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PROMPT PAYMENT OF RENTALS AND ROYALTIES DUE
THE GOVERNMENT ON OIL AND GAS LEASE ACCOUNTS (Recommendation No. 7):
The Geological Survey should intensify its efforts to obtain prompt payment of rentals and royalties due to the Government on oil and gas lease accounts in order to minimize delinquencies in payment. The committee believes that interest should be
charged on delinquent accounts. RESULTS.—The Department of the Interior has advised the subcommittee that:
Collection of delayed payments of rentals and royalties due the Government on oil and gas lease accounts have been accelerated through the use of new collection procedures and a new electronic data processing system.
DUPLICATION AND UNNECESSARY CLERICAL WORK (Recommendation No. 8):
The Department should promptly determine whether duplication and unnecessary clerical work exists and can be eliminated in the following activities: (a) The Atlantic Area Topographic Division of the Geological Survey, (b) the Anadarko and Muskogee area offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and (c) the western offices of the National Park Service.
Results.—The Department of the Interior has advised the subcommittee that:
Atlantic Area Topographic Division of the Geological Survey.-The following actions represent the total effort taken by the Topographic Division of the Geological Survey in regard to the recommendations of a committee which studied cost reporting and accounting procedures in the Atlantic area office.
1. Individual employee operational reports have been eliminated in the Cartography Section.
2. The preparation of individual production records for the Field Surveys Section has been eliminated.
3. Individual leave records have been eliminated.
4. The detail in the area summary reports has been eliminated.
5. Two GS-5 positions have been eliminated.
Annual savings resulting from the foregoing actions are now believed to be about $12,000.
Anadarko and Muskogee Area Offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The matter of consolidating the above area offices is still under study by the Department. However, we have encountered strong opposition to this consolidation from congressional and local interests. While certain real problems exist, therefore, we will continue to give the consolidation proposal full consideration.
The Western Offices of the National Park Service.—Following the housing, in early 1964, of both the Western Regional Office and the Western Office of Design and Construction in the new Federal Office Building in San Francisco, the personnel, procurement, and property management functions of the two offices were consolidated. This action standardized the procedures that were already being followed in Philadelphia where the Northeast Regional Office and the Eastern Design and Construction Office were being served by a consolidated operation.
There is no duplication of effort under the present arrangement; the work for both offices is being handled by one administrative unit.
BACKLOG OF APPEALED CASES PENDING IN BRANCH OF
LAND APPEALS OF OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR (Recommentation No. 9):
The Office of the Solicitor should intensify its efforts to reduce the backlog of appealed cases pending in its Branch of Land Appeals, without impairing the substantive rights of the parties. The procedures already adopted to deal with the backlog problem should be supplemented by temporary assignment of additional personnel, shifting nonlegal types of appeals (such as those involving only issues of land classification) to units responsible for such matters, simplifying procedures in typing and mimeograph
ing decisions and headnotes, etc. RESULTS.— The Department of the Interior has advised the subcommittee that:
The appeals backlog situation has improved substantially. The backlog of appeals pending dropped from 705 on January 1, 1963, to 113 as of March 1, 1966. A procedure adopted on June 7, 1963 (28 F.R. 6079) for handling land classification cases involving a flexible system of administrative review rather than a formal appeals system has eliminated all such cases from the appeals channel, thus contributing to the reduction of appeals. The reduction in the backlog also has been caused by the Bureau of Land Management's completion of its accelerated program of settling the backlog of appeals to its Director. During the accelerated program, the Bureau's output of decisions was unusually high, creating a sharp surge of appeals to the Secretary. With the Bureau operating now on an almost current basis, the number of appeals to the Secretary has leveled off.
An enlarged staff in the Branch of Land Appeals, totaling seven attorneys, was a significant factor in coping with the backlog situation. With two retirements and a transfer, the staff is now down to four attorneys. It is believed that with one replacement the staff will be able to cope with the present workload and to further reduce the backlog.
(H. Rept. 307, 88th Cong., 1st sess.) SURVEY OF SELECTED ACTIVITIES (PART 4-EFFICIENCY
AND ECONOMY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION)
Fourth Report by the Committee on Government Operations
(Submitted to the Speaker May 20, 1963) Civil Service Commission operations were the subject of the fourth in a series of hearings covering activities of departments and agencies within the jurisdiction of the Government Activities Subcommittee.
