The President signed an Executive order today establishing an independent, nonpartisan forum to recommend a National Agenda for the Eighties.
The Presidential Commission is a direct outgrowth of the President's extensive discussions at Camp David this summer, when he determined to organize a longer term review of issues of primary priority to the country and developments that will shape them in the decade ahead.
President William McGill of Columbia University was designated Chairman of the Commission and announced that the group would begin immediately its organization planning to launch its work.
Within the framework of its broad mandate, the Commission will identify the specific issues appropriate for examination and designate panels for in-depth review and discussion of these subjects. Consultative groups from the Congress and from State and local officials will be asked to exchange ideas regularly with the Commission.
Both in the makeup of the Commission itself and through its inputs from various organizations, the Commission is expected to have access to the broadest possible spectrum of our national views and thinking. The Commission will be composed initially of 50 private citizens appointed by the President. As the Commission defines and organizes its work, the President will select, at the request of the Commission, up to an additional 50 members. A partial initial list of Commission members was announced today.
To ensure the nonpartisan nature of the deliberations, the President has designated that the Commission present its report to the President and to the Congress by December 31, 1980.
The President's Executive order pledged the cooperation of all Federal agencies in the furthering of the Commission's work.
The principal White House liaison for the Commission will be through Hedley Donovan, who became a senior Presidential adviser following his retirement as editor-in-chief of Time Inc. publications. Mr. Donovan worked closely with the President in structuring the Commission, which was formally brought into being with today's Executive order.
The Office of Management and Budget will assume the responsibility for overseeing the Secretariat and providing support for the Commission's work.