Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

you are convinced that considerable savings are resulting by reason of this change.

Mr. McNEIL. That is correct, sir.

As Secretary Johnson stated earlier in this hearing, our experience thus far makes us certain that the full implementation of title IV will permit management improvement at all levels in the Department of Defense. We are confident that title IV will provide adequate and timely information for the Bureau of the Budget and congressional committees, which will permit them to have a much clearer picture of each military program, its content, its costs, its contemplated changes, and its rate of progress.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McNeil, I think you have been rather thorough in the presentation out of your experience under title IV of the amendments that were adopted last year to the National Security Act. I have only one or two questions that I wish to ask you. I think you have covered it rather thoroughly.

I should like to know whether you consider that the pending bill provides any particular advantages or benefits to the Department of Defense, in addition to those of title IV under which you are now operating, or if the enactment of this bill would in any way affect the Department of Defense adversely or subtract from the authority you now have or in any way interfere with the further development of the program that you are now pursuing.

Mr. McNEIL. With the exception of the repeal provisions which the Secretary mentioned and excepting for a moment the provision for the Accountant General, I know of nothing else in the bill which would adversely affect it. Neither would the provisions help us unless we find that the five percent transfer authority might be helpful.

The CHAIRMAN. That is the only provision in the bill, if it is applicable to your department, that you think would be of some advantage or benefit, in other words, that would implement to your advantage title IV of the amendments to the Security Act?

Mr. McNEIL. Because several provisions of this bill are word for word with title IV of the National Security Act.

The CHAIRMAN. Of course, you will check for us and give us a memorandum on these repeal provisions. You made reference there to the Accountant General provision. You have had considerable experience and have made many studies, I am sure, of governmental operations. Would you care to comment on title II of the bill, which is quite controversial, I may say, with reference to establishing an Accountant General's Office? You have pointed out in your testimony that there has developed—I do not know to what extent it did not exist before, but obviously there has now developed a spirit of cooperation between the legislative branch, as represented not only by Congress and the congressional committees, but by its agency, the Comptroller General—and the Treasury and the Budget and the National Defense Department. By reason of such cooperation you are actually able to resolve difficulties and solve your problems of budgeting, accounting, and so forth, very satisfactorily. Is that correct?

Mr. McNEIL. Yes. We are making progress that 3 years ago I would not have dreamed possible. Three years ago I think—this is a personal view-I would have favored this or anything else which would provide some direction toward improvement of accounting for management purposes.

The CHAIRMAN. Assume that title II does have real merit and its general objectives are highly desirable, from your observations and from your experience and from what you related with reference to the development of cooperation during the last 2 years, would you say to this committee that such legislation should be enacted now, in the midst of this program or effort that is now being put forth and apparently is making satisfactory progress? Or should legislation of this character be deferred for the present at least until you can determine definitely whether the voluntary procedures that are being adopted will be adequate. What would you say about that? Should we risk interfering with that now by enacting this legislation? That is what I am trying to determine.

Mr. McNEIL. I would recommend, sir, that part II as to the establishment of the Accountant General be deferred at least at this time; kept in mind, perhaps, for some future time if the Congress finds that the cooperative approach is not producing tangible results.

The CHAIRMAN. In other words, do you consider that any greater progress could be made than is now being made if Title II were promptly enacted into law, or would you feel that it might rather retard the program that you now have under way rather than expedite it?

Mr. McNEIL. I certainly do not think it would speed up the process. I should like to give you my reason for it, if I may.

The CHAIRMAN. I would be glad to have it.

