The Executive Office of the President: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Guide

The Executive Office of the President: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Guide

The Executive Office of the President: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Guide

The Executive Office of the President: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Guide

Synopsis

Government experts provide the first reference history of the Executive Office of the President from its establishment in 1939 through the Bush Administration. Eleven chapters analyze the concept behind the office, its organization and reorganization, and how it developed over the last 55 years in terms of the broad functions that it serves. Chapters offer a careful, dispassionate survey of the office in terms of budget, management, and personnel; economics; national security; science and technology; exigency and emergency; resources development; domestic policy planning; the office of the Vice-President; and reorganizations, presidential style, and staffing matters. This reference is enriched also by biographical profiles of important staff members in the office during the last half-century, descriptions of different agencies, a chronology, and a bibliography.

Excerpt

On a cold, clear mid-January day in 1987, a small, distinguished group of interested individuals gathered for a conference on the campus of the University of Virginia. They had come to Charlottesville to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the report of the President's Committee on Administrative Management. This panel was remembered then, as it is today, for a simple, but profound, observation : "The President needs help." It recommended in 1937 a slight expansion of presidential staff, reorganization authority for the chief executive, and strengthened personnel, fiscal, and planning management. It also brought a new concept to the American presidency—administrative management. The president was in need of new tools and capabilities for management and administrative supervision of the government, said the committee. Administrative management stood apart from the traditional views of executive branch structure and reorganization : efficiency and economy of operation were to give way to centralized presidential control over programs, resource allocation, and decision making.

The members of the committee would work for, and see the general realization of, their recommendations in a somewhat unanticipated way in 1939. Congress had ignored the 1937 report. Two years later, the president was granted a slight expansion of his White House staff and qualified reorganization authority. In his first reorganization plan, Franklin D. Roosevelt (F. D. R.) indicated that certain agencies were to be transferred to the Executive Office of the President (EOP) but offered no explanation of that entity. After Congress accepted this and another plan, F. D. R. issued E. O. 8248, formally organizing the Executive Office and, thereby, defining it in terms of its components. Placed within the EOP were personnel, fiscal, and planning management entities to assist the president.

The chairman of the President's Committee on Administrative Management . . .

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