« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
appreciate being given an opportunity to express its views on any changes which your committee may consider with respect to this matter."
The letter of the Bureau of the Budget generally agrees with the part I budget aspects, and the part III repealers of S. 2054. With relation to part II accounting aspects, however, disagreement with many of its provisions prompts the Budget Bureau suggestion that part II be dropped from the bill pending further work under the joint accounting project of the General Accounting Office, Treasury Department, and Bureau of the Budget. The detailed letter of the Bureau of the Budget follows:
“This bill, for the most part, would give statutory effect to certain recommendations of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government dealing with budgeting and accounting. In my letter to you dated July 5 (see pp. 29 and 142) I expressed views on recommendations of the Commission which affect the Bureau of the Budget, some of which are now covered in this bill. I will refer below to the views expressed in this earlier letter as they pertain to specific provisions of S. 2054.
"I am in general accord with the provisions of part I of the bill, which part pertains to the Bureau of the Budget and the budget process. I am, however, suggesting certain modifications, including deletion of one section of this part and modification of another. In addition, I am suggesting that you may wish to add one new section which would adopt a recommendation of the Commission not now covered in the bill On the other hand, I am in disagreement with many of the provisions of part II of the bill, pertaining to accounting. In view of objectives of the present joint program of the General Accounting Office, the Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Budget looking toward major improvement in Federal financial administration, I suggest that part II be dropped from the bill and that consideration of legislation dealing with accounting be deferred until the extent and nature of such legislation can be more definitely determined I am in concurrence with part III of the bill, which provides for the repeal of a number of acts or parts of acts presently codified in title 31 of the United States Code, and am suggesting the incorporation of three additional provisions in this part My specific comments and suggestions are presented below in the approximate order in which the provisions appear in the bill
“Section 2 (a of part I, amending section 201 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, provides that the President will submit the budget to Congress during the first 3 months of each regular session of Congress instead of 'on the first day of each regular session, as presently required. This provision would permit a certain amount of flexibility with respect to the date for submission of the budget. In this connection, I recognize that, while certain advantages would be gained by submission of the President's budget to Congress closer to the beginning of the fiscal year, later submission, on the other hand, would pose a major question in regard to congressional timing and procedures for handling the budget. While I have no objection to the more flexible provision included in this section, it would be necessary that the exact date for submitting the budget be determined in a manner that would best suit the requirements of both the President and the Congress.
"I am in concurrence with the provisions of sections 2 (b), 2 (c), 2 (d), and 2 (e) of the bill. Section 2 (b), which amends section 204 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, provides a desirable clarification with respect to the authority of the President to determine the contents, order, classification, and arrangement of proposed appropriations and estimates included in the budget. Sections 2 (c) and 2 (e), which amend sections 214 and 216 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, make the head of each department and establishment responsible for preparation and submission to the Bureau of the Budget of annual and supplemental or deficiency estimates; while these sections do not alter present practices, they bring provisions of the Budget and Accounting Act in line with recommendations of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch stressing the responsibility of the department head for budget formulation. Section 2 (d), which amends section 215 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, to permit the President to prescribe the date for submission of departmental estimates to the Bureau of the Budget instead of requiring their submission on September 15, is desirable in that it permits flexibility in setting the date for submission of departmentai estimates to the Bureau of the Budget.
“I have no objections to section 3 of the bill, which changes the name of the Bureau of the Budget to the Office of the Budget, and I endorse section 4, which deals with functions of the Director of the Budget with regard to Government
statistical activities. My letter of July 5 commented on the Commission's recommendations dealing with these two points.
"While I agree with the objective sought by section 5 of the bill, which authorizes the Director of the Budget, at the direction of the President, to develop programs for improvement of agency field services, I do not feel it' desirable or necessary that the bill include this section as now constituted. In my letter of July 5, Í pointed out that the Bureau was in agreement that a comprehensive management study of the Federal field services, as recommended by the Commission, should be made. No legislative authorization is needed, however, for the Bureau of the Budget to undertake the staff work recommended by the Commission or for the President to direct the Bureau of the Budget to conduct such work. Furthermore, I do not consider it desirable to include a provision in the bill dealing with this one problem of Government management as distinct from others that need attention now or that will confront us in future years.