Mr. McNEIL. First, the cooperative approach, which is very satisfying in the progress that is being made, is under way with a full head of steam. The establishment of a separate office would disrupt that and I think cause come delays in the progress that otherwise has been made at this time. Second, I think a great deal of thought would have to be given to the location of such an office, if it were established, and making certain that its function was confined to being a focal point for the executive department and that the proper relationships with Congress had been clearly established. I think probably that adequate thought has not been given to that phase of the problem. I would have some doubts myself that it should be in any one department. The Treasury has some very competent people. They are working with us splendidly. I hope that we are reciprocating, because we realize we are just one agency of the Federal Government and that our end product must fit in with the end product of the others in order that the Treasury may know their position adequately and timely. But I do not think we should lose sight of one thing, and that is that accounting goes away beyond the keeping of our cash accounts. Secretary Johnson touched upon it earlier. Actually we want our accounting to show our costs of activities, what it is costing us to do business at posts, camps, stations, and ships.

The costs include many things that are not directly affected in the cash accounts; the use of property, for example. So I question whether an agency whose primary responsibilities are the carrying of the cash accounts of the Government are just by nature the ones to develop accounting for use of management, and that is really what we want accounting for.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. McNeil, I believe this is an accurate statement: So far as I can ascertain, at least so far as this committee has been informed by reports from the different agencies of government affected, no one in the Government now favors the enactment of title II. It seems that the advocacy of it comes from without the Government. I do not always personally accept everything the head of an agency may say, but I do feel that since the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch rendered its reports, not only the Congress and its agencies, but the public generally, have become pretty conscious of the need of reorganization and of taking such action to implement the Hoover Commission recommendations as may be necessary to effectuate these economies and efficiencies that are hoped for. When we come to legislation, when we find all the affected agencies of government agreeing that they have been able to achieve or are in process of achieving something by voluntary cooperation and mutual assistance and counsel and effort, I just wonder if we are not going to achieve what everyone is interested in, both those who advocate the legislation and those who say now it probably would not be beneficial to enact it at this time.

Mr. McNEIL. It would be my thought, sir, that the Congress might well keep an eye on the progress that is being made through the present mechanism. If at some time, 3 years, 5 years, or later, it is found that adequate progress is not being made, I think it might well be time to consider the establishment of some focal point in the executive department but it is my own opinion that at this time nothing would be gained by the establishment of this agency in this form,

The CHAIRMAN. If that should be true, if it is determined that that is true, then we probably would be doing a disservice to the objectives that we all desire—those who are very anxious to see this general reorganization program put into effect and those in the Government who have the responsibility both in the legislative branch and in the executive branch for implementing and putting these recommendations into effect.

Frankly, there are some aspects of title II that I am not in favor of, but I would be willing to enact any legislation that would expedite and help to attain the general objectives that this legislation seeks. What I am trying to develop from just as impartial sources as we can find, and from those who sponsor and advocate this provision of the bill when they appear, is to find out whether it is really in the public interest.

I appreciate your testimony very much. You might indicate, if you will, whether this change in the budget arrangement has caused an increase in personnel or whether you have been able to decrease the personnel in this particular field.

Mr. McNEIL. Your question has reference just to the actual process of developing, supporting, justifying a budget and administering the programs afterward?

The CHAIRMAN. Wherever work has been involved in the past under the old budgeting system and which is continued under the new system, I do not know whether you can. Can you make any comparison of the personnel and the cost of preparing the budget under the old system and that under the new?

Mr. McNEIL. Not in figures as yet, for this reason: In any year in which you make the conversion you have in effect a double load, because you have your information coming through the old channels in the old categories. In the year in which a conversion is made you must take this information and show how you would have constructed your budget on the old basis and separately show how the distribution would fall under the new basis. So in the first year you have night work.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you anticipate that when the new program is fully established and in operation throughout the department, it will require more or less personnel to prepare and present the budget?

Mr. McNEIL. Considerably less, sir. If I may give you one example. In the past, and this has been true generally throughout the Government, particularly in the larger and more complex agencies, nearly everything that was carried on by that agency was financed from 5 to 20 different appropriations. In other words, little bits and pieces of everything an agency did would be found in separate appropriations. Under this all of the funds will be in one place. The number of allotments required to administer it will be reduced sharply, and those are work-creating documents. So the implementation of this will require less personnel to get adquate and timely information, but there will be no comparison in my view as to the management type of information that is provided to the people heading agencies.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hoey, would you care to question the witness?

