRE3IDENT AND DURATION OF REORGANIZATION AUTHORITY
[The following table shows the number of reorganization plans which were submitted by suato the Presidents who have been granted reorganiztion authority sie13 ln
Reoseve l t -- - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - -5
Truman ------------------------------------------------ 48
Eisenhwer--------------------------------------.--- ---- 17
Kennedy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 10
Action taken on reorganiation plans under authority of reorganization statutes, 8lst-9lst Congesses:
ACTION ON REORGANIZATION PLANS, SIST CONGRESS
REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1949
Plan Date presented Plan acepted or
No. Title to Congress rejected Elecbtiv date
I Department of Welfare-------------------------- June 20, 1949 Rejected-----2 Bureau of Employment Security----------------------- do ------ Accepted--------- Aug. 20.1949
3 Post Office Department------------------------------ do --------- do------------- Do.
4 National Security Council and National Security Resources_--do --------- do------------- Do.
5 Civil Seirvice Commission----------------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
6 Maritime Commissin ------------------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
7 Public Roads Administration -------------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
I National Mitry Eslablishment------------------- July 18, 1949 -----------------'IAug. 10. 1149
a REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1950
I Treasury Deparbsent. --------------------------Mart. 13,1950 Rejected........-2 Department of Justice------------------------------- do ------Accepted--------- May 24. 1950
3 Department of the Interior --------------------------- do.--------- do-------------DO.'
4 Department of Agriculture ----------------------------do -----Re fjected.......--5 Departmen~tof Commerce---------------------------- do ------ Accepted -----------Do0.
6 Department of Labor ------------------------------- do --------- do-------------Do0.
7 Interstate Commerc Commission---------------------- do ---ejeclod.......--I Federal Trade Comamission----------------- do---Accepted ----------- Do.
9 Federal Power Commission----------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
10 Securities and Exchange Commission ------------ do --------- do------------- Do.
I1 Federal Communications Cwnmissuon------------ do ------Rejected-----12 National Labor Relations Beard -----------------------d----doo. ........ -----13 Civil Aeronautics Board ----------------------------- do ------ Accepted -----------Do0.
14 Department of Labor ------------------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
15 A"&sh and Virgin Islands pubic works------------------ do --------- do------------- Do.
16 Assisonc to school districts and water pollution control---do --------- do-------------Do0.
17 Advance planning and war public works----------------- do --------- do-------------Do0.
18ildn an ----a--eet uali ------------- do-------- -.-do--------- -'July 1. 19,50
19 Employe opnsation functions -------------------- do --------- do ---------- May 24, 1950
20 Statutes atlag and other matters--------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
21 Maritime Commission ------------------------------- do --------- do------------- Do.
22 Federal National Mortgage Assciation --------------- May 9.19%0- d----------' ISept 7,1950
23 Loans for factory-built homes ------------------------- do---------do ------------ Do.
24 RtFC transfer to Department of Commerce ---------------- do -----Rejftected.......--25 National Security Resources Board------------------------...Accpted--------- July 9,1940
26 Treasury Department, functions of Secretary---------- May 31, 1950-d------doJuly 31, 1950
27 Creation of Department of tiflt, Education. and Security ---do -----Recte
'The substance of Plan No. I of 1949 was incorporated in Public: Law 216,.81st Cong&. (Aug. 10. 1149). which provided at the plan shall not take effect.
3 Effective date specified in the plan.
ACTION 01 REORGANIZATION PLANS, 12 CONGRESS REORGANIZATION PLAN OF 1951
PlMan Date pr-ented Plan accepted or
No. Title to Congress ejected Efctive dote
1 Reconstruction Finance Corporation -------------------- Feb. 19,1951 A ..........A.ee May 1, 1951
REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1952
1 Bureau of Internal Revenue -...................... Jan. 14,1952 Aepted ........... Mar. 14.1956
2 Post Office Department ----------------------......... Apr. 10,1952 Rejected .
3 Bureau of Customs in Treasury Department ----------- do--- do ............ dii..
4 Department of Justice U.S. marshal: ------------------------- do ............ do ------------5 District of Columbia government! --------------------- May 1, 1952 Accepted ........... July 1, 1962
ACTION ON REORGANIZATION PLANS. 83D CONGRESS REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1953
Plan de p3esented Plan Iptd or
No. Title to rejected Effective dote
I Department of Health, Education. and Welfare ......... Mar. 12,1953 Accepted I...--------- Apr. 11,1953
2 Department of Agriculture ---------------------------- Mar. 25. 1953 _--do ............. June 4,1953
3Oftce of Defense Mobilization ------------------------ Apr. 2,1953 .-.do ----------- June 12,1953
4 Department of Justice --------------------------------- Apr. 20,1953 ----do ----------- June 20,1953
5 Export-import Bank of Waslhington -------------------- Apr. 30,1953 _--do ............. June 30,1953
6 Department of Defense ----------------------------------- do ---------- do ------------- Do.
7 Foreign Operations Administration -------------------- June 1,1953 -...do .----- ----- Ag. 1, 1953
8 U.S. Information Agency ---------------------------------- do ---------- do ............. Do.
9 Council of Economic Advisers ---------------------- do-- .do ............. Do.
10 Payments to air carriers ------------------------- do------- do --------- -- --- Oct. 1, 1953
REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 1954
I Foro n Claims Settlement Commission of Uhe United Apr. 29,1954 Accepted--------...July 1. 1354
2 Liquidation of certain agaun of the Rmetarction Finance .-...do ............ do ------------- Do.
I Public Law 13, 83d Con (Apr. 1, 19S3) was enacted to provide that plan take el 10 days a t ppml. Repeed by Public Law 19-195 (Sept. 4. 1961).
I Repaid by Public Law 85-726 (Aug. 23. 1956).
ACTION ON REORGANIZATION PLANS. 34TH CONGRESS REORGANIZATION PLANS OF 196
Plan Dato presented Plan a t
No. Tiles to congm s reetdmacwedt
I OpOtmwmt Of Defense .........................- 9% J -i' ..........
2 Federl Savings and Looe Insuran Corporation ....May 17, 1956 ..... do-, ..........
ACTION ON REORGANIZATION PLANS, 85TH CONGRESS REORGANIZATION PLAN OF 1957
Plan Dote presented Plan a I etle or
No. Title b Congresit ictoo Eective date
I Abolition of the Rconstruction Finance Corporation ...... Apt. 21,1957 Acepted ........... JU 30,11957
REORGANIZATION PLAN OF 1956
I Conoslidatlon of Federal Civil Defense Administraim wt Apr. 24,1958 Aomptld ........... I July 135W
Oft" of Dofews Mobuization.
Elective date Itdc IIa the pea,