Letter to Agency Heads on Implementation of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949.
[Released July 2, 1949. Dated July 1, 1949]
To all Executive Agencies:
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 205 (a) of the Act entitled "An Act to simplify the procurement, utilization and disposal of Government property, to reorganize certain agencies of the Government, and for other purposes," approved June 30, 1949 (the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949) it is hereby directed that:
1. In cooperation with other interested agencies, the Administrator of General Services shall institute studies and surveys to determine the extent to which existing policies, procedures and directives heretofore promulgated and remaining in force under section 501 of the Act, should be modified or revoked in the interest of promoting greater economy and efficiency in accomplishing the purposes of this Act. Careful attention shall be given to determining the degree of centralization in the General Services Administration to be attained in the performance of the functions involved. When these studies and surveys have been completed and after consulting with the interested agencies, the Administrator shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to implement the determinations resulting from such studies and surveys.
2. After consultation with the Bureau of the Budget and other Executive agencies, and also with the General Accounting Office in respect of such matters as may be appropriate, including matters affecting its functions under sections 205(b) and 206(c) of the Act, and at the earliest possible date, the Administrator of General Services shall establish such standards, prescribe such regulations, and prepare and issue such manuals and procedures as may be necessary to guide all Executive agencies in ascertaining whether their operations in the field of property and records management are efficient and economical as well as consistent with established Government policies.
3. In accordance with directives to be issued by the Administrator of General Services, each Executive agency shall promptly institute surveys to determine excess personal property and that portion of excess real property, including unimproved property, under their control which might be suitable for office, storage, and related facilities, and shall promptly report to the Administrator as soon as each survey is completed.
4. Each Executive agency shall carefully plan and schedule its requirements for supplies, equipment, materials and all other personal property in order that necessary stocks may be maintained at minimum levels and high-cost small-lot purchasing avoided.
5. Under section 201 (c) of the Act, Executive agencies are permitted to apply exchange allowances and proceeds of sale in payment of property acquired. The Administrator shall promptly prescribe regulations specifying the extent to which Executive agencies may exercise this authority, and pending the issuance of such regulations, no Executive agency shall exercise this authority except to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with the provisions of, statutes in force prior to the taking effect of this Act.
6. Section 502(d) of the Act provides that certain programs and functions now being carried on by various Executive agencies shall not be impaired or affected by the provisions of the Act. However, the attention of these agencies is called specifically to the purposes of this legislation and they shall, insofar as practicable, procure, utilize and dispose of property in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the regulations issued thereunder in order that the greatest overall efficiency and economy may be effected. These same agencies shall also cooperate with the Administrator of General Services in the making of surveys of property and property management practices and in the establishment of inventory levels as provided in section 206(a) (1) and (2) of the Act.
HARRY S. TRUMAN
Note: On the same day, July 1, the President sent the following memorandum to the Director, Bureau of the Budget, the Secretary of Defense, and the Administrator of General Services:
"By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 205(a) of the Act entitled 'An Act to simplify the procurement, utilization and disposal of Government property, to reorganize certain agencies of the Government, and for other purposes,' approved June 30, 1949 (the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949) it is hereby directed that:
"1. Pending determinations made in the course of the studies hereinafter directed to be instituted, the several departments and agencies constituting the National Military Establishment shall continue to procure through the Administrator of General Services such supplies, materials, equipment and other personal property, and have performed by the Administrator such related functions of the types specified in section 201(a)(1) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 as were customarily procured or performed for the departments and agencies of the National Military Establishment by the Bureau of Federal Supply prior to the taking effect of said Act. Until further order of the President, the Secretary of Defense shall not, without the prior approval of the President, issue any order or directive exempting the National Military Establishment in accordance with the proviso in section 201(a) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, from action taken or to be taken by the Administrator of General Services under said section.
"2. The Administrator of General Services, the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the Bureau of the Budget (1) shall forthwith undertake, and diligently pursue, studies aimed at developing areas of understanding with respect to the extent to which the National Military Establishment should be exempt from the jurisdiction of the Administrator under section 201 and 206 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, and (2) shall present any appropriate recommendations to the President."
A progress report covering areas of understanding between the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration was transmitted to the President by the Director, Bureau of the Budget, on July 30, 1951.
President Truman's memorandum of July 1, 1949, was revoked by President Eisenhower on June 8, 1954.
Harry S. Truman, Letter to Agency Heads on Implementation of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229682