Senator HOEY. Mr. McNeil, I notice in this bill that all the sections in title IV, which includes pages 17 to 31, inclusive, deal with repeals of statutes or parts of statutes. Is that made necessary because of any legislation preceding this bill, or is it just for the purpose of repealing measures that this bill has made it unnecessary to have in existence?

Mr. McNEIL. Just before you came, sir, Secretary Johnson was speaking to this point. We have assigned the general counsel of the Department of Defense to make a study of these repeal provisions. Right at this point I do not know whether they are all necessary and just why some of them appear here. We are going to make a report to this committee, however, on that.

Senator Hoer. I did not know that happened. I just wondered about the necessity of these repeals, whether it was because of this bill or because of other legislation previously passed.

Mr. McNEIL. We are going to submit a report on that.

The CHAIRMAN. They are going to check each one of these provisions and give us a report on it. Mr. McNeil

, I surely thank you very much. You and the Secretary both have certainly been very cooperative and helpful to the committee, and we appreciate it. If you will let us have this memorandum on the items which we have discussed, the committee will appreciate it very much. I want to thank you for your presence.

Mr. McNEIL. We will send them to you. Thank you, sir. (The information to be furnished follows:)

63233_5047

THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE,

Washington, March 23, 1950. Hon. John L. McCLELLAN, Chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,

United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR: On February 28, 1950, Mr. McNeil, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, and I testified before your committee on S. 2054.

I was asked about the effect on the Department of Defense of the repeal of the86 laws in section 40 of the bill. Mr. McNeil was asked whether section 30 would apply to the Department.

Both questions have been studied by my legal staff. I enclose for your infor-mation à memorandum covering these points addressed to me by my general counsel. The memorandum concludes that repeal of the laws listed in section 40 will not affect the operations of the Department of Defense, and that section 30.if enacted, will apply to the Department. With kindest personal regards, I am, Sincerely yours,

LOUIS JOHNSON. Enclosure.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE,

Washington, D. C., March 23, 1950. Memorandum for the Secretary. Subject: S. 2054.

In the course of testimony by you and the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr.. McNeil, on S. 2054, the committee asked the following questions:

1. Whether the laws repealed by section 40 will affect the operations of theDepartment of Defense.

2. Whether section 30, if enacted, will apply to the Department of Defense. You advised the committee that these questions would be checked by the legal. staff and a memorandum forwarded for the committee's information.

The repeal of the laws listed in section 40 will not affect the Department of Defense. Each of the laws was examined by a joint group composed of a representative of the office of counsel, a representative of the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Comptroller, and representatives of the three military departments. Many are obsolete and have not been used for years; others have been superseded by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921; the remainder become obsolete by virtue of other sections in S. 2054. I, therefore, recommend that you advise the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments of the Senate that the repeal of the laws listed in section 40 will not affect the operations of the Department and that their repeal is approved.

With reference to the second question listed above, it is my opinion that section: 30, if enacted, will apply to the Department of Defense.

FELIX E. LARKIN,

General Counsel. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bartelt? Will you come forward, please, sir?

I am very sorry we had to keep you waiting so long. If you will proceed, the committee will be very glad to hear you.

STATEMENT OF EDWARD F. BARTELT, FISCAL ASSISTANT SECRE

TARY OF THE TREASURY, ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT W. MAXWELL, COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS, AND GILBERT L. CAKE, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS, TREASURY DEPART-MENT

Mr. BARTELT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: I am glad to be here today to represent the Treasury Department at the hearings on Senate bill 2054.

In response to the committee's request, the views of the Treasury Department on this bill were expressed in its letter of October 4, 1949.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »