The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government

The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government

The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government

The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government

Excerpt

The reader may wisely bear in mind two factors which distinguish this book. First, few Government reports are "best sellers." Second, few attempts to reorganize the Federal Government have greatly excited public interest. Yet this report, in a far less manageable form, has already had wide circulation. It is believed that this is due to a public demand for information about Government reorganization that is without precedent.

Now for a guess at the reasons. It is worth noting that the unofficially famous "Hoover Commission" was officially christened, by the Congress which created it, "The Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government." Observe that this avoids the commonly used term, "reorganization," and hews to the real point which seems to be this: The Executive Branch has never been organized.

Here we speak of "organization" in common-sense business terms. The Government was not organized in George Washington's day nor was it in the time of Andrew Jackson. This worried Jackson and he tried to do something about it. Most Presidents have worried and tried since then. Among them were Presidents Taft, Wilson, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Truman. In turn they attempted to solve the problem by means of commissions, executive orders, and legislation. All met with scant success.

The Executive Branch under Mr. Hoover cost $4 billion a year to operate, and employed 600,000 persons. Lacking proper organization, it laid, even then, a great burden upon the Executive. Today, it requires an annual budget of $42 billion and employs 2,100,000 persons in an intricate structure of 1,816 assorted departments, bureaus, sections, divisions, administrations, etc. Manifestly no mere mortal President can carry the responsibility for personal direction of this establishment and have any time left for the broader duties of his office. What he cannot delegate officially he is forced either to delegate unofficially or neglect completely. The result, in either instance, is bound to be just what we . . .

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