“I suggest, however, that there would be merit in providing a more general statement of the Bureau's responsibility for dealing with problems of Government organization and management. As a means of providing such a general statement, I recommend that section 5 be reworded to amend section 209 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, which section now provides that the Bureau of the Bugdet shall, at the direction of the President, make a study of the departments and establishments with the general objective of securing greater economy and efficiency in the conduct of the public service.' Revision of section 209 might be considered in order to specify more clearly that the Bureau of the Budget shall provide continuing assistance to the President with respect to improving the organization and management of the executive branch. More specifically, I propose that section 5 of S. 2054 be changed to read as follows:
" "SEC. 5. Section 209 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, as amended, is amended to read as follows:
r "Sec. 209. In addition to the other functions vested by law in the Director of the Budget, the Director, as and when directed by the President and subject to the supervision and control of the President, is authorized and directed to evaluate, and develop improved plans for, the organization, coordination, and management of the executive branch of the Government, and to aid the President to bring about more efficient and economical conduct of the Government service."
“Section 6 of the proposed bill transfers to the President functions with respect to determining personnel ceilings now vested in the Director of the Budget by the Federal Employees Pay Act of 1945, as amended. As pointed out in my letter of July 5, I am in agreement with this recommendation, and feel that, if personnel ceilings are to be fixed, authority should be vested in the President. However, as pointed out in that letter, I do not believe the setting of personnel ceilings is a necessary control at this time since it accomplishes nothing which could not be achieved through strengthened budgetary controls. This view was expressed by the President in his budget message of 1948 (p. M 57), when he also recommended the repeal of the statutory provisions for personnel ceiling determinations. In view of this recommendation of the President, I propose that section 6 of S. 2054 be deleted and that there be added to part III of the bill a provision to repeal sections of the Federal Employees Pay Act of 1945 dealing with personnel ceilings.
"The Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch also recommended that the authority of the President to reduce expenditures under appropriations be clarified, pointing out that 'present law and practice are not clear on whether or not the Budget Bureau and the President have the right to reduce appropriated amounts during the year for which they were provided. This recommendation of the Commission is not now covered in S. 2054 but would be accomplished by another bill, S. 2161, now before your committee. The Bureau advised you on July 26 that it saw no reason why this bill, subject to a technical amendment suggested at that time, should not receive the prompt and favorable consideration of the Congress. It is my suggestion that, in order to bring into a single bill, measures dealing with the budget process, you may wish to incorporate the provisions of S. 2161 as an added section of S. 2054.
“My views in disagreement with certain recommendations on accounting of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch were set forth in my letter of July 5. These recommendations would be given legal effect in part II of S. 2054 by
“(a) Section 20, which provides for the creation of an Accounting Service in the Department of the Treasury, headed by an Accountant General;
(6) Section 21, which provides that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to prescribe general accounting methods, practices, and procedures subject
to a provision of section 22 which gives the Comptroller General the power to approve or disapprove proposed regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury insofar as they prescribe forms, systems, or procedures for administrative appropriation and fund accounting;
"(c) Section 22, which provides (1) that the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Comptroller General, authorized to issue regulations and opinions as to the application, scope, and availability of appropriations, and (2) that the Comptroller General shall prescribe the forms, systems, and procedures for the administrative examination of fiscal officers' accounts and claims and for the audit and settlement of such accounts; and
“(d) Section 24, which provides that the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller General shall jointly prepare and, with the approval of the President, issue regulations governing the accounting and control of public moneys.
“As stated in my letter of July 5, I believe that the basic weakness of the Commission's recommendations dealing with accounting and auditing is the lack of clear assignments of responsibility to the executive and legislative branches for the performance of these separate but closely related functions. I pointed out that the Bureau of the Budget subscribes generally to the belief that accounting is an administrative function and should be the responsibility of the executive branch; and that, on the other hand, suitable provisions should be made to furnish advice and recommendations to the Congress based on an independent audit made by an agency under congressional control. It is my feeling that the Commission proposals, as well as the above-mentioned sections of S. 2054, not only fail to provide a clear definition of responsibility but also would make it impossible for either branch of the Government to move without full concurrence of the other.
