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Letter to Maj.. Gen. John S. Bragdon Appointing Him as Special Assistant to the President To Coordinate Public Works Planning.

August 12, 1955

Dear General Bragdon:

Realizing the vital role of public works in the nation's economy, the Council of Economic Advisers last year established a small unit to devote itself to coordinating the planning of public works. The work of this unit has confirmed the need for continued systematic attention to this function. In order to make this work more effective and to broaden its scope and responsibility, I hereby appoint you as Special Assistant to the President to serve as coordinator of public works planning.

In the performance of these duties, one of your responsibilities will be to keep me informed with regard to:

(a) The various types and amount of the public facilities required by an expanding economy to meet human needs at the national, state, and local levels.

(b) The current long-range plans and programs for the accomplishment of such works by agencies of the Federal Government and by similar agencies of the States and of local governments, and the interrelationships of these programs.

(c) The possibilities for the acceleration of public works construction in the event that economic conditions make such acceleration desirable.

You also will advise and assist the Federal Government agencies responsible for public works to the end of strengthening their forward planning activities. In these and your other activities you will cooperate with the Council of Economic Advisers and with the Bureau of the Budget. For the above purposes and such other activities as may be necessary in the effective planning of the nation's public works, you are authorized to call upon the Secretaries of Defense; Interior; Agriculture; Commerce; Health, Education, and Welfare; the Administrator of the General Services Administration; the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency; and other departments and agencies responsible either for direct public construction or for assistance to States and to local governments, to assist you in the coordination of long-range plans and programs for such public works construction activities. You are also authorized to establish an Advisory Committee on Public Works to include persons designated by the Secretaries of Defense; Interior; Agriculture; Commerce; Health, Education, and Welfare; the Administrator of the General Services Administration; the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency; the Director of the Bureau of the Budget; and by the heads of such other Federal agencies responsible for public works as may be necessary.

You are also authorized and directed (a) to establish close working relationships with the executives and public works agencies of the several States and local government bodies, and (b) to invite them to inform you with regard to their public works planning functions. You also may invite representatives of State, city and local governments to constitute an Advisory Committee on the public works problems at these levels of government.

You may provide yourself with such staff as is necessary to assist you in the performance of these duties. You are authorized to organize temporary task forces made up of personnel from the various Federal departments and agencies. You may employ consultants as experts for specific purposes related to your duties. You are requested to attend the meetings of Federal Government committees or interdepartmental groups which may deal with public works problems.

It is my desire that the coordination of Federal Government public works planning and cooperation with the States and with local government bodies be advanced as rapidly as possible. As this activity progresses, you are requested to make recommendations to me for its further strengthening and improvement.

Sincerely,

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Maj.. Gen. John S. Bragdon Appointing Him as Special Assistant to the President To Coordinate Public Works Planning. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233493

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