The proper functioning of Government requires the development of closer working relationships between major Federal grantmaking agencies and State and local government and improved coordination of the categorical grant system.
I have heretofore directed the Domestic Council to:
(1) receive and develop information necessary for assessing national domestic needs and defining national domestic goals, and to develop for the President alternative proposals for reaching those goals;
(2) collaborate with the Office of Management and Budget and others in the determination of national domestic priorities for the allocation of available resources;
(3) collaborate with the Office of Management and Budget and others to assure a continuing review of ongoing programs from the standpoint of their relative contributions to national goals as compared with their use of available resources; and
(4) provide policy advice to the President on domestic issues.
Furthermore, I have assigned to the Office of Management and Budget the responsibility for assisting the President in developing efficient coordinating mechanisms to implement Government activities and to expand interagency cooperation. Three years ago I directed that the senior regional officials of certain of the grantmaking agencies convene themselves in regional councils to better coordinate their services to Governors, Mayors, and the public.
I have now determined that the measures prescribed by this Order would assure improved service to the public.
NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. Federal Regional Councils. (a) There is hereby established a Federal Regional Council for each of the ten standard Federal regions. Each Council shall be composed of the directors of the regional offices of the Departments of Labor, Health, Education, and Welfare, and Housing and Urban Development, the Secretarial Representative of the Department of Transportation, and the directors of the regional offices of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. The President shall designate one member of each such Council as Chairman of that Council and such Chairman shall serve at the pleasure of the President. Representatives of the Office of Management and Budget may participate in any deliberations of each Council.
(b) Each member of each Council may designate an alternate who shall serve as a member of the Council involved whenever the regular member is unable to attend any meeting of the Council.
(c) When the Chairman determines that matters which significantly affect the interests of Federal agencies which are not represented on any such Council are to be considered by that Council, he shall invite the regional director or other appropriate representative of the agency involved to participate in the deliberations of the Council.
SEC. 2. Functions of the Councils. Each Federal Regional Council shall be constituted as a body within which the participating agencies will, under the general policy formulation of the Under Secretaries Group, and to the maximum extent feasible, conduct their grantmaking activities in concert through:
(1) the development of short-term regional interagency strategies and mechanisms for program delivery;
(2) the development of integrated program and funding plans with Governors and local chief executives;
(3) the encouragement of joint and complementary grant applications for related programs;
(4) the expeditious resolution of interagency conflicts and coordination problems;
(5) the evaluation of programs in which two or more member agencies participate;
(6) the development of long-term regional interagency and intergovernmental strategies for resource allocations to better respond to the needs of States and local communities;
(7) the supervision of regional interagency program coordination mechanisms; and
(8) the development of administrative procedures to facilitate day-to-day interagency and intergovernmental cooperation.
SEC. 3. Under Secretaries Group tor Regional Operations. There is hereby established an "Under Secretaries Group for Regional Operations" which shall be composed of the Under Secretaries of Labor, Health, Education, and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, the Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, the Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who shall serve as the Chairman of the Group. When the Chairman determines that matters which significantly affect the interest of Federal agencies which are not represented on the Group are to be considered by the Group, he shall invite an appropriate representative of the agency involved to participate in the deliberations of the Group. The Under Secretaries Group for Regional Operations shall, consistent with the objectives and priorities established by the President and the Domestic Council, establish policy with respect to Federal Regional Council matters, provide guidance to the Councils, respond to their initiatives, and seek to resolve policy issues referred to it by the Councils. The Under Secretaries Group, under the Chairmanship of the Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall be responsible for the proper functioning of the system established by this Order.
SEC. 4. Construction. Nothing in this Order shall be construed as subjecting any department, establishment, or other instrumentality of the executive branch of the Federal Government or the head thereof, or any function vested by law in or assigned pursuant to law to any such agency or head, to the authority of any other such agency or head or as abrogating, modifying, or restricting any such function in any manner.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 10, 1972