TODAY, I am signing an Executive order creating a Council on Cost Reduction in Government.
I am requesting this Council to review the Government cost reduction efforts to date.
I am asking them to explore further opportunities for economy and better management.
In pursuing this vital task, I want them to enlist the aid of leaders in business and labor.
I shall expect the Council to keep me up to date on its progress, and to make a full report to me within 12 months.
Two years ago, at my direction, a Government-wide cost reduction program was initiated. At that time I called upon the head of each agency to take personal charge of cost reduction efforts, set specific goals for reductions in cost, reassess priorities for all programs and operations, identify and remove roadblocks to economy, and verify reported savings.
The savings achieved under the program so far are truly significant.
--The Defense Department saved $4.5 billion in fiscal 1966 as a result of actions taken over the past several years.
--Nondefense agencies saved $1.2 billion from steps taken in fiscal 1966, and nearly a billion dollars in the first half of fiscal 1967 alone.
This is an impressive record. These savings helped us to meet our commitments abroad and to finance essential programs at home. But we are not content with our past progress.
I have been determined from the day I took office to do everything in my power to bring about more efficient and effective Government. I expect everyone in Government to search unceasingly for better ways to do his job.
In my message to Congress last March on "The Quality of American Government," I said:
"To broaden and strengthen the Federal Government's drive for economy and efficiency in all its operations, I will issue an Executive Order establishing an Advisory Council on Cost Reduction."
My purpose in taking this step now is to bring together in a more organized manner the know-how developed in various areas of the Government and private life. By concentrating our insights, we can bring renewed impetus to this program and benefit every American taxpayer.
The Director of the Bureau of the Budget will be Chairman of the Council. Sitting with him will be the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and the Administrator of General Services.
I shall later appoint to the Council other members from the Government, as well as representatives of industry and the public.