Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Memorandum on the Management of the Executive Branch.

November 30, 1963

Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies:

I have pledged that the Executive Branch will be administered with the utmost thrift and frugality; that the Government will get a dollar's value for a dollar spent; and that the Government will set an example of prudence and economy.

To carry out this pledge, I intend:

--To examine agency budget requests with the determination to hold the 1965 Budget to the barest minimum consistent with the efficient discharge of our domestic and foreign responsibilities.

--To give you my full support in your efforts to achieve administrative or legislative changes which will eliminate unnecessary procedures, curtail or drop programs of low utility, institute consolidations or other organizational economies, and effect savings in procurement.

--To support salary scales for civil servants, military personnel, and policy officials which will enable you to retain and recruit talented, energetic, and imaginative employees.

--To accord increased recognition to those governmental units and individuals that make notable advances in providing efficient service at lower cost.

To assist me in carrying out my pledge, I ask you:

--To assume personal day-to-day responsibility for making your agency a model of good management and economical administration.

--To press ahead vigorously with your program for manpower control and utilization which you developed in response to President Kennedy's directive of October 11, 1962.

--To hold agency employment at or below the personnel targets established in response to President Kennedy's statement to the Cabinet of September 23, 1963.

--To make clear to your staff that each Government employee is responsible, not only for doing his assigned job to the best of his ability, but also for devising and proposing ways to improve his performance.

--To seek the advice of Committees of the Congress, and of private organizations and individuals, in finding ways to do the public business more economically.

--To submit to me promptly a report of major cost reduction actions taken during the past year, and a statement of the steps which you propose to take in the next year to tighten your operations and effect savings.

The Federal Government has reason to be proud of its many recent achievements in management improvement. But we cannot rest on past accomplishments. There are as many savings to be made in the future as have ever been made in the past. The citizen's faith in free government is strongly influenced by the extent of his confidence that public servants are alert and efficient in conserving the Nation's resources entrusted to their care. For this reason, we must work hard to reduce the costs of Government, not only for the sake of the savings to be made, but also in the interest of vindicating the people's confidence in the institutions of democracy.


Note: For President Kennedy's directive of October II, 1962, see 1962 volume, this series, Item 448; for his statement to the Cabinet of September 23, 1963, see 1963 volume, Item 371.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Memorandum on the Management of the Executive Branch. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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