Franklin D. Roosevelt

Directive to Reduce Government Costs

August 07, 1939

To the Heads of Departments, Independent Establishments and Other Government Agencies:

The passage of the Reorganization Act of 1939, and the subsequent transfers and consolidations effected under Reorganization Plans Nos. I and II will result in a more efficient and more economical conduct of governmental operations. Savings in administrative costs will be made during the present and each succeeding year through the operation of these reorganization plans and through improvements in administrative procedures which will be stimulated by the plans.

In the same manner, numerous administrative improvements and economies in operations can undoubtedly be effected in many other units of Government quite aside from the ultimate need of further basic reorganization.

It is my desire that the heads of Executive Departments and independent establishments of the Government immediately survey the organization and administrative methods of their Departments and establishments for the purpose of effecting improvements in administration and economies in operation. I believe that substantial savings can be effected in the cost of Government for this fiscal year and for succeeding fiscal years, and I wish to see such savings reflected in the apportionment of appropriations for the current year and in the submission of estimates for the fiscal year 1941.

When your estimates for the fiscal year 1941 are presented on September 15 next, they will be accompanied by a statement of anticipated savings which you believe can be effected during the current fiscal year, and the methods through which such savings are expected to be accomplished.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Directive to Reduce Government Costs Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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