"Other provisions of part II of the bill would, in my opinion, accomplish desirable objectives. These are section 23 (a), which authorizes the Comptroller General to conduct examiations and audits at places where accounts are regularly kept and provides further that 'accounts, vouchers, and documents shall not be required to be transmitted to Washington;' and sectoin 23 (b) which authorizes the Comptroller General to audit and settle accounts on the basis of spot checks, sampling, and other checking processes. It is my feeling, however, that neither these provisions nor those of other sections of part II of S. 2054 should be enacted into law at the present time. In view of the joint program to improve Government accounting now under way, under the auspices of the Bureau of the Budget, the General Accounting Office, and the Treasury Department, it is my opinion that the approach taken in this joint project is best suited to securing immediate results. As work progresses on this program, needed changes in legislation will be identified and proposed.
“Part III of the bill would repeal 85 specific laws or parts of laws which are codified in title 31 of the United States Code. Most of these laws have been found impracticable of application under the uniform budget system contemplated by the Budget and Accounting Act and many of them gradually have fallen into disuse. Although none of these laws was specifically repealed by the Budget and Accounting Act, it would seem that, as a matter of law, many of them have been repealed by implication. However, since the code constitutes prima facie evidence of the law, the fact that these statutes have been retained in the code has led to some confusion, and it is highly desirable that they be specifically repealed.
“I suggest, however, the incorporation in section 30 of provisions for repeal of two additional laws. The first of these is proposed in order to carry out my earlier recommendation for elimination of personnel ceilings. To accomplish this purpose, I suggest that there be added to subsection 30 (a) a new clause, as follows:
‘(86) Section 607 of the Act of June 30, 1945, 59 Stat. 304, as amended (5 U.S. C. 947).'
"The second law that I recommend for repeal is the act of March 3, 1875, which required that there be submitted as a part of the appendix to the book of estimates such extracts from the annual reports of the several heads of the departments and bureaus as related to estimates for appropriations and the necessity therefor. Under the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, and under the provisions of S. 2054, material supporting the estimates included in the budget would be prepared and presented in such form as the President might require, and it is to be presumed that the requirements already imposed or to be imposed hereafter by the President would provide for the inclusion in the budget of pertinent information with respect to estimates of appropriations and the necessity therefor. Hence, there would be no need for inclusion in the budget of further statements of a similar nature, particularly when such information previously had been submitted to the Congress by the department heads in their reports. Further, the inclusion of such statements in the budget would tend to conflict with the uniform presentation of budget estimates and supporting material therefor, since some departments would have such statements in their annual reports and others might not. The information contemplated by the statute appears to be of the type which, as a matter of current practice, the heads of departments or bureaus would present when they appeared before the appropriations committees in support of the estimates. The statements contemplated by the 1875 statute are not now included in the budget, and repeal of the statute is highly desirable so that it may be eliminated from the code. In order to accomplish this, it is suggested that a new clause be added to the list of statutes repealed by subsection 30 (a), as follows:
'(87) Section 3 of the Act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat. 370; U. S. C., title 31, sec. 624).'
“Finally, I suggest that a new subsection be added to section 30 in order to insure, primarily in connection with the repeals provided in this bill, continuity of authority for certain expenditures in the event specific titles of appropriation items are changed or eliminated. Certain of the statutes which would be repealed by subsection 30 (a) provide for payment of expenditures for particular objects or purposes from appropriation items which are referred to in such statutes by the specific title used for the appropriation items in the annual appropriation acts. Also, there are many other statutes which provide for payment of various types of expenditures from appropriation items which are referred to by the specific titles used in the appropriation acts. Having in mind that it frequently has been found necessary to consolidate or rearrange appropriation estimates under different titles as different situations arise, and that the institution of performance budgeting likely will result in a great number of such consolidations and rearrangements, it would seem desirable to make certain that such authorized expenditures will be payable from the corresponding appropriation resulting from any such consolidation or rearrangement of appropriations under different titles. In order to accomplish this purpose, it is suggested that a new subsection be added to section 30 as follows:
''(c) Whenever any law authorizes expenditures for a particular object or purpose to be made from an appropriation item referred to in such law by the specific title theretofore used for that appropriation item in the appropriation act concerned, and thereafter such title is changed or is eliminated from such appropriation act, expenditures for such object or purpose thereafter may be made from the corresponding appropriation item in such appropriation act.
The CHAIRMAN. Following the introduction of the original bill and the approval of the budget and accounting provisions under title IV of Public Law 216 known as the National Security Act amendments of 1949, amendments were filed by Senator McCarthy to conform in general to the language contained in this act. The committee has combined the original bill and the amendments into a committee print, dated February 23, 1950. The hearings will be held on the committee print, and I shall ask the reporter to insert in the record at this point a summary of the changes made in the original bill.
(The summary referred to follows:) The amendment to S. 2054, submitted by Senator McCarthy, amends the original part I on budgeting, leaves part II on accounting unchanged, inserts a new part III on appropriations, and renumbers as part IV the original part III which repeals 86 provisions related to budget estimates.
Amendments proposed to part I would (a) strengthen presidential control over the form and content of annual estimates under performance budgeting; (b) apply a uniform title of Office of the Budget; and (c) insert 2-year transitory provisions for appropriation transfers when performance budgeting is introduced. The new part III would (a) permanently permit departmental transfers between appropriations up to a maximum of 5 percent; (b) permit the President to withhold appropriated funds when the intent of Congress can be accomplished with lesser amounts, and (c) clarify the prorating of appropriations when departments are reorganized.
The CHAIRMAN. We have invited representatives of the Bureau of the Budget, the Department of the Treasury, and the General Accounting Office to testify on this measure, and to present a factual report regarding the administrative progress made toward the adoption of the performance budgeting phase of the Hoover Commission report. These agencies have for some time been engaged in a study of these problems, particularly since the submission of the Hoover Commission recommendation, and it is my understanding that considerable progress has been made in some areas which they will outline in the testimony that they may submit.
In addition, the Department of Defense is being requested to provide the committee with a report relative to its experience with the performance budgeting provisions as established under the provisions. of title IV of the National Security Act amendments of 1949.
Then, following the submission of testimony by Government witnesses, and by representatives of Government agencies affected, the committee will hear representatives of the Hoover Commission task force who were instrumental in formulating the supporting data on which the Commission's recommendations were based. We shall also afford opportunities to others who have made studies and who wish to make a contribution to the consideration of this measure by giving us the benefit of their views and comments.
In the preparation of testimony by witnesses, I suggest that their task may be considerably eased by their examination of much related material printed in chapter No. 7 on Budgeting and Accounting in the report of this Committee on Progress on Hoover Commission Recommendations, which can be found in Senate Report 1158.
At this point in the record we shall insert a committee print of the bill which contains the proposed amendments to the original bill, which amendments we shall consider along with the bill.
(The bill referred to follows:)
(Committee print, February 23, 1950) Showing the Differences Between S. 2054 as Introduced and the Amendments of August 1, 1949, Proposed by Senator McCarthy. Matter printed in roman type appears in the bill as introduced. Matter printed in line type is proposed to be stricken out by the amendments. Matter printed in italic type is proposed to be inserted.
(S. 2054, 81st Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To authorize the President to determine the form of the national budget and of departmental
estimates, to modernize and simplify Government accounting and auditing methods and procedures, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress, assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Budget and Accounting Procedures Act, 1949”.
PART 1—THE BUDGET AND ME OFFICE OF ME BYBABT
BUDOET AND DEPARTMENTAL ESTIMATES TO BE H FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE
SEC. 2 10. (a) So much of section 201 of the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, as amended, as precedes subsection (a) thereof thereof, is amended to read as follows:
“Sec. 201. The President shall, during the first three months of each regular session of Congress, transmit to Congress the Budget. The So far as practicable, the Budget shall be in such form as the President may determine, but there determine to be necessary or appropriate so as to estimate, account for, and report the cost