was a super or overriding task force. The Hoover Commission bodily adopted the recommendations of the Committee.
The most obvious opportunity to make real savings in
the cost of government is in the Department of Defense,
because it has three-fourths of the government's payroll
and more than 60 per cent of its total budget.
Many weaknesses discovered in the Defense Department are due to the expansion of the military services in
twenty years from a civilian personnel of 140,000 to
1,180,000 and a military personnel from 250,000 to nearly
three million. Many of these systems, efficient in the
smaller dimensions of the past, are inefficient today. When
task forces, the Commission said, pointed out examples of
the workings of these outmoded systems, it was for the
purpose of illustration and not in criticism of officials or
departments or agencies. Officials have struggled manfully
with these tangles and have brought about many improvements. Considering the difficulties under which they labor,
the Defense Department is better administered than might
have been expected, it was observed.
The Department of Defense, which is the largest organization of government, consumes one-seventh of the national income. It employes 4,300,000 people, or more than
twice the manpower of the country's ten largest corporations combined. Its assets, real and personal, approximate
$140 billion, which is equal to the value of all priVately-
owned land in the United States. Its activities extend
throughout the forty-eight states, to 16,000 cities and
abroad to fifty-two other countries.
The Hoover Commission underscored need for continuing improvements in the organization of the Department
of Defense to accomplish three objectives:
1. Clear and unchallenged direction of the entire
defense establishment by the Secretary of Defense, the
Secretaries of the three military departments, and their
2. Logical delegation of responsibilities to the members
of the secretariats, so that each has a manageable set of
duties and adequate authority to carry them out.
3. Close teamwork among all members of the top executive organization, including the members of the secretariats and those responsible for the military command
of the operating forces.
In addition, the Committee urged recognition of the
importance of providing capable career assistants to each
member of each secretariat, and that continuity be improved by having staff positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense increasingly filled by trained career specialists.
BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING
A revitalized Bureau of the Budget that would apply
methods which private business has found essential to
successful and economical operation can bring improved
financial management to government agencies, with savings estimated by a task force at $4 billion a year.
A report with twenty-five recommendations to accomplish these objectives constituted one main part of the
Hoover Commission's work.
The Bureau of the Budget has long had responsibility
for furthering adequate accounting and financial methods
on the executive agencies. Yet, in the Commission's opinion, it is evident that sufficient recognition has not been
given to this responsibility.
The Commission recommended that the Bureau's name
be changed to "The Office of Budget and Executive Man
agement," and said: "Budgeting is far more importan
than preparing figures and estimates of proposed cxpendi Jn- an
tures. The budgeting functions are vital to the whole con [' "'"'
duct of government. In the preparation of the budget li< ked f<
not only the control of departmental expenditures, bu P*a*er
the power to insist on efficient methods in management o s^arch
the spending agencies. Within an effective budgeting sys *ne '
tern lies the restoration of the full control of the nationa ent is
purse to Congress." ,""'*'' '
The task force stated that under present procedure! °n red
there is no effective control over expenditures either 1'!,,' ' ;l
Congress or by the executive branch. ., the
Among the major problems for which the Commissioi > fee
recommended solutions is that of huge unexpended appro
priations carried forward from year to year, running a
high as $78,400,000,000 for fiscal year 1954, $68 billion fa The C
1955, and an estimated $53,900,000,000 for 1956. rate adm
The Commission recommended that congressional appro ties, and
priations as well as the executive budget be made in terri Wises o
of estimated annual accrued expenditures, namely charge The (j
for the costs of goods and services to be received. °n the su
Proper accounting methods are needed in governmef"0' legal
as well as in industry, the Commission said, to provio B*reer si
information which is basic to effective management. 1 Wy.
has been estimated that 910,000 full-time employees an Chief
tens of thousands of additional man-years in part-tin ('*v Veil
efforts are needed to compile the financial facts whi< '°ulcl Ik
government agencies need, and to assure the public:
integrity in government spending.
OVERSEAS ECONOMIC OPERATIONS
Despite mistakes and waste, foreign aid, which has cl
American taxpayers more than $50 billion since the el
of World War II, should be continued, but not in countfi
which no longer need economic assistance; and should
reorganized and economically administered, with the p Woy(,
mary purpose of strengthening the security of the Unit
States. Such was the view of the Hoover Commissi11
which made eleven recommendations in this departmj
The Commission cited President Eisenhower's statem*
that, inasmuch as the European countries originally m0
bers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization H
reached the greatest industrial productivity of their l'1
tory, no further economic aid need be given them. TW
will continue to benefit from our support of NATO *•
our maintenance of troops in Europe.
Some of the money spent on this program in the ■
has been spent unwisely and in some cases the taxpafj 'l'r cent,
have not received full value for their money, the Comfl ^'u.
sion said; and estimated that if its recommendations * „Mainr ,
s and a
sion said; and estimated that if its recommendations Jlri.",a]or i
adopted at least $360 million can be saved annually vffl lvil Sen
out prejudice to the objectives. Among other things, \ ['"''i-i ,l(|
Commission advised a strong, unified control from l J; ennt]]]
United States (which frequently speaks with numeral l ° Won]
conflicting voices, open to misconstruction); recommend (), Politics
that special emphasis be placed on agricultural and irfl (, '""iv ,
tion projects; that technical assistance programs be b11? r. ° 0ver
upon organization of joint local and American units; " t'' ii;itllr
economic aid of all kinds be limited to such undertake », /"nl],
nomic aid be granted for projects where private invti tt, , Sen
as can be staffed with qualified personnel; that no *
nomic aid be granted for projects where private inV|
ment capital is available; and that all economic aid, ^''litioi
contingent upon good-faith efforts of the recipient cou"
to improve- the investment climate both for domestic *
foreign capital of a private nature.
Facts Forum News, May, ^\ s For