The Civil Service Commissioners expressed their fullest cooperation in efforts to achieve greater economy and efficiency not only within the organization of the Commission, but also in Commission programs affecting Federal departments and agencies as a whole. They expressed a clear understanding of the continuing need for highly qualified supervisory personnel and the importance of fair promotional opportunities in Government for capable and deserving employees. Statements of some executive leaders that civil service laws and regulations hampered them in achieving effective manpower levels and discharging unsatisfactory employees, were effectively rebutted. Deficiencies in Federal "job descriptions" were also acknowledged and efforts to improve them announced.
Yet, it is with regard to manpower utilization that the work of the Commission in recent months has been most significant. In September 1961, the Commission began a survey of department and agency manpower utilization practices. The preliminary results indicate grave deficiencies in the methods used to determine manpower levels. More recently the Commission has participated in the Bureau of the Budget pilot program aimed at the development of productivity measurement techniques for Federal use. (See, "Measuring Productivity of Federal Government Organizations," October 1964.) Knowledge of efficiency levels, the ability to recognize changing trends as they develop, and to note specific trouble spots of inefficiency, are of vital importance in efforts to increase and maintain governmental efficiency.
Primary responsibility for the determination of efficiency levels through productivity measurement techniques, for the establishment of proper manpower levels, and for the institution of necessary corrective action, should remain with the various departments and agencies, as the Civil Service Chairman recommended." But the Commission is ready to assume permanent authority to oversee, coordinate, and review these functions as part of a Government-wide effort to increase the economy and efficiency of operations and the quality of the services rendered the taxpaying public,
EFFICIENCY MEASUREMENT PROGRAMS (Recommendation No. 1):
Permanent authority to coordinate and review efficiency measurement programs of the various departments and agencies should be extended to the Civil Service Commission.
RESULTS.—The Civil Service Commission has advised the subcommittee that:
The Commission has not sought specific authority to implement the subcommittee recommendation. It is our belief that guidance and direction in this area should come from the Bureau of the Budget rather than the Civil Service Commission. Much has been accomplished, however, since the House report was issued in furthering related objectives. These activities fall into three well defined categories:
Adjustments in the nature and content of the Commission's inspections of agency personnel management programs, particularly as concerns position management and manpower utilization.
Increased participation with the Bureau of the Budget in making joint surveys of agency effectiveness in manpower utilization and management control.
Leadership activities in improving communications and service to the public-a new program of the President which seeks among other things to focus agency productivity more directly on the needs of the public.
CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS FOR INTERNAL AUDIT PERSONNEL (Recommendation No. 2):
Civil Service Commission classification standards for internal audit personnel should be reviewed with the Comptroller General.
The Civil Service Commission has advised the subcommittee that:
In June 1965, we published new classification and qualification standards which are applicable to internal auditing positions. During our study of those positions we worked closely with audit
management officials of the General Accounting Office. The new standards are consistent with the concepts of the Government Operations Committee and the General Accounting Office that internal audits should not be limited in scope and the responsibility for them should not be diffused. Moreover, the new standards provide positive assurance that internal audits of financial and accounting records are to be performed by properly trained and fully competent professional auditers.
In addition to conferring in detail with the professional audit staff of the General Accounting Office we asked them to review a tentative draft of the standards prior to their final
approval. They offered a number of suggestions for further
CONCISE AND REALISTIC JOB DESCRIPTIONS (Recommendation No. 3):
Commission efforts to obtain concise and realistic job descriptions should be increased.
RESULTS.—The Civil Service Commission has advised the subcommittee that:
The Commission has continued to stress the need for concise and realistic position descriptions by all the means at its disposal. As an example of our approach to this problem the following statements are quoted from the section on Position Classification Writing (Unit VIII-A of Part 3) of our Basic Training Course in Position Classification which is used by the other Federal agencies as well as the Commission:
(1) In describing skills and style we state: “What is required is that facts and reasoning be presented accurately, clearly and simply, and as briefly as is oonsistent with adequate treatment of any issues involved." (Page 19)
(2) In describing responsibilities of position description writers we state: "He should be brief. Unnecessary length is objectionable to managers, among others, and reduces the usefulness of position descriptions. Positions vary too greatly to permit a hard and fast rule limiting the length of position descriptions. Many positions, however, can be described adequately in two pages or less." (Page 22)
EFFICIENCY MEASUREMENT OF CSC OPERATIONS (Recommendation No. 4):
The Civil Service Commission must place particular emphasis on the development of effective means to measure the efficiency
of its own operations. RESULTS.—The Civil Service Commission has advised the subcommittee that:
The Commission has had, for a number of years, a work reporting system which is designed to measure workload and output. Since the House report, we have continued to strengthen our work reporting system. This measurement of