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Letter to Members of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch.

July 17, 1947

My dear Mr.____________:

I am glad to know that you will serve as a member of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.

The Act establishing this Commission provides for a cooperative approach by the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Government to the improvement of the effectiveness of the organization and operations of the Executive Branch. The method of appointing the twelve members of the Commission is significant. One-third of the members are appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; one-third by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and one-third by the President. Each group of appointees must be equally divided as between the two major political parties, and as between those in Government and in private life. This arrangement should be conducive to a well-balanced Commission.

The role conferred upon the Commission affords an opportunity to attack basic problems of government. That role is to study and investigate the present organization, methods, and operations of all executive agencies in order to determine what changes are necessary to promote economy and efficiency, and to improve service in the transaction of the public business.

The proposed study should prove of great value. The proper organization and administration of executive agencies is a continuing problem, requiring frequent evaluation in order to adapt their structure to current conditions. The present organization of the Executive Branch has a long history, and many and varied factors have shaped its growth. Manageability and facility of administration have not always received sufficient emphasis in this shaping.

I feel certain that your presence on the Commission will be of great assistance in making sure that the problem is attacked with vigor. A bold, comprehensive and fundamental review of all aspects of the organization and operation of the Executive Branch is required if our government is to be adequately equipped to meet the challenges it must face in a modern world.

Sincerely yours,


Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the following appointees to the Commission: James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; Arthur S. Flemming, Commissioner, Civil Service Commission; Dean Acheson, Under Secretary of State; and George H. Mead, member of the Price Decontrol Board.

Harry S Truman, Letter to Members of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